MUMBAI: A week-long Mumbai leg of the solidarity with Tibet campaign led by a 4-member Tibetan Parliamentary delegation successfully concluded on 5 September, with political leaders, Bollywood filmmakers and actors assuring support for the issue of Tibet.
The Tibetan parliamentary delegation met various political leaders in Mumbai, including Mr Dilip Walse Patil, Assembly Speaker; Mr R R Patil, Home Minister; Dr Nitin Raut, Minister for Employment Guarantee; Mr Ramdass Athawale, former MP and President of Republic Party of India; Dr C L Thool, Chairman of State SC and ST Commission; Prof. Milind Marate, former National President of ABVP; Mr C. M. Dakkad, National General Secretary of ABVP; Mr Devdatta Joshi, State Organisational Secretary of ABVP; Mr Anandraj Ambedkar, grandson of Dr B. R. Ambedkar and Mr Sachit Tasgaonkar, a prominent academician.
The Tibetan MPs convened a press conference, which was covered by scores of TV and print media including Doordharshan TV. They also participated in a panel discussion with strategic researchers at Gateway House, a prominent think tank in the city.
The delegation met with several members of Bollywood film fraternity including former MP and Dada Saheb Phalke Award winning director, Mr Shyam Benegal, and filmmakers Firoz Nadiadwala, Dravid Dhawan and Kiran Rao, actors Anupam Kher, Vivek Oberoi, Varun Dhawan, Rajpal Yadav, Nargis Fakhri, Illeana D’ Cruz, Lakshimi Rai, Arunoday Singh and others.
The Indian leaders assured the Tibetans of continuous support and that they will convey the message to the central government.
“While meeting the Indian leaders and the prominent personalities in the city, we apprise them about the condition of Tibet and provided them CDs, leaflets, a memorandum and urged them to raise the issue of Tibet at various governmental and non-governmental platforms. Tibet needs India’s support evermore,” said Ms Tsering Youdon, a member of the delegation.
Mr Jigmey Jungney, another member of the delegation, is most satisfied with the favorable response the delegation has received from every section of Indian society during the campaign tour. He recalled actor Vivek Oberoi’s overwhelming assurance to the delegation that “I am a great fan of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and I am most happy and ready to do anything for His Holiness and the Tibetan people.”
Receiving the Tibetan MPs at his office, filmmaker Firoz Nadiadwala expressed sincere support and solidarity with the Tibetan cause and suggested that the G8 nations should hold a global summit solely to resolve the crisis in Tibet.
Noted actor Rajpal Yadav assured the delegates of doing a movie on Tibet in near future. Ven Atruk Tseten, a Tibetan MP, told Mr Yadav that he would look forward for that film.
The Tibetan MPs also met with several other prominent personalities in the city including Dr. J.B. Bhawani of the St George Hospital, former actress Ms. Barkha Madan who turned into a Buddhist nun Ani Samten and Marathi Editor Shirish Ramteke besides holding interactive meeting with local Tibetans and Tibet supporters.
The delegates also gave an exclusive interview to The Hindu, a leading Indian newspaper, on the ongoing solidarity campaign.
During the interactive discussion with the researchers and fellows at the Gateway House, a prominent think tank in Mumbai, Dr Rajni Bakshi, Gandhi Peace fellow, Ms Manjeet Kripalani, Executive Director, Sameer Patil, Associate Fellow in National Security, Akshay Mathur, Geoeconomics Fellow Head of Research, expressed serious concern over the crisis of Tibet and urged for more interactions and exchanges with the Tibetans.
Recalling the emotional response by Ms Rao, a film director and wife of actor Amir Khan when shown the leaflets depicting the pictures of self-immolation, Ven Atruk Tseten stated that, “Ms Rao was so much disturbed by the ongoing crisis in Tibet that she almost broke down on seeing the sad and gory pictures of Tibetan self-immolations”.
The four Tibetan MPs – Ms. Tsering Youdon, Ven. Atruk Tseten, Mr. Jigme Jungney and Mr. Lobsang Yeshi – who earlier toured six south Indian states left for Gujarat on 5th September.