Dharamsala – In order to show their gratitude and appreciation for what India has done for the Tibetan freedom struggle, Central Tibetan Administration has organized another "Thank You India" program in several cities of the country including Kerala and Calicut. This very same event has been held in Nagpur in Maharashtra and very soon, will also be organized in southern regions like Chennai and Puducherry.
Since Tibet has been unlawfully seized by China in the year 1959, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and other Tibetan refugees have been residing in India for more than 55 years.
The third part of the "Thank You India program" in Nagpur began on October 9th, in the Dragon Palace Temple in Kamptee with 500 people assembling to witness the event. At the beginning of the occasion, there was a lamp-lighting session coupled with a short prayer ceremony to express sympathy for the 144 Tibetans who have indulged in self-immolation to rebel against the Chinese regime in Tibet.
Shri R K Khrimey, National Convener, Core Group for Tibet Cause, Shri Arvind Nikose, National Co-Convener and Shri Sandesh Meshram, Regional Convener of Maharashtra were among the chief guests. Other guests such as Mr Karma Galek, Members of Tibetan Parliament in Exile, Mr Karma Dhargyal, Tibetan Settlement Officer of Norgyeling, Bhandara and Mr Jigme Tsultrim, Coordinator, India Tibet Coordination Office, staff of Tibet Museum and researchers of Tibet Policy Institute also participated in the event.
At the beginning of his talk, Shri R K Khrimey mentioned that "the arrival of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in India was a blessing for Buddhists in India... Crores of rupees are spent for the security of these borders these days." This statement was in context of the harsh occupation of Tibet by China in 1959 and the growing tension of the India-China relations due to border issues.
He also stated that, "The day is not far for His Holiness the Dalai Lama's return to Tibet. I believe and know in my heart that he will return within this lifetime to his home." He also made an earnest request to the government of India, asking them to modify India's foreign policy and defense strategy. Furthermore, he asked the public of India to show whole-hearted support for the peaceful Tibetan cause and His Holiness's return to his homeland.
Mr Karma Galek, Member of Tibetan Parliament in Exile commented that, " Tibet lies between the two nations of India and China. Earlier when Tibet used to be a sovereign nation, there wasn't any need for the soldiers to patrol the borders. The Indo-Tibetan border was peaceful and without any skirmishes. Any devotee can go for pilgrim without any necessary document. However, after the brutal occupation of Tibet by China, the Indo-Tibet border has now turned into a conflict zone."
Shri Rajesh Nanwatkar, President of Indo-Tibet Friendship Society, Nagpur made a short statement about the alliance between Tibetans and Indians staying in Nagpur and Norgyeling Tibetan Settlement, Bandara working together in every aspect of creating awareness and celebrating His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama's birthday every year.
Shri Ashok Khanade, member of National Campaign for Free Tibet Support, stressed on the importance of paying attention to the issues of environmental damages brought about due to unrestricted damming on the rivers of Tibet, the drawing back of Tibetan glaciers and the upcoming damage to all the downstream nations like India.
The first day included two sessions of talk-series where multiple speakers spoke, and various photo displays revolving around Indo-Tibet relations and on the title 'A Long Look Homeward' took place. A distinctive stall on Sowa Rigpa (a Tibetan old-school healing science) was set in motion by the Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute's branch clinic rooted in Bhandra.
Shri Amruth Bansood, the General Secretary of Indo-Tibet Friendship Society, Bhandra, Maharashtra moderated the opening session of the talk series. One of the researchers at Tibet Policy Institute, Zamlha Tempa Gyaltsen spoke intricately on the 'Ecological importance of Tibet.' He furthermore mentioned in great detail the importance of the Tibetan plateau, the present environmental condition in Tibet and the worldwide consequences because of it , especially the ever-growing rate of natural calamities due to uncontrolled damming on the rivers of Tibet.
Another Tibet Policy Institute researcher, Tenzin Tsultrim gave a lecture on 'Militrization of Tibet' and its leading to a race of arms from one end of the Indo-Tibetan border to the other. Other eminent people like Professor Shyam Nath Mishra, department of Political Science, Government College, Khetri, Rajasthan talked about the situation in regards to human rights in Tibet.
Shri Sachin Ramteke, Organizing Secretary, Indo-Tibet Friendship Society, Maharashtra moderated the second and final session of the talk series. Dr Bhau Lokhande, Head of Dr Babsaheb Ambedkar Chair in Nagpur discussed about Ambedkar's opinions and thoughts on Tibet.
Ven Mehar Singh Negi, Ph.D, Central University of Tibetan Studies, Sarnath, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh spoke on 'Buddhism in Tibet and its connection with the Nalanda Tradition.' This was followed by a round of Q&A session.
The two-day 'Thank you India' program coincided with Dharma Chakra Parivarthan Diwas at Deekshabhoomi. This holy monument of Buddhism is the very place where Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar embraced the religion with 600,000 followers in the month of October, 1956.
Deekshabhoomi is located in Nagpur, Maharashtra and is considered to be place for devotees of Buddhism in India. Millions of believers spend time in Deekshabhoomi each year, mainly around the Mass Conversion Ceremony Day, also known as Dhamma Chakra Pravartan Din and also on 14th October – the day when Ambedkar embraced Buddhism.
Deeksha is synonymous with the 'act of ordaining' and bhoomi implies the 'ground'. Deekshabhoomi symbolizes the ground where the humankind was made into a Buddhist.
This religious mass conversion is significant because in history it has been deemed as being original and unique.This event was concluded with a cultural performance by Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts where 12 kinds of dances took place along with a duet song.