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India's Tibet policy UPSC NOTE

 US, India, Tibet

  • The US delegation arrived Dharamshala just days after the passage of the ‘Promoting a Resolution to the Tibet-China Dispute Act’ in both Houses of U.S. Congress, which now awaits U.S. President Joe Biden’s signature. 

  • Both Democrat and Republican co-authors of the Bill were part of the delegation, invited by the Central Tibetan Administration that manages affairs of the Tibetan diaspora-in-exile worldwide, for a special facilitation. 

  • Given the circumstances, New Delhi would have been more than aware of the content of the speeches they would make, slamming China for its repression of the Tibetan people, calling for talks between the Dalai Lama’s representatives and Beijing that were suspended in 2010 to be restarted, and for a Free Tibet

  • New Delhi’s decision to allow American politicians to take centre stage amongst the Tibetan refugee population in India in order to promote a U.S. law and pitch U.S. policy is not a show of strength, but could convey weakness. 

  • It also denotes the danger of letting a carefully calibrated foreign policy narrative on Tibet spin out of its control.

  • India has not joined the U.S. in publicly articulating its concerns on the treatment of Tibetans simply because its actions since 1959, of offering the Dalai Lama refuge and allowing Tibetan refugees to settle in India, speak much louder. 

  • To this day, people from Tibet trek across the Himalayas to seek refuge in India

  • Given India’s own sensitivities on sovereignty and territorial integrity, New Delhi has worked out its own formulation on the Tibet issue and ties with China. 

  • It has “recognised” the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) as part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China since 1954

  • Since 2010, however, given China’s refusal to respect India’s territorial integrity, its renaming of places in Arunachal Pradesh, and its issuance of stapled visas to residents of Jammu and Kashmir, India stopped articulating a ‘One China’ policy or making references to Tibet in official statements.

  • It contends that the Dalai Lama is a revered spiritual leader, despite China’s protests that he is a “separatist” or “splittist”

  • India also does not officially recognise the Tibetan Government in Exile or Parliament in Exile as more than organising mechanisms for the Tibetan people based here and abroad

  • If Indian government wishes to change its line to mirror the more strident position on Tibet adopted by the U.S., then Indian officials and leaders should have made the statements that were addressed instead by U.S. lawmakers to Tibetans in Dharamshala,

  • Above all, the problem with allowing U.S. leaders to aim messages at Beijing from a pulpit in India, and then have Beijing respond to those directly, is that India is getting cut out of a picture where it has been the most important external figure. 

  • With the U.S. giving the Karmapa a home and accepting more Tibetan refugees on the one hand, and China’s ever-tightening control of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the TAR on the other, India must consider the future of its own policy, especially with regard to the question of the Dalai Lama’s succession.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: India's Tibet policy UPSC NOTE
India's Tibet policy UPSC NOTE
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