On July6th,His Holiness the Dalai Lama, turned 85. I scanned the entire internet looking for mention of this extremely important event—but in vain! There was mention of the birthday of actor Ranveer Singh (who?)—but absolutely nothing about the Dalai Lama and Tibet.
Does India and the BJP Government of Narendra Modi understand the extreme importance of that event? The Dalai Lama may be the last chance for India to regain a friendly border between herself and the Chinese enemy—and time is running out. You do know, I hope, that out of the 40,000 or so kms of border with China, nearly 3,300 belong to Tibet!Tibet was always a friendly and peaceful buffer between the two giants of Asia. When Nehru allowed China to take over this tiny nation, he committed one of his biggest blunders—and India is still paying the price for it.
The Chinese, who are most ruthless and intelligent, are just waiting for the Dalai Lama to die, to nominate their own puppet Dalai Lama, the way they named a Panchen Lama. Then it will be not only the end of the possibility of free Tibet, but from a geostrategic point of view, India will have to face in the coming decades not only a hostile border with China, without the buffer of Tibet, but also the disadvantage of China swooping down from the heights of Tibet onto India’s valleys as it did in 1962. Did you also know that according to the CIA, China has placed many of its nuclear warheads in Tibetan caves, where they escape the scrutiny of satellites and that many of them are pointed towards Indian cities? We also know that most of South Asia’s great rivers are born in Tibet and that China is building many dams upon them, depriving India and many other countries of this precious water.
Thus, the importance of a free Tibet has never been so crucial to India—specially at a time of extreme tension with China on many fronts—whether Ladakh, Bhutan, Arunachal Pradesh, Kashmir or even at sea, in the Indian Ocean. But do you think that the higher bureaucrats of the external affairs ministry of India can understand that? No,not at all. Their minds are frozen in the Nehruvian thinking that one must compromise with China at all costs! It was so in the 1950s, and unfortunately, even today. They have not learnt that the Chinese always pretend to negotiate—while preparing for war.
Who will then grasp that the 85-year-old Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, is India most powerful weapon against China? Firstly, his very name makes the Chinese shake with anger and they lose—for once—all common sense; secondly, India should respond tit-for-tat: China says that Kashmir is a disputed territory; Chinaclaims Arunachal Pradesh; China has taken over swathes of Indian territory, whether the Aksai Chin, or bits and pieces here and there in Assam, Ladakh, Sikkim or Bhutan. Then why can’t India say that Tibet is a disputed territory? Why cannot the BJP Government of Narendra Modi allow, for instance, the Dalai Lama to teach in Ladakh where he has thousands of followers—right under the nose of the Chinese?
Indeed, India without knowing it, has with His Holiness not only a friend but also a yogi, the spiritual and temporal head of Tibet, as an important ally—and it’s high time that the Prime Minister uses that dharmic weapon against China. We may quote here Sri Aurobindo, India’s great revolutionary, poet, philosopher and also a prophet and wrote in 1949: ‘The significance of Mao’s Tibetan adventure is to advance China’s frontier right down to India and stand poised there to strike at the right moment and with right strategy… We must burn it into our minds that the primary motive of Mao’s attack on Tibet is to threaten India as soon as possible.’
Happy Birthday, Your Holiness. May God grant You long life! May Tibet become free again so that India regains a peaceful neighbour that will be a buffer between her and the Chinese dragon. Are you listening, Mr Prime Minister?
François Gautier, a former international correspondent for Le Figaro, is the author of several books on India and its history, including In Defence of a Billion Hindus. He is also the founder of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum of Indian History