No happy birthday for Dalai Lama from PM Modi in 2020

On July 6, while the rest of the BJP leadership wished the Dalai Lama a Happy Birthday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah, who have previously wished the Tibetan spiritual leader with health and happiness, chose to remain silent.

People waited with bated breath for Prime Minister Modi’s greetings were left disappointed. However, it was no surprise as on the same day, both Indian and Chinese troops moved two kilometres away from the area where they had a face-off on June 15 at Galwan Valley. The de-escalation came after a two-hour call between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart.

Now, chances of PM Modi greeting the Dalai Lama went out of the window, even though people on Twitter – including the PM’s supporters – continued their greetings and wished upon the spiritual leader India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna.

Author Brahma Chellaney was one of the few to point this out. On July 6, he asked if PM Modi would wish the Dalai Lama, and today he put out a compilation of PM Modi’s previous tweets praising the Tibetan leader.

While the BJP has been vocal in its criticism of China, Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Shah have been cautious in their statements, given that the former’s statements will be representative of India.

While PM Modi has visited Ladakh and spoken to the troops and even indirectly accused China of always encroaching on the land of other nations. However, during the speech, the prime minister did not mention China or its Premier Xi Jinping even once. In contrast, PM Modi has been the first to call out Pakistan every time the country has violated ceasefire and sent terrorists into Indian soil.

The PM will of course not say anything to upset China for the sake of peace. National carrier Air India even referred to Taiwan as Chinese Taipei in 2018, upsetting China’s much smaller neighbours. One can only wait and watch the LAC carefully to see what happens in this region that has overnight attained geopolitical significance.

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