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The big Story CASE FILES

Repeated warning signs were ignored by top army officers until 2011 when a probe was ordered

Whistleblower in MI-17 reports irregularities in equip­ment supplied by Rolta. The Rs 165-crore contract with the army is put on hold.

Ml finds grounds for a Col,
but Director General, Ml, Lt
General B.S.Thakur does not
order it. Three whistleblowers
posted out of the directorate.

  • co Army orders a Col after | o yet another Ml officer com- I >, plains in writing to then army 3 chief Bikram Singh. Army constitutes a Col into Rolta procurement and AMCs.
  • g Colonel Sujeet Banerjee found dead in room a day before he is to j r§ depose before Col.

Col issues arrest warrants for Lt General B.S.Thakur and Major General D.N. Asijafor not deposing.

ROLTA SAYS IT IS
NOT AN ACCUSED
IN THE ARMY Col,

IT DENIES CONTRAC-
TUALAND FINANCIAL
DISCREPANCIES
IN ANNUAL
MAINTENANCE
CONTRACTS.

Intergraph and Bentley—and sup­plied to the army by Rolta.

Over 70 such systems were pur­chased for the Indian Army and dis­tributed amongst specially created Imagery Interpretation feams (IITs) of the army among divisions, corps and commands to interpret satel­lite imagery and pass it on to tactical formations.

The firm, however, did not offer ‘software upgrades and updates’ as mentioned in the 1996 contract. From 2008, the annual maintenance contracts were reworded only to include the word ‘updates’. Colonel Banerjee suspected this was the case because the firm did not own the original software.

In 2009, the army had initiated the purchase of a fresh batch of GI systems to replace the older ones bought in 1998. It, however, insisted that the systems not be floated as a global tender and be purchased as a repeat order from Rolta. This meant that it would not have to follow the normal procedures of a fresh con­tract. The army insisted on single­vendor procurement despite the Defence Acquisition Council suggest­ing otherwise in 2010.

An MoD Cost Negotiation Committee noted that the company had now stamped its name on all the products. This was a marked change from a 2004 contract where Rolta was only the distributor for US-supplied software. Army officials say Colonel Banerjee made several futile attempts to alert Colonel M.K Chakraborty of the irregularities. In March 2011, Colonel Banerjee finally complained against Colonel Chakraborty to his seniors in the MI directorate. His superior officers Major General Asija, the then additional director general, MI (B) and Brigadier R. Chibber, addi­tional director general in-charge of technical equipment in the MI, rec­ommended a Col. The two officers had by then carried out extensive investigations with all the officers of MI-17 about the dubious software upgrades to establish that there were indeed grounds for a formal Col.

The whiff of a scandal would have immediately led to an inquiry,
particularly as it was flagged by two senior MI officers who put their com­plaint down in writing. However, the DGMI Lt General Thakur did not order a probe. What he did next only piqued the interest of the offi­cials handling the current inquiry. In August 2011, Lt General Thakur verbally asked the Military Secretary’s branch to post three officers out of the Directorate of MI—the whistle­blower Colonel Banerjee, Brigadier Chibber and a third officer in MI-17, Lt Colonel Sandeep Ahlawat, who had red-flagged the aberrations. All three officers were posted out of the directorate one month apart and sent to inconsequential appointments outside Delhi. Colonel Banerjee was posted to the Army Welfare Housing Organisation, a career dead-end. The matter seemed buried.

Rolta’s sale of a Rs 165-crore contract for purchasing sensitive spy imaging systems cleared in 2010 did not go through.

DEATH AND RESURRECTION In January 2013, another military intelligence officer detected anom­alies in the Rolta contracts. Major Shubda Naik, an intelligence corps officer posted in MI-17, wrote to then army chief General Bikram Singh about the discrepancies. On July 29, 2013, the army ordered a Col headed by Brigadier Ashwani Kumar. The key witness for the prosecution was going to be the original whistleblow­er, Colonel Banerjee. This was when matters took another curious turn. On January 26, 2014, just a day before he was to depose before the Board of Inquiry, Colonel Banerjee was found dead in his room in the United Services Institution (USI) in south Delhi.

