by: Shingnak Metok
Erstwhile Himachal Pradesh CM and current BJP MP, Shri Shanta Kumar recently urged Indian Government to confer her highest civilian award (Bharat Ratna) to His Holiness the Dalai Lama at a book release occasion at Dharamshala. This is a right call from an Indian MP whose association with Tibet in general and His Holiness the Dalai Lama in particular is very significant because the former felt the importance of His Holiness’ contribution towards humanity. So did India when she had conferred the same award to St. Teresa.
It seems irrelevant, though. India’s highest civilian award is basically to appreciate its civilian’s unfathomable contributions to her by conferring it with great honor. Yet, it sometimes goes against what it is really about. We have seen how it has been politicized to win the votes of citizens. I am not intending to downgrade the stature of this award but trying to upgrade its radiance by appealing Indian Government to think about this gambit.
The Modi’s elephant is unsuccessful in pursuing ‘appeasement policy’ with Dragon of Xi Jinping as we have seen the latter’s rejection of the former’s entry into Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and constant backbone support to Pakistan. I would say the government led by ‘Ache din’ desperately failed in her foreign policy towards China. Thus, it seems so appropriate to send a message to Chinese government by conferring this award upon Dalai Lama for his three major commitments. The first commitment is to promote human values as he always reiterates that all humans need happiness and not suffering. His second commitment is to promote harmony among the different religions. The basic tenet of all religions is to cultivate compassion and love. The last commitment is to look after the cause of Tibet. His three major commitments have won world’s appreciations including Nobel Peace Prize, US Congress Gold Medal, and Templeton Prize etc.
The hitherto stature of Prime Minister Narendra Modi seems so popular in India as well as around the world. His charismatic leadership traits and oratory skills mesmerize legions of people. How would his stature be if he could confer this astonishing award to His Holiness the Dalai Lama? We know his genuine respect for His Holiness when he received the former at Gujarat. Hence, it is an opportune time to upgrade the nature of ‘Bharat Ratna or Jewel of India’.
In this case, the nature of award is not politicized because the award needs Dalai Lama to upgrade it. For instance, Dalai Lama got Noble Peace Prize in 1989 and US President Obama got in 2009 but who is truly right to deserve it. Thus, the nature of award should be relevant to the recipient.
Isn’t it awkward to see the government of Indian neglecting such an opportunity by knowingly? I feel so awkward when I realize the politics behind this small gambit that could have huge impact and significant ramifications. By conferring it, it clearly states that Indian Government recognizes the contributions of Dalai Lama and existing Tibet as buffer zone. The significance of this award may bring positive sum result because its recognition means the jewel of India and the jewel of World as well. So is St. Teresa’s recognition. That could be valued locally and globally.
In conclusion, I would like to appeal all Indians to re-evaluate their view on this award conferment.