October 2, 2017
   Posted in News From Other Sites

The Times of India – 30 September 2017

DHARAMSHALA: It is for the first time that Tibetans living in India will participate in assembly elections in India. They are all set to cast their vote for new government in Himachal Pradesh. Tibetans started registering themselves as voters during parliamentary elections. This time too new voters have registered for upcoming polls in the state. Officials said that about 300 new voters have been registered this time. This hill town is considered as the global capital of the Tibetan residents across the world. Voting rights to Tibetans were granted in 2014.

There are mixed reactions from the community on the move. Majority of the Tibetans believe that Indian citizenship would affect their freedom movement. Tibetan government in exile has not put any restrictions on Tibetans in this regard stating that it’s a matter of personal choice.

There are about 1400 Tibetan voters in the state. Out of it 217 are from Dharamshala, while majority are from Bir-Billing area of Kangra district. There are about 1047 voters from Bir area. “There are total 1400 Tibetan voters in state according to the records available with us,” said Shravan Manta, Sub Divisional Magistrate at Dharamshala.

Other are of the view that those who have registered themselves as voters were forced to do this to get ease in documentation processes. According to the guidelines Tibetans born in India between 1950 to 1987 can apply for voting cards.

“I think Tibetans are muscled to think that they can make voter’s card to get rid of difficulties they face in maintaining their residential permit paper called registration certificates” said Tenzin Tsundue, a prominent Tibetan activist and writer in Mcleodganj who has not registered himself as voter.

While, Lobsang Wangyal, Tibetan activist and a registered voter said that they had earlier voted in Municipal elections and Lok sabha polls now this was for the first time that Tibetans are going to vote in assembly polls. “I think it’s time to be inclusive rather than exclusive. We should be part of the community in which we have been living in, while still ensuring that our own identity and mission is kept intact” he said.
Politicians here are also playing smart tactics by putting their pictures on social media with Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama. Others are approaching them for meeting followed by lunch and dinner. Congress government has already nominated one Tibetan as councilor in Municipal Corporation in Dharamshala.
Share with your friends










Submit