A post-mortem revealed the cause of death to be heart attack. The inquiry was hobbled by his absence but continued as the court examined other officials who had pointed out irregularities. The Col is now over two years old. Unusual because army COIs don’t last more than six months. But then, few cases in the army have seen not one but three whistleblow­ers stand up and report irregularities. The delayed probe has stalled the

ROLTA

army’s attempt to replace its 1990s vintage imagery interpretation sys­tems that one officer terms “junk”. The blocked procurement pipeline is believed to now include a requirement for over 40 such systems, a glaring capability gap that has been repeat­edly flagged by army commanders in internal conferences.

One reason being given for the Col’s slow progress is the fact that Lt General Thakur, Major General Asija simply refused to join the probe. This left the court with no option but to issue arrest warrants against them. The warrants are with the district magistrates in Gurgaon and Noida where the two officers live after their retirement. The officers have so far refused to respond to the Col which was reconvened on June 23. Army officers say a fresh set of arrest warrants will now be served on them.

PAST IMPERFECT This is not Rolta’s first brush with controversy. In an April 2015 report, a California-based capital markets research firm, Glaucus Research Group, noted that “preponderance of evidence suggests that the vast majority of Rolta’s reported capital expendi­tures have been fabricated”. The report was an assessment of $500 million of junk bonds issued in the US market by Rolta’s Delaware subsidiary between 2013 and 2014 which had attracted inves- »- tors by offering tempting yields.

The group said that the IT firm’s reported spending in India was “dis­appearing into phantom prototypes, mysterious construction projects and computer systems of questionable authenticity and utility”.

It also flagged the fact that an ongoing Ministry of Defence inquiry had been omitted from its bond pro­spectuses, “which in our view is a material omission because the scan­dal could jeopardise future contracts with the Indian government. These incidents are further evidence of the lack of transparency or accountability at Rolta. ” Rolta has contested Glaucus’ findings, terming them “baseless”,

 

riddled with “factual errors” and “inaccuracies”. It referred to news reports cited by Glaucus of the defence ministry inquiry as making no express allegation or conclusion against the company or its officials. Accordingly, it is just an attempt to falsely imply the company’s complicity and impact its reputation, Rolta claimed.

The Col has photographs that show Colonel Chakraborty, director MI-17 and Colonel Banerjee’s boss, on a private holiday with Rolta execu­tives in 2009. Colonel Chakraborty did not return calls for comment.

Preliminary findings of the army Col seem to agree with what the MI

MI-17 DIRECTOR COLONEL M.K. CHAKRABORTY WITH ROLTA EXECUTIVES ON A HOLIDAY IN THAILAND, IN 2009

 

whistleblowers had said in their writ­ten complaints since 2011. The Col established contractual and financial discrepancies in the annual mainte­nance contracts concluded with Rolta after December 2008. Original con­tracts with Intergraph and Bentley and other third party software updates and upgrades were not pro­vided by Rolta despite the mandate for the supplier in the original contract. Rolta merged the costs of hardware and software in 2008, making it diffi­cult for the army to work out the loss to the exchequer due to the denial of software upgrades, officials familiar

 

with the Col say.

Company officials, however, strongly denied these findings. “Rolta has been providing comprehensive maintenance services to the Indian Army for two decades now and army users are completely satisfied with these services. There are no con­tractual and financial discrepancies in any annual maintenance contract with Rolta. In fact, army users have issued hundreds of letters appreciat­ing Rolta support services,” a compa­ny spokesperson said.

Rolta refutes it had withheld any deliverable that had been contracted for, a constant charge made by sever­al army whistleblowers. “Rolta provides comprehensive main­tenance services for integrated systems, as contracted,” the spokesperson told india today in a written response. “Rolta has met and exceeded all its contractual commitments, including supply of all software updates and upgrades. We categorically deny that Rolta has withheld or not provided any deliverable that has been contracted for.”

Responding to charges that it had pushed its software onto the Indian Army in the absence of competition from other soft­ware developers, the company spokesperson said that Rolta had followed due process in obtaining all required sanctions, its software had been tested by army users before induction by conducting an extensive pre­dispatch inspection and a joint receipt inspection, as per contractual provi­sions. “This software has been in sus­tained use at army formations for the last six-plus years and the company has received numerous appreciation letters from army user sites all over the country, which stand testimony to the quality of Rolta software and sup­port services.”

As the court of inquiry hurtles towards a long-awaited conclu­sion, the embattled whistleblowers in Military Intelligence hope to have proved them wrong.

