In my analysis, Alexander Norman’s forthcoming book “The Dalai Lama — An Extraordinary Life” has utterly failed to reveal the reason for not granting political asylum to the Dalai Lama during his first visit to India in 1956.
India-Tibet relations cannot be discussed without mentioning Kashmir. Since 1947, India is facing the challenge of defending Kashmir from aggression by Pakistan sponsored by the United Kingdom, and the United States. To open the Door to the Dalai Lama, India has no choice other than that of keeping the Window open for the Russian support to safeguard Kashmir.
Rudra Narasimham Rebbapragada
‘Nehru wasn’t keen on sheltering Dalai Lama’
Alexander Norman’s book throws light on spiritual leader’s dilemma
Tribune News Service
Shimla, , February 22
Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was reluctant to grant political asylum to Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama, claims Alexander Norman in his latest biographical account of the Nobel laureate, prior to his arrival in India in 1959.
Norman’s forthcoming book “The Dalai Lama — An Extraordinary Life” provides a glimpse into the Tenzin Gyatso’s first visit to India in 1956 on the invitation of Nehru when he was in his early 20s.
Norman, closely associated with the 14th Dalai Lama for decades, gives a detailed account on the dilemma he faced while deciding whether to return home or ask Nehru for asylum.
The author says Nehru, refusing to make any commitment, lest it harmed India’s ties with China, advised the Dalai Lama to hold the Chinese forcefully to the 17-point agreement. He gives a vivid account of the massive turnout in Sikkim to catch a glimpse of the Dalai Lama and to seek his blessings.
There is an account of the Dalai Lama’s visit to Bodh Gaya during his 11-week stay in India, including at the Chinese Embassy. Norman claims that had he been a little more certain of Washington’s intentions of championing the Tibetan cause, he may have considered not returning to Tibet.
Referring to the Dalai Lama as the “Precious Protector”, the book reveals how China tactically ensured that Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai would be in India at the same time.