Over 5000 Tibetans and Indian supporters gather at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium in New Delhi to take part in Tibet solidarity campaigns organised by the exile Tibetan administration. Former deputy PM LK Advani and official representative of the ruling Congress Party, MP Priya Dutt were present on the first day of the four-day event on January 30, 2013. (Phayul file)
DHARAMSHALA, June 18: Ahead of next year’s general elections, major Indian political parties from across political lines have called for a review of the Indian government’s policy on China with regards to Tibet.
The Arunachal Pradesh state unit of Nationalist Congress Party, a coalition partner in the ruling UPA in New Delhi, called on both the centre and state governments to bring “an early review” of the country’s policy towards China, and support the Tibetan cause.
The NCP described the “violations of basic human rights in Tibet and aggressive marginalisation of the Tibetans through economic imperialism and exploitation of its huge water and mineral resources as extremely upsetting,” reported the PTI news agency June 16.
"The innumerable instances of self-immolation in various pockets of Tibet and the growing unrest amongst Buddhist monks throughout the globe are matters of international concern and speak volume of the grave situation," party state unit president Kahfa Bengia said.
"The greatest foreign policy blunder committed by the Centre was accepting Tibet and their problems as internal issues of China. This sort of soft, timid and ambiguous approach by India led to Chinese Aggression in 1962," he said.
Large swathes of Arunachal Pradesh, the northeast Indian border state, is being claimed by China as southern Tibet.
He further added that in order to bring paradigm shift in policies vis-à-vis Tibet, the Centre “should not only support the Tibetan cause internationally, but also allow the voices within the nation, particularly of Arunachal, who are the worst victims of Chinese occupation to ventilate their concerns for Tibetan refugees in India, as well as those in Tibet.”
A Tibet Support Group has also been formed in the State with the participation of prominent leaders from various political parties extending their unconditional support to the Tibetan cause.
Earlier this month on June 8, Rajnath Singh, president of India’s main opposition party, Bharatiya Janata Party, said that India should not remain "insensitive" to the "atrocities being committed” in Tibet, while addressing the party’s national executive meeting.
"In the past few months, hundreds of Buddhist monks have committed self-immolation in protest against the violation of the human rights by China in Tibet...India cannot remain insensitive to the atrocities being committed on the Buddhist monks in Tibet as we share a long history of cultural affinity with this region," he said.
Since 2009, as many as 119 Tibetans living under China’s rule have set themselves on fire demanding freedom and the return of His Holiness the Dalai Lama from exile.
Starting from January, members of the Dharamshala based Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile have been carrying out intensive lobbying efforts alll over India, holding meetings with senior leaders, addressing press conferences and interacting with the general masses to “spread awareness on the critical situation inside Tibet and garner their support.”