Central Tibetan Relief Committee
Why in discussion?
The central government has extended the scheme of providing grant-in-aid of Rs 40 crore to the Central Tibetan Relief Committee (CTRC) of the Dalai Lama for five years till the financial year 2025-26.
The scheme provides an annual grant of Rs.8 crore to CTRC to meet administrative expenses and social welfare expenses for Tibetan refugees residing in Tibetan settlements spread over 12 states/UTs of the country.
Central Tibetan Relief Committee:
It was started in the year 2015. The main objective of the committee is to coordinate with the efforts of private, voluntary agencies and the Government of India to resettle and settle Tibetan refugees.
The committee includes members from 53 Tibetan settlements located in India, Nepal and Bhutan.
It is dedicated to the preservation of the cultural and religious heritage of Tibet, and to the creation and sustainable maintenance of sustainable democratic communities of Tibetan people in exile.
It is dependent on generous international assistance from governments, notably India, Nepal and Bhutan, philanthropic organizations and individuals.
All CTRC activities are carried out with the consent and support of the Board of Directors and approval from the TPiE (Tibetan Parliament in Exile).
TPiE is headquartered in Dharamsala, Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh, according to which there are more than 1 lakh Tibetans settled across India.
Reasons for the exodus of Tibetan refugees:
From 1912 until the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, no Chinese government controlled the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of China.
Many Tibetans say they were essentially independent for much of the time and continued to oppose Chinese rule there after the People’s Liberation Army captured TAR in 1950.
Till the year 1951, the Dalai Lama’s government alone ruled this land/area.
Tibet was not under “China” until Mao Zedong’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) marched with its troops into the region.
It has often been described by Tibetans and third-party commentators as a “Cultural Genocide”.
The failed Tibetan uprising of 1959, in which Tibetans revolted in an attempt to overthrow the Chinese government, led to the escape of the 14th Dalai Lama to India.
On 29 April 1959, the Tibetan Exile Administration was established by the Dalai Lama in the north Indian hill station Mussoorie.
It has been named the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) of the spiritual Dalai Lama which was the result of the continuation of the government of independent Tibet.
The CTA was shifted to Dharamsala in May 1960.
India’s Tibet Policy:
Tibet has been a good neighbor of India over the years, as it covers most of India’s border with a distance of 3500 km. The LAC is associated with the Tibetan Autonomous Region and not with the rest of China.
In the year 1914, representatives of China and Tibet signed the Simla Convention with British India, under which the boundaries were marked.
However, after China’s annexation of Tibet in 1950, China rejected this convention and the McMahon Line, which divided the two countries.
Apart from this, in the year 1954, India signed an agreement with China, in which it was agreed to recognize Tibet as the ‘Tibet Territory of China’.
The ‘Dalai Lama’ (spiritual leader of the Tibetan people) and many of his followers immigrated to India after the Tibetan rebellion in 1959.
Former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru sheltered him and Tibetan refugees and helped establish the Tibetan government in exile.
Official Indian policy is that the Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader and that the Tibetan community, which has over a million exiles in India, is not allowed any political activity.
India’s Tibet policy has changed in the face of increasing tension between India and China.
This change in policy marks the policy of the Government of India to engage actively with the Dalai Lama in public forums.