Dharamsala: After cancelling events in the national capital, the Tibetan government-in-exile will now start the pan-India programmes to mark the beginning of the 60th year of the Dalai Lama stepping on Indian soil, from its headquarters in Dharamshala, organisers said on Saturday.
“The CTA (Central Tibetan Administration) will be organising a public event at the Tsuglagkhang temple (in Dharamsala) on March 31 to thank India,” a government-in-exile spokesperson told IANS.
He said the Dalai Lama has agreed to attend the event that will see dignitaries and guests, and celebrate Tibetan culture and spirit that thrives on the Indian soil.
The Dalai Lama escaped from Tibet to India in March 1959. The government-in-exile is about to complete 60 years in the country.
Amidst the recent tensions with China, the Indian government was reported to have cautioned its senior officials to stay away from events aimed at marking the start of the Dalai Lama’s 60th year of exile.
CTA President Lobsang Sangay said Tibet is inextricably linked to India through geography, history, culture and spiritually.
“His Holiness the Dalai Lama calls India the ‘guru‘ and Tibet its ‘chela‘ and refers to himself the ‘son of India’ and a true follower of Mahatma Gandhi. He continues to advocate the revival of India’s ancient wisdom based on the Nalanda tradition,” he said in a statement.
Mr Sangay said the Tibetan struggle is “Made in India” and said that “the success of the Tibetan struggle will be India’s success story”.
Chair of the organising committee of the planned events, Sonam Norbu Dagpo, said India has not only been a second home for Tibetan people but have provided profound support to the Tibetan struggle.
“Therefore, with the blessings of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and under the leadership of the CTA, Tibetan people across the globe are observing 2018 as a ‘Thank You India Year’.
“A series of pan-India events spanning 12 months both in the physical and virtual space will publicly express gratitude to the government and people of India,” he added.
The Dalai Lama, in an interview to CNN News18, said he “doesn’t care about how Chinese pressure forced the cancellation of the events of the Tibetan government-in-exile in Delhi to mark 60 years of its exile in India”.
He said it was more about “how you feel for Tibetans and how Tibetans feel for India”.