Follow the writer on Twitter @SandeepUnnithan

By Amitabh Srivastava

A

frame with the photograph of a uniformed Pervez Musha­rraf, shaking hands with a smiling, kurta-clad Lalu Prasad is gathering cobwebs on the wall of a small room at 10, Circular Road in Patna. On the picture is the former Pakistani president’s hand­written compliments to the former chief minister of Bihar—“To an art­ist of a politician, Laloo Saheb.” The sprawling bungalow in the state capi­tal’s uber-plush locality is allotted to Lalu’s wife Rabri Devi. Between them, the couple administered— many say ruled—Bihar for 15 years, starting in 1990.

 

It’s 11 a.m. on a particularly humid late June morning, and the “artist” has retired for a siesta at his baithak (meeting room). Having attended to some visitors since 8.30 a.m., Lalu, his hangers-on say, would rest for a cou­ple of hours. There’s little sign of any­one here ruling any place outside the bungalow—at least for now. The doors of the baithak are open, and the air conditioner’s wheezing noise sounds almost like the state of affairs Lalu’s once-powerful party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), is in today.

The contrast could not have been sharper in another bungalow a few kilometres away in Danapur, on the western outskirts of Patna. There are a dozen computers and half-a-dozen
people in six cubicles are frenetical­ly punching away on the keyboards on the first-floor office space in Lalu Prasad’s farmhouse. This is the work­ing office of Tej Pratap Yadav, 27, the elder of Lalu’s two sons, who seems to be emerging as the chosen one to take up the mantle from his battle- weary father. Inside his “war room”, Tej Pratap smiles after reading out the text that Anu Pandey, 22, has juxta­posed with a picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It reads: “When will I get my Rs 15 lakh you had promised on poll eve?”

Hands on waist, the grin widens. “Good work. Now post it through all our Facebook accounts, and don’t for­get tagging as many users as you can,”

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TRUST DEFICIT IN TIBET

Beneath the veneer of calm, Lhasa still remains a city divided despite Beijing’s grand development plans. And a silent prayer still goes out for the Dalai Lama.

uniforms, the Chinese military’s fire­fighters patrolled the square. Standing watch from a corner was a People’s Armed Police officer in uniform.

That tourists outnumber worship­pers in the halls of the Potala today is a result of China’s grand project in Tibet: a project of remaking Tibet in Beijing’s image. China says it is investing bil­lions to uplift one of the country’s most underdeveloped regions. This invest­ment is indeed evident: newly paved expressways sprout from Lhasa in every direction; roads that rim all the way to the Indian border in Sikkim are in immaculate condition, enabling a

TIBET IN NUMBERS

f

312 million

Tibet Autonomous Region population

8%

Han Chinese population of Tibet

151.000

Floating Han Chinese population in 2000

  • Floating Han Chinese population in 2010

$90 billion

The Chinese government’s investment in Tibet

141

Self-immolation protests in Tibetan areas since 2009

600-km journey in less than half a day; and Lhasa is connected to the Chinese hinterland with a geography-defying multibillion-dollar railway that cuts through “the roof of the world”—all unthinkable two decades ago.

Yet, interviews during a recent visit to Lhasa suggest that Beijing’s develop­ment efforts have not convinced many Tibetans, with the unresolved question of the Dalai Lama continuing to cast a long shadow. While many Tibetans continue to revere the Dalai Lama as their guiding spiritual leader, Beijing, in public statements, continues to vilify him as “a splittist”, banning images of

<%> COVER STORY

a popular figure. By doing so, Beijing appears to be undermining the good­will it may have otherwise engendered through its ambitious development plans for Tibet.

Underlining the Dalai Lama’s con­tinued prominence, in recent days, Tibetans have defied restrictions and threats of jail to hold quiet celebra­tions to mark his 80th birthday, which is on July 6 (or June 21 in the Tibetan calendar), in many places in Tibet and nearby Gansu and Sichuan, as photo­graphs made available show. As one Lhasa resident said, “For us, the Dalai Lama is most important.” Chinese officials dismiss the following for the Dalai Lama as a vestige of Tibet’s old “feudal” past. Yet in interviews, even younger Tibetans appeared just as proud of their religious and cultural history. Two young Tibetans said they planned to hold private commemora­tions for the birthday “even if we can­not do anything in public”.

At the Potala, there will be no com­memorations on July 6, even if the 14th Dalai Lama’s presence still hangs heavily. As one Tibetan tour guide told a group of tourists one recent morn­ing, “The greatest Dalai Lamas were the fifth, who made the Potala as it stands today, and the 13th.” What of his successor? “We think he is just as great,” the guide later said quiet­ly with a smile, “but we cannot talk about him.” Since February 2009,141 Tibetans—young and old, students and monks—have set themselves on fire to call for the Dalai Lama’s return. The Chinese government has accused exiled Tibetans of plotting the protests.

