Honourable Professor Rinpoche, Ambassador Ranjit Gupta, Dr K.C.Agnihotri, Mr Sonam Dagpo, Ladies and Gentleman, after the brilliant talk given by Shri Ranjit Gupta who is an expert on this subject and the manner in which Professor Rinpoche explained the Tibetan cause so that there is no confusion in our minds, there is hardly anything left for me to say. Even, otherwise, I am not even half as qualified as either of them to speak on the subject. We judges in the court have developed a practice that when we seat on a bench in which there is more than one judge and if the judgement has been written by someone else and we have nothing more to say then what we do is, we say I agree and sign. I am tempted to do that.

But let me try to say something because I am supposed to say something and that is the command of His Holiness which has brought me here and I would like to say something from the human rights angle with which I have something to do in my career as a judge and even more when I chaired the National Human Rights Commission.

But before I do that, let me mention a personal experience of mine, which is very vivid in my memory. Apart from those who came with His Holiness when he came to India first, who may be here, I think I am one who had his darshan (audience)for the first time when he landed at the Kushinagar railway station. When the special train brought him there, my elder brother happened to be the district medical officer at Varanasi. The movement of the train was kept confidential but he being a senior officer and doctor had that information. I was then a lawyer practicing in Madhya Pradesh and I happened to be visiting my brother in Varanasi when this happened. Early in the morning he said he had to go to railway station in Kushinagar. So, I went with him and I happened to see His Holiness at that time. I think that was something which I will always remember. Then having seen him much later, I find that the impression I had of his appearance then had hardly changed. May be that is something got fixed in my memory. I think that is one reason why I qualify to be here this morning with you.

I said that I wanted to say something about the human rights aspect. Well, we know Martin Luther King had very aptly summarized the reason for the concern of every member of the human family. He had said ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’. So, you don’t have to wait till you are threatened, just because we in India happened to be neighbours, may be a greater reason but not the only reason. Everyone anywhere in the world needs to be concerned if there is injustice anywhere and how do we decide whether there is injustice. Well, now the two slogans very often heard in the human right context are ‘World is One Family’ and ‘Human Rights for All’ .Our Indian thoughts and culture with which we have grown up ‘Vasudev kutumb kam’ is nothing else than ‘World is One Family’. So, wherever there is threat in this direction it has to be the concern of every member of the human family the world over. That is the reason why people from all over are here not merely from India.

India has another reason to be concerned because it is in a position to appreciate the plight better because we have a history of subjugation during colonial rule. All this has been elaborated very well by Ambassador Ranjit Gupta. So, I am only mentioning the points for your consideration and how I see it. Therefore, how do I understand the Tibetan cause that has been explained by Professor Rinpoche. The Tibetan cause, as I understand, is really a struggle for human dignity which is in essence human rights. It is the struggle for human dignity. It is not for political power as His Holiness has made very clear by advocating the adoption of the Middle-Way Approach, that is genuine autonomy within the frame work of the constitution of China. India should be able to understand it even better for the simple reason that we have a plural society. Unity and diversity is one of our core values. That is of the sense of the Indian thoughts and when we say unity and diversity, we don’t speak of obliterating the identity of any distinct stream. It is a merging of the different streams, so as to form one national core. We see that in India in spite of all the problems we have from time to time, recently we have seen a few days back in Mumbai what happened. Whenever something like this happens then everyone rises as one. Now it is that kind of thing which we have grown up with. So, we should be able to understand better the Middle-Way Approach advocated by His Holiness and that really is something which will also carry more weight and the remedy very beautifully indicated and summarised by Ambassador Ranjit Gupta. See patience and persistent in the struggle adopting the nonviolent methods. After all India won its freedom struggle headed by Gandhiji only through non-violence to throw out the most powerful empire where it was said the sun never sets.

And that is something which was a lesson even to others. Gandhiji, therefore, was not the citizen only of India. He was a world citizen whose method was adopted by all. Now here we have a closer link. We have that in the feet of Buddhism, of which His Holiness is the apostle these days. Therefore this is how I think the Tibetan cause has got to be rightly understood. Now what we need to do? Ambassador Ranjit Gupta spoke as an Indian, as an individual. But he expressed the sentiment of every Indian. I speak in the same manner. In 1998 as all of you know there was an assembly, a conclave of the Nobel Peace Laureates, in which His Holiness was also there at the University of Virginia. A book has been brought out by journalist, Helena Coleman, in which the details of that assembly are given and at the end speaks of the declaration made at the end of the conclave. And then some one said all this is all right, but all brilliant ideas are impracticable. How to achieve the result? That was, you see, a doubt expressed by someone. To which one of the Nobel Laureates, Betty Williams, answered that result can be achieved not merely by each one of us who has a big name, that result could be achieved by everyone of you, that is, every individual rising to the occasion and advocating that cause. So how will the Tibetan cause be realised? The road through which, the path through which, it will be achieved, that has been indicated and that path has to be tread by everyone of us, as members of the entire human family.

The world is one family. Therefore, not us, Indians, but everyone who believes in that has got to be a part of the process, a part of that struggle. It is not the struggle or a cause only of the Tibetans. It is of everyone of us because we are all brothers and sisters belonging to the one human family.

I would conclude. Ambassador Gupta said that he had been allowed only 20 minutes. I said you take 15 minutes of my 20 minutes because you are going to be speaking better. .So I confine myself only to the remaining 5 minutes. In conclusion I have only this to say in addition to the personal interest which India and the Indians may have for obvious reasons which have been spelled out by many, everyone who believes in the protection of human dignity which is the essence of human rights of every human being in the human family of the world must be concerned. We are not concerned only with thinking about it, but by discharging a proactive role in promoting the Tibetan cause. What is the Tibetan cause? Protection of human dignity of all Tibetans, like that of every human being and of the genuine autonomy which the Middle-Way Approach suggested and advocated by His Holiness has shown. Now that is the remedy through which India has achieved its freedom. Many others the world over have done it. I am sure the Tibetans with the support of entire world community of right-thinking people is going to do that.

Thank you very much for inviting me and giving me this opportunity.