The protest campaign for an independent Tibet was organized at Jantar Mantar on 2 February. Hundreds of Tibetans had gathered to voice their problems and garner international support to force China to give up on Tibet and declare it an independent nation. Sikyong Dr. Lobsang Sangay, the Tibetan Prime Minister in exile was also on hand to witness the final day of the Tibetan People’s Solidarity Campaign this past Saturday.
The protest involved a press conference that invited political leaders, social activitists and political analysts on one platform to speak for Tibet solidarity. Shri Ram Vilas Paswan, Shri Yashwant Sinha, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, Shri Alok Tiwari, Shri Jayant Chaudhary, Shri S N Qamar Alan, Shri Chandan Mitra, National NSUI leader were present amongst others. They discussed issues such as legitimacy of Tibet’s demand for autonomy, Chinese repressive policies, historical misinformation, Buddhism as a link between India and China, strategic importance of a free Tibet, Dalai Lama’s influence on Chinese history, role of India in the Tibetan cause and other pressing topics.
BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad spread light on the problems of Tibet in a very articulate manner. He said that we should keep political differences aside and come forth to help Tibetans. When 100 people immolate themselves, it is a matter of grave Human Right violation that should concern not only India and China, but also the entire world including the UN. He praised the Dalai Lama, as it was due to his guidance that the Tibet protests ceased to turn violent at any point in time. Shri Ram Vilas Paswan promised the gathering that he would request the parliament to pass a resolution declaring Tibet a free country and take up the same with the UN.
Ravi Shankar Prasad further iterated that it is not Tibetans who are in debt of Indians, but Indians who are in debt of Tibetans. The message of Mahatma Gandhi, of truth and non-violence, is being spread across the world by means of such peaceful protests and by the preaching of the Dalai Lama. In addition, the Budhist faith, in spite of having originated in India, was losing importance in its home land and is being spread far and wide by Tibetans.
BJP leader and editor of The Pioneer, Chandan Mitra greeted the huge gathering by saying, “If Tibet is secure, India is secure”, in context of the 1962 Indo-China war, where China had reached India through Tibet. He added that Tibet and India share a history that dates back thousands of years in time.
Radha Behl, a social activist was greeted with a loud applause when she said, “That we have said enough, it is now time for some doing”.
On the behest of Shri Balbir Punj, the gathering observed a minute of silence to honor the 99 Tibetans who have self-immolated in protest of the Chinese repression.
The day ended with the Tibetan PM thanking India for her hospitality and support. The entire protest was very solemn, though there were sundry-armed police guards, they did not have to resort to Lathi charge to keep the crowd in control. Jantar Mantar was resonating with the slogans of “Jai Hind, Jai Tibet” throughout the day.