DHARAMSHALA: Days after the ‘Thank You India’ event was shifted from the national capital to McLeodganj, sparking speculations that New Delhi had cold-shouldered the Dalai Lama to keep Beijing happy, senior functionaries of BJP not only turned up at the event here on Saturday to mark 60 years of the Tibetan spiritual leader’s arrival in the country, but also taunted China for sending ‘love letters’ when Indian leaders attended such events.

In the wake of the controversy over the shifting of venue and the uncertainty about the guest list, the Modi government tried to mend fences with the Tibetan community in India, calling its relationship with the Dalai Lama a spiritual one. “India has followed ‘One China’ policy from Nehru to Modi. We receive ‘love letters’ from China, particularly when we attend such programmes. But our relation with the Dalai Lama is not political but more spiritual,” BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav said.

The comment on ‘love letters’ was a reference to the protests China lodges each time India shows sympathy for the Tibetan cause. “This relationship is more spiritual, cultural and religious,” Madhav said at the event which was attended by Union minister Mahesh Sharma and other BJP members. The Dalai Lama said, “I do not know for how long the Tibetan struggle will go on. However, the struggle will remain alive till the spirit of Tibetans remains.”

The Dalai Lama said India and China were the most populated countries in the world and both have ability to destroy each other.

“Any sensible person would want ‘ Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai’ to live together. None of them can be disloyal to each other, so other things will go on by the side,” he said.

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