In Mahatma Gandhi’s Footsteps, Tibetans Struggle For Independence – President Penpa Tsering

Dharamshala:  Extolling the principles and ideologies that guided Mahatma Gandhi into securing India’s independence, Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) President Penpa Tsering on Sunday said the Tibetan movement under the guidance of His Holiness the Dalai Lama was unabatedly based on the same model.

The CTA led by Tsering paid floral tributes to Mahatma Gandhi on his 153rd birth anniversary.

Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) President Penpa Tsering

The official ceremony held in Gangchen Kyishong here was attended by Parliament Speaker Khenpo Sonam Tenphel, Deputy Speaker Dolma Tsering Teykhang, acting Chief Justice Commissioner Karma Dadul, heads of CTA’s autonomous bodies, and senior officials of various departments of the CTA.

In his interaction with the media, Tsering said, “The world has seen a plethora of extraordinary leaders but Gandhi is the first influential and inspiring leader who set the benchmark of the practice of non-violence and the complete allegiance to resolving conflict through non violent approach.

“His work of opinion in Hind Swaraj written in 1909 epitomising his principles and vision was the fundamental operating manual during the Independence movement of India.

“Not only is our movement inspired and based on Gandhi’s principles of non-violence, the unity of all religions we endorse and advocate is in alignment with Gandhi’s views on religion.”

He also pledged on the occasion to follow non-violence as the only means to resolve the Sino-Tibet conflict.

Tibetans, who have been forced to flee their homeland in China more than half a century ago and have settled across India since then, have been following in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi, the apostle of peace and non-violence.

Every year, the CTA, the democratically elected government in exile, holds functions at its headquarters here to celebrate Gandhi Jayanti, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, that falls on October 2.

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama receives the Mahatma Gandhi International Award for Reconciliation and Peace from Ela Gandhi, the granddaughter Mahatma Gandhi, during the Kalachakra Buddhist festival in Bodh Gaya, Bihar, India, on 4 January 2012/Photo/Altaf Qadri/AP

Even the elderly Buddhist monk, the Dalai Lama, ultimate spiritual and political leader for millions of Tibetans, is the admirer of Mahatma Gandhi.

“I never met Mahatma Gandhi in person, although I dreamt of doing so. I admire him because he was a great thinker who put what he thought into practice,” a post on the website of the CTA quoting the spiritual guru said.

The Tibetans have lived in India since 1959 when the Dalai Lama fled his homeland after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.

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