In the seven years since riots left Lhasa burning in March 2008, China has, with a carrot-and-stick approach, obtained a firmer grip on the city. In the city’s main squares, such as at the Jokhang, which was a centre of pro­test in 2008 and also witnessed two immolation protests in 2012, there is still a police presence: two large black buses for security personnel are parked beside the square. But gone are the snipers that until a few years ago were a permanent presence on overlooking rooftops. As a measure of its newfound confidence, the govern­ment for the first time allowed Indian

 

correspondents based in Beijing to travel to Tibet, to witness the opening of a new route for the Kailash yatra. Journalists are still not allowed to travel freely to Tibet. They can only do so on controlled government-or­ganised groups, where opportunities to speak freely with locals are limited.

Lhasa, the old capital, is today being transformed—from the lofty balconies of the Potala, a relentless sound of hammering and drilling fills the valley below. Outside the pal­ace, the streets are not unlike any tier-two Chinese city. Beyond the ever-shrinking old city of Lhasa, wide avenues carry street signs written in large Mandarin Chinese characters; signage in Tibetan, written in much smaller script, hints at the govern­ment’s priorities.

“There is not much of the old city,” says Zong Kyi, a Tibetan who makes a living as a tour guide taking Han Chinese tourists around the Potala. The centre of Tibetan life in Lhasa is the Barkhor, a neighbourhood of old streets that spreads out around the Jokhang monastery that is at

A CONTINUING INFLUX
OF HAN CHINESE
TEMPORARY
WORKERS AND TOURISTS
HAS CHANGED LHASA’S
DEMOGRAPHICS, SAY
LOCALTIBETANS.

the centre of the city. The Barkhor, Tibetans say, is an ever decreasing speck in a fast-expanding Lhasa: a sprawling “new development zone” of factories is the priority project that is today being built on the city’s suburbs.

A government white paper pub­lished in April listed Tibet’s achieve­ments: double-digit GDP growth; 99.59 per cent enrolment in primary schools; life expectancy reaching 68.2 years, doubling what it was in the early 1950s; ending illiteracy, prev­alent in the 1950s, among the young and middle-aged; and providing free education and healthcare. China says since 1952—two years after the

PLA occupied Tibet—it has pumped around 544 billion yuan (close to $90 billion) into the region.

Conversations with half-a-doz­en Lhasa residents suggested that beneath the veneer of calm, Lhasa still remains a city divided. While there is agreement that things have improved since the riots of 2008, there are, among Tibetan residents, deep anxieties about the nature of China’s development. A continuing influx of Han Chinese temporary workers and tourists has changed the nature of the city, residents said, with the percep­tion that Tibetans are now a minority in Lhasa.

Zheng Wei, who, like others in this article did not want to be identi­fied by his real name for fear of ret­ribution by authorities, is among the growing number of migrant Chinese who have been encouraged by the government to move to Tibet to “help development”. From Sichuan prov­ince, Zheng said there was high eth­nic distrust when he moved in 2009, a year after riots. “Things are better now,” he said. But that wasn’t a feeling

 

 

 

A CHINESE POLICEMAN STANDS GUARD IN LHASA WITH THE POTALA PALACE IN THE BACKDROP

* i i i

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COVER STORY Modi. Have you met him as well?

  1. Yes. When Modi was the chief min­ister of Gujarat, some old relics were found in the state—they were like the Nalanda temple where monks used to live. It was then that I went to Gujarat and met him. He had also come to my room in the hotel. I was very much impressed. Even after he has become the prime minister, he remains very active.
  2. But you met him even after he became prime minister, didn’t you?
  3. Yes, one very brief (meeting).
  4. Was it indeed a brief meeting?
  5. It’s top secret, so it’s better if you ask him (laughs). I don’t know, I don’t want to elaborate on it.
  6. Do you think there is growing intolerance in India?
  7. I don’t think so. In Delhi, I have been asked the same question, if Muslims feel scared. But I said, no, maybe some individuals are creating some mischief, but overall in India, religious harmony is still being main­tained. But at the same time, we need to remind people that it should always be maintained.
  8. Last year at the World Hindu Congress, where RSS leader Mohan Bhagwat was present, you said the RSS should focus less on building temples and instead build schools. A. I say this to Buddhist leaders too. Once they invited me to speak when a statue of Padmasambhava was being installed. I said that I respect Padmasambhava, but for the next thousand years the statue will remain but he will not speak. So what we need is advice, not a statue. The way we pray to statues is old-fashioned.

