By Madan Kumar, For original news click here.
PATNA: Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday endorsed former West Bengal governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi’s call to confer Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian honour, on Nobel Laureate and Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. “I agree with Gopalkrishna Gandhi’s write-up titled ‘Bharat Ki Jarurat Hain Dalai Lama’ (The Dalai Lama- A necessity for India) published in a Hindi daily,” Nitish tweeted on Sunday.
Gopalkrishna, in a write-up published in a Hindi daily on Saturday, strongly pleaded for conferring Bharat Ratna on the Dalai Lama.
“The current Union government as well as the previous ones always remained shy when it came to the Dalai Lama. Are we so puzzled in anticipation of China’s reaction? In my opinion, it is unnecessary to be bewildered on this issue. We would definitely like proper development of Tibetan culture but we have already accepted its inclusion with China. The problem does not lie here. The Dalai Lama himself does not see Tibet separate from China. He just wants protection of Tibetan spiritualism and culture and its Buddhist tradition. Then, why our governments do not want to confer Bharat Ratna on the Dalai Lama? We happily conferred Bharat Ratna on Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa. What is the fault of the Dalai Lama that he has been deprived of this highest civilian honour? In this, it is our loss, not his,” Gopalkrishna, who is the grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, argued.
Gopalkrishna, who served as governor of West Bengal from 2004 to 2009 during the UPA-I regime, wrote, “Wherever the Dalai Lama goes across the world, people see a form of Lord Buddha in him. Only we don’t see the Buddha in him.”
Reacting to Gopalkrishna’s write-up, Nitish tweeted, “The precious principles of love, non-violence, brotherhood and world peace make India an unparalleled country. The Dalai Lama’s presence as ideological guide is very important.”
Earlier in April 2017, the Rashtriya Syawamsevak Sangh (RSS) had launched a campaign in Arunachal Pradesh for awarding Bharat Ratna to the Dalai Lama. The campaign was launched on April 6, 2017, a day before the Dalai Lama reached Tawang in West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh in the face of protests by China.
Nitish had last called on the Dalai Lama at the latter’s residence in Bodh Gaya on December 31 last year when the spiritual leader was in Bodh Gaya. The Dalai Lama was presented with Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.