New Delhi’s missive to its ministers and officials, asking them to avoid events hosted by the Tibetan administration-in-exile marking their 60th year in exile with a series of ‘Thank you, India’ events has not deterred the refugee community.
It was on March 31, 1959, when His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, arrived at the home of the Buddha, after painfully escaping his homeland.
When the peaceful and spiritual land of Tibet was invaded by the People’s Liberation Army of China, it was India who sheltered the people of the snow land, proving that it was a true protector of humanity.
In fact, many Tibetans have gone out of their way to express their gratitude to India for sheltering them during a time when their culture, political identity and faith remains tremendously repressed in their original homeland.
Yesterday, the Central Tibetan Administration posted a heartwarming video on the Tibet TV Facebook page thanking India. Watch the video here:
Over the years, many Indian commentators have expressed their envy of China’s surge towards economic development. Admittedly, China has made remarkable strides, although India hasn’t done too poorly herself.
However, what China doesn’t have is democracy.
Admittedly, there are a lot of flaws in our still nascent democracy, but watching the ‘Thank You, India’ video does bring some much-needed perspective. Sample some of these lines from the song sung in the video (in Hindi translated into English).
The true and earnest chelas,
people from the land of snow offer profound salutations.
On your warm lap, we grew up and blossomed.
Under the shadow of your trust, we live and thrive.
You saved an ancient civilization. You saved the soul of the roof of the world.
In giving Tibetans shelter from the storm, what India did was to preserve their identity and rich culture, something the Chinese sought to systematically dismantle, and now appropriate.
Visit Dharamshala in Himachal Pradesh, Bylakuppe in Karnataka and Leh, Ladakh, and what you’ll witness is a community that can freely express its rich culture and traditions without fear of state repression. What this country has done for the Tibetans offers a model for what our governments must do for members of other religious and caste communities.
Earlier, this month The Better India published a story about Ama Jetsun Pema, the Mother of Tibet, and how she built an institution for children of Tibetan refugees (Read more here). Without the aid and assistance of the Indian government, none of that would have been possible.
It would be appropriate to conclude with these lines from the song:
Facilitated us with schools to teach our children,
universities to impart higher traditional learning.
Livelihood to live with happiness and dignity.
Lying on your lap for sixty years and beyond,
our feelings of gratitude are deep and strong.
We have no words to thank you enough.
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)