DHARAMSHALA: The Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama inaugurated a revised edition of Red Shadow over the Himalayas, written by Shri Shanta Kumar, former Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh and current member of Lok Sabha, a poetry collection titled ‘If Autumn comes’ written by Smt Santosh Shailja and a biography of Shri Shanta Kumar written by Shri Hemraj Kaushik.
The event graced by His Holiness the Dalai lama, was attended by over hundred officials and members of the Himachal government and local administrations including Shri Salveen Chaudary, MLA, Shri Ram Swaroop, MP, Lok Sabha, Shri Kishan Kumar, former HP minister among others. The event was also attended by Tibetan justice commissioners, Kalons, members of the Tibetan Parliament along with staff of the Central Tibetan Administration and representatives of Tibetan non-governmental organisations.
Addressing Indian friends and officials of Himachal government, His Holiness said, “I am very happy to be able to join this special occasion with my old friend Shri Shanta Kumar, his wife Smt Shanta Shaijla and all the esteemed guests from the Himachal government and community.”
The Tibetan spiritual leader lauded Shri Shanta Kumar’s lifelong service in the various spheres of welfare development of the people of Himachal and thanked the former CM for writing true accounts of the India-China relations and of the Tibetan struggle. “History should be written to represent the reality. Especially when one is writing about an event experienced first hand, the motive should be to inform the readers with facts and truth. It would be very unfortunate if writers distort truth for political or other reasons. Therefore, I take the opportunity to thank Shri Shanta Kumar.”
Addressing the large audience of Indian friends and local Tibetans, His Holiness said that 21st century should be a century of peace and dialogue. “We must make 21st century a century of peace. The last century, the 20th century, has been a century of extreme destruction and war. We must learn from the past experiences and approach the next millennium with a holistic and farsighted vision. If we really want the next millennium to be more peaceful and more harmonious for humankind, we will have to start by educating the principles of non-violence and peaceful resolution of conflicts.”
“I consider non-violence to be compassion in action. It doesn’t mean weakness or inactivity. The act of non violence is motivated by Karuna, compassion for others and recognising their rights. Most importantly, this is not a religious point of view, but a scientifically established fact that a peaceful compassionate mind leads to healthy, long and prosperous life. Therefore, it is my message to all the people, especially the young ones, to be responsible citizens and promote love, compassion and oneness of the humanity as basic values.”
His Holiness offered India as an illustrious model of religious harmony and urged the Indian leaders to spread the message of peace to the world. “India is an illustrious example of human values and religious harmony. It is the only country where all major religions live together, not only in modern times but over 1,000 years. The basis for such a peaceful environment is the practice of positive human values and ethical principles which is rooted in the culture of India.”
Expressing concern over rising violence and deteriorating peace and stability in the world, His Holiness advised that people should stop rendering prominence to material gains and educate the mind to achieve long lasting peace and harmony.
The former Chief Minister of Himachal state, Shri Shanta Kumar expressed his respect and deep admiration for His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s message of compassion, non-violence and religious harmony. He appealed the central government to honour His Holiness with Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honour. “His Holiness is a singular figure among world leaders whose message of peace, compassion and nonviolence has resonated throughout the world and inspired millions to recognise the common humanity among us. He deserves to be conferred with Bharat Ratna in recognition of his boundless service to humanity.“
He praised harmonious relationship between the Indian and Tibetan communities in Dharamshala, the abode of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Deputy Speaker of Tibetan Parliament, in his vote of thanks, conveyed gratitude to Shri Shanta Kumar for supporting the aspirations of Tibetan people and its struggle for freedom in his book. “On behalf of all the Tibetans, inside Tibet and in exile, I express my deepest gratitude to Shri Shanta Kumar for writing a detailed account of the Tibetan struggle. Red Shadow over the Himalayas lingers extensively on the brutal occupation of the Tibet in the 1959 and China’s systematic exploitation of Tibet’s environment, culture and religion since the 1960s.”
The book Red Shadow over the Himalayas was written by Shri Shanta Kumar after the India-China war in 1962. It was revised and printed for the second time after 50 years.