I always tell all Buddhists—Chinese or Vietnamese or Burmese or Sri Lankans—that we should be 21st cen­tury Buddhists who are knowledge­able about the Buddha dharma.

  1. In Dharamsala recently, when we went to attend your 80th birthday celebrations, the monks were pray- inq for your long life, that you live up to 113 years. Why 113?
  2. One of my dreams indicated the dis­tillation of my life at 113 years. But now I doubt that. Increasingly, I feel tired. In Dharamsala also I had said that I’m looking forward to being 90

 

and then 100 years old but after th I have my doubts. According to phy – cians from Taiwan and Tibet, judgir.: my physical condition, it’s very p( – sible that I will live to be 100 years.

  1. So will you decide on who shou be the next Dalai lama?
  2. I have said this before, that th; decision whether the institution of th Dalai Lama should continue or n totally lies with the Tibetan people.
  3. It is not up to you?

A. I am not much concerned about th- 15th Dalai Lama. Sometimes it seems as if the Chinese government is mor- concerned than I am. Sometimes, i jokingly say that the ceasing or end c this institution should take place with the 14th Dalai Lama, who is quit- popular. If the 15 th Dalai Lama come; and he is a disgrace, that will be much worse! (Laughs.)

I REALLY ADMIRE
XI JINPING’S COURAGE
AND HIS WAY OF
THINKING. BUT HE
SHOULD EXERCISE AND
LOSE SOME WEIGHT

THE DECISION WHETHER
THE INSTITUTION OFTHE
DALAI LAMA SHOULD
CONTINUE OR NOT LIES
WITH PEOPLE OFTIBET.

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COVER STORY THE DALAI LAMA

The Dalai Lama doesn’t give many interviews, dividing his time between his home in McLeodganj, Himachal Pradesh, informally advising the Tibetan government-in-exile located there and travelling the world deliv­ering lectures, giving audiences and sharing his world view with the world’s most powerful people, including US President Barack Obama. En route to the US, where the Tibetan community is celebrating his 80th birthday, the Dalai Lama met Senior Writer Jyoti Malhotra for an exclusive interview, speaking candidly about issues that have simmered beneath the surface for decades—his relationship with China, a possible reincarnation and his years in India. Excerpts:

  1. Your Holiness, you have spent 56 of 80 years of your life in India. What does that mean to you?
  2. One aspect of my life is that I am a refugee, having lost my homeland. I feel sad about that. However, over a thousand years, Tibet and India have had a very unique and close relation­ship. We have always considered India our guru. I think of myself as a student of the Nalanda tradition. So this is my spiritual home. My (physical) home may be lost, but I live very happily in my spiritual home. Also, because of the freedom India offers, I have the oppor­tunity to meet many spiritual leaders, scholars and scientists.
  3. Do you still think of yourself as a refugee in India?
  4. No, I am the longest guest of the Indian government!
  5. Would you like to go home? Back to Tibet?
  6. Yes, because being a Tibetan, more than 90 per cent people trust me there. They are very eager to see me, and I have full confidence that I can serve the Buddha dharma in Tibet.
  7. Would you like to assure the Chi­nese government that Tibet will not split from China?
  8. May I say that many officials,
    especially hardliners, cannot see the reality. Throughout their lives, they have believed in one-sided informa­tion provided by Chinese historians. The reality is that during the 7th-8th centuries, there were three sepa­rate empires—Tibetan, Mongolian and Chinese… but that is in the past. I have always admired the spirit of the European Union as well as India. Before India’s independence, there were many small kingdoms and rajas. But now that times have changed, it would be quite foolish for one raja to say, I am independent, I want a sov­ereign state. Similarly, historically, Tibet has been a separate country. But we want to look forward. It is in our interest to remain within the People’s

66

YES, I WANTED TO MEET
XI JINPING BUT,

OF COURSE, IT WAS
NOT EASY. I HAVE
ALWAYS WANTED TO
MEET CHINESE LEADERS.”

Republic of China. At the same time, we should have the full authority to take care of our culture, our rich Buddhist tradition and our environ­ment. This will be to our mutual bene­fit. (Meanwhile) in China, Buddhism is growing… there are about 400 million Chinese Buddhists today.

