By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, JAN.5: The Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama, currently in the Indian town of Gaya in Bihar for the 34th Kalachakra will be returning back to the state in March as the main guest at the ‘Nalanda Conference-Buddhism in the 21st Century’ organized by the Indian government.
The conference in Nalanda is formally hosted by the Ministry of Culture. The Dalai Lama as the central figure at the two day conference along with top Buddhist monks, especially from Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar is being touted as a move by New Delhi in enhancing the clout of the octogenarian Tibetan leader against constant ire of Beijing , according to observers.
A report in the Indian daily Indian Express
expounds on the increasing New Delhi’s emphasis on relaying vague yet hard hitting rhetoric to Beijing when it comes to highlighting the Tibetan leader who has been in exile in India for the past few decades. Government sources said it is one way of returning the compliment to the Dalai Lama, who has always said that as a son of India, IE report read.
Further suggesting that the move by New Delhi is a weighed out initiative, top Indian officials and politicians have been reported be in the loop. The report mentioned, “National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is leading the charge on the invocation of Buddhism as strategic gain. Minister of State (Home) and MP from Arunachal Pradesh Kiren Rijiju has been the public go-between the Dalai Lama’s people and the government. Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar, who wears a Buddhist rosary since he went to China as ambassador just under a decade ago, is brushing up his contacts with the Tibetan community in India.”
New Delhi has portrayed a more stoic stance in dealing with China over the course of last few months especially when it comes to the Tibetan leader Dalai Lama. China’s objection over the proposed visit of the 81 year old Tibetan leader to the border state of Arunachal Pradesh was labeled unreasonable by India, further adding that the “honored guest” is free to go where ever he pleases in India.
Indian External Affairs spokesperson Vikas Swarup earlier in October said, “The Dalai Lama is a revered spiritual figure. He has a sizeable following among Buddhists in Arunachal Pradesh, who would like to seek his blessings. He has visited the state in the past as well and we see nothing unusual if he visits again.”