Report by Arvind Sharma, Dharamshala: The 83rd birthday of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was officialy celebrated today at the main Tibetan Temple, the Tsuglagkhang complex which includes the Tsuglagkhang itself (the main Tibetan temple), the Namgyal Gompa and the excellent Tibet Museum.It is just adjacent to The Dalai Lama residence in Mecleodganj, in Upper Dharamshala. Dalai Lama is the world’s most revered spiritual Buddhist leader. In 1959 he was exiled from Tibet by the Chinese government and was given a place by India as his new spiritual headquarters in Dharamsala in north India.
The chief guest at the celebrationfor today was Kishan Kapoor,MLA of Dharamshala and Minister of Food, Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs, Himachal Pradesh, while Gopal Narayan Singh, MP, Rajya Sabha; and Janardhan Singh Sigriwal, MP Lok Sabha, were the two special guests present.
Addressing the gathering, Kishan Kapoor, said ,Since Dalai Lama chose Dharamshala as His residence after He was force to leave Tibet by China in 1959, Himachal Pradesh has progressed with HIS blessings. Therefore, the entire Himachal Pradesh considers him as part of our own family.”
Kapoor also lauded His Holiness the Dalai Lama for his commitment to peace particularly highlighting the five point peace plan proposed by His Holiness to resolve the Tibet issue in the late 1980s. “The five point peace plan was a blue print to resolve the Tibet issue peacefully. It was rejected by the Chinese government. However, it was applauded by the international community as well as overseas Chinese residing in different parts of the world,” he said.
He described His Holiness as a visionary who has warned of a water crisis which is increasingly becoming a reality these days.” And it is visible now as Dharamshala as well as Shimla is facing a severe water shortage .
Janardhan Singh Sigriwal spoke about India’s continued support for Tibet and the Tibetan people. Since the days of Dr Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Patel, Ram Manohar Lohia, India has raised its voice for the Tibetan people. The Indian parliament in particular has always supported Tibet. When His Holiness the Dalai Lama proposed the five point peace plan, the Indian parliament strongly supported it.
Gopal Narayan Singh said, “ India considers the Tibetan people and Buddhism as one of their own, and that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has earned the respect and admiration of the world through his messages of peace and love.Despite the brutal occupation of Tibet, the Tibetan people has preserved its unique culture and religion in exile.”
A cake was cut distributed and cultural items were presented.