  1. Have you met any of these Chinese Buddhists?
  2. Yes. Many Chinese Buddhists come to Dharamsala. Many of them are scared about the reaction they will face once they meet Tibetans. But once they listen to my teachings, many even begin to cry.
  3. Your interlocutors have had
    several rounds of talks with China. Why have they not been successful? A. China knows that we are not seek­ing independence or aiming at sepa­ratism. But many hardliners don’t want me to return. Therefore they deliberately try to create an impres­sion that the Dalai Lama is a splittist. Some Chinese officials describe me as a demon. When I hear this, I say, yes, I’m a demon with horns (laughs). The hardliners give the impression that the Dalai Lama is a troublemaker and they have every right to keep him away.
  4. You have met Chinese President Xi Jinping’s father. His mother is a devout Buddhist…
  5. Not only him. Many Chinese offi­cials, including those in the military and members of the Communist Party of China who outwardly show that they are atheists, actually believe in Buddhism. Last year, when he visited Europe and India, Xi Jinping public­ly said that Buddhism is a part of the Chinese culture. It was quite surpris­ing that a Chinese Communist leader, whose party had once declared that all spirituality is backward, particu­larly Buddhism, the chief of that very party was saying something positive about Buddhism.

Now, Xi Jinping is carrying out an almost impossible struggle against corruption. The previous two Chinese presidents, Hu Jintao and Jiang Zemin, also knew about the corruption prob­lem but were too scared to tackle it. But Xi Jinping is boldly dealing with it and I admire his courage.

  1. So things are changing in China ? A. Yes… Xi Jinping is still quite young. I am old but may I say that he is a bit too overweight. He should exercise and lose some weight! But I really admire his courage and his way of thinking. Judging from his actions, he seems quite realistic. However, the entire system is such that bringing about a change is difficult.
  2. When Xi Jinping came toDelhi last year, there was speculation that both


ERESTTO BE WITHIN CHINA”


of you were going to meet.

  1. Yes, my friends, one of them a Chinese (businessman), had that idea, that wish. I also wanted it to happen, but of course it was not easy.
  2. You wanted to meet him?
  3. Yes. I have always wanted to meet Chinese leaders. One time I was in Texas in southern US, when Hu Jintao was visiting Washington. At that time also I had sent a message that if pos­sible, I would want to meet him.
  4. So you and Xi Jinping can come together and resolve the problem of Tibet?
  5. I don’t know. I don’t have a direct responsibility for Tibet. But as I men­tioned earlier, all problems can be resolved through talking and meeting. Not through suppression. Now near­ly 60 years have passed, and I have said this before—the Chinese system worships the gun. Chairman Mao has himself said that power comes from the barrel of the gun. But only during war, or civil war, this kind of thinking is relevant. When I first met Mao Zedong and other top officials in Peking, I
    really admired (them) and (was) very much impressed by them. They were truly dedicated, serving people, par­ticularly the working class who suffer the most. I was so impressed that I had even expressed a desire to join the Chinese Communist Rarty. As far as socio-economic policy is concerned, I am a Marxist. That’s no secret. But I’m totally against Leninism, it means too tight a control. China, I’m hopeful, will become an open-minded communist country. It has a population of more than a billion, it can make a significant

ft

INDIA IS OUR GURU,
TIBET IS THE CHELA;
WHENTHECHELA HAS
PROBLEMS, THE GURU
HAS A RESPONSIBILITY
OF SOLVING THEM.”

 

contribution to world affairs. To o< that, respect and trust from the r~ of the world is very essential. Bi : society where everything is a sii • secret—that is very harmful developing trust.

  1. Would you like the Indian govern­ment, whose guest you have been * so many years, to assist you in y – – talks with China?
  2. I think not only India but the fr— world has some responsibility to sc * the problems and suffering of az community. India has a long bore-with Tibet, so the Tibet issue is a_~ an important issue for India. Our re tionship is unique. Sometimes I j • ingly say, Tibet is India’s first line :t defence. This will remain so as long the Tibetan culture, Tibetan spiritns!- ity remain intact. India is our gu’- Tibet is the chela; so when the cl : has some problems, the guru also Ir­responsibility of solving them.

Q. From the time of Jawahari Nehru, you’ve had very close relz tions with all the prime ministr – of India. What about PM Narendrz

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