Nagpur: The India Tibet Coordination Office (ITCO), New Delhi in collaboration with the Core Group for Tibetan Cause – India (CGTC-I) and the National Campaign for Free Tibet Support (NCFTS) organised a day-long awareness program on Tibet at Deekshabhoomi, Nagpur, Maharashtra on the 67th Dhammachakra Pravartan Diwas on 24th October 2023.
Dhammachakra Pravartan Diwas is observed annually to commemorate social reformer, visionary leader and architect of the Indian Constitution Dr. B. R. Ambedkar’s conversion to Buddhism. On October 14, 1956, Dr. Ambedkar converted to Buddhism with thousands of his followers at Deekshabhoomi, Nagpur. This day holds immense importance for Ambedkarite Buddhists and followers of Dr B. R. Ambedkar across the country. They gather in hundreds of thousands at Deekshabhoomi, Nagpur on the day to remember his ideals and achievements.
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At the event, a stall was set up under the banner “SAVE TIBET, SAVE INDIA,” adorned with both the Indian and Tibetan national flags. A backdrop featured a notable statement made by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in 1951, which read, “Instead of according recognition to China in 1949, had India accorded this recognition to Tibet, there would have been no Sino-Indian border conflict.”
Among the people present at the stall were Shri Arvind Nikose, National Co-Convener of CGTC-I and President of NCFTS; members of NCFTS and devoted Tibet supporters from Nagpur and its surrounding areas; Tashi Dekyi and Choney Tsering from ITCO.
Throughout the day, hundreds of individuals visited the stall, where they were provided with valuable insights into Tibet and had access to Tibetan-related literature in both Hindi and English. Pamphlets in Hindi and Marathi were distributed freely to all visitors. The heartfelt response from attendees demonstrated their unwavering support and solidarity with the non-violent Tibetan struggle for freedom.
Tashi Dekyi engaged with the media present at the even to shed light on the current situation within Tibet and underscored the profound and ancient India-Tibet relations. She emphasised the non-violent nature of the Tibetan freedom movement and stressed the significance of Tibet, not only geographically but also environmentally, in the context of India.
Tashi Dekyi pointed out that, prior to the 1950s, Tibet served as a buffer zone between India and China, contributing to a peaceful Indo-Tibetan border. It was only after the Chinese communist invasion of Tibet in the 1950s that China’s proximity to India became pronounced, eventually leading to the Sino-Indian war in 1962 and ongoing border conflicts. She also highlighted the environmental concerns, particularly the exploitation of rivers in Tibet, which has broader implications for India, as major Asian rivers originate from the Tibetan plateau.
Arvind Nikose, National Co-Convener for the Western Region of CGTC-I and President of NCFTS, stressed the importance of organisng awareness programs on Tibet at such events, where thousands of people gather. He noted that a significant portion of the Indian population still lacks knowledge about Tibet, making it imperative to raise awareness and bolster the Tibetan freedom movement in India.
On the morning of October 24th, Tashi Dekyi participated in an event commemorating Dhammachakra Pravartan Diwas at another venue, which was hosted by the India Tibet Friendship Society (ITFS), Nagpur. The event took place at Clubhouse, Leverage Greens in Nagpur and was organized by Shri Sachin Ramteke, a member of the ITFS. During this gathering, Tashi Dekyi had the opportunity to engage with a substantial audience and shed light on the Tibetan cause.
In summary, the day-long awareness program on Tibet proved to be a resounding success in reaching out to a large number of people and informing them about Tibet, the Tibetan movement, and the importance of Tibet in the context of India. It effectively heightened awareness about Tibet among the general Indian population and further solidified support for the Tibetan cause.
-Repot filed by India Tibet Coordination Office (ITCO), New Delhi