Bill for official resolution of remembrance expressing bereavement*
Former Prime Minister of India Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee had been ailing for a long time and the sad event of his passing away occurred at 5:05 pm on the 16th of August 2018 in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. He was 93 years old.
The late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was born to Krishna Bihari Vajpayee, his father, and Krishna Devi, his mother, on the 25th of December in 1924 in Gwalior area of Madhya Pradesh state. From a young age, Vajpayee excelled in school and in his higher level educational pursuits and earned awards as toppers. As a young man, he had keen interest in and relished taking part in political activities. He according joined political organizations and carried out numerous responsibilities in them.
In particular, he, in 1942, took part in the Quit India Movement of India’s independence struggle, during which he and his elder brother were arrested and jailed for several days. By that time he was already a Swayamsevak (volunteer) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a social service organization of India. He rose through the ranks of this organization and in 1944 became its General Secretary.
In 1951, Shri Vajpayee became a member of the newly formed Bharatiya Jana Sangh, a political party, with important responsibilities.
From 1957 to 2004, Shri Vajpayee continued to win elections as a member of the Upper and Lower Houses of the Indian Parliament and held numerous important positions. He also took responsibilities as a member of a number of committees in the Indian parliament.
In 1980, he became a founding member of India’s newly formed national level political party called the Bharatiya Janata Party and became its first President.
Significantly, in 1996 and again from 1998 to 1999, and yet again from 1999 to 2004, for a total of three terms, Shri Vajpayee served as the Prime Minister of India. In addition, he served as the country’s minister for External Affairs as well.
In 2015, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee was, in recognition of his outstanding national leadership, presented with the country’s highest civilian honour, known as the Bharat Ratna Award. He had also won numerous other awards over the years.
This former Prime Minister of India was, while being best known for his outstanding leadership of his country, had also been a strong and unequivocal supporter of the issue of Tibet both in word and deed.
In fact, the late Shri Vajpayee was a strong supporter of the issue of Tibet and one who strongly opposed the policies of the government of China over it right since about the year 1950. Besides, while speaking on the agreement on the Five Principle of Peaceful Co-existence, also known as the Panchsheel, between India and China in 1954, he directed pointed questions at the government of India for doing so. In particular, on the 23rd of March in 1959, when the government of China had invaded and put under violent occupation rule the whole of Tibet, Shri Vajpayee responded to what was going on there by submitting to the Speaker of Lok Sabha, the Lower House of the Indian parliament, a motion calling for the adjournment of the session. And he continued by taking part in discussions on that motion with other members of the parliament until the 1st of April. Again, on the 3rd of August, he proposed a motion of adjournment of the proceedings of the parliament over the developments taking place in Tibet. Likewise, he had said that it was important that even if India was in no position to take any special action concerning the issue of Tibet, it must make efforts to raise a discussion of it at the United Nations before any other country did so as a matter of great urgency. The late Shri Vajpayee also made it clear that just granting refuge and facilitating their rehabilitation by allotting land for His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people were not enough to resolve the issue of Tibet and the Sino-Tibetan dispute. He said that in addition, it was imperative for the government of India to take significant responsibility in all aspects of the issue. He also pointed out that following the communist Chinese invasion and occupation of Tibet, the representative of the government of India at Tibet’s capital Lhasa had remained under detention and, likewise, the situation in the border areas of the countries in India’s neighbourhood had come under serious dangers.
On the 4th of April in 1960, Shri Vajpayee once again spoke up on the issue of Tibet in the Indian parliament, saying Tibetan refugees continuing to stream into India should continue to be rehabilitated and in this connection asked questions and made appeals to the government of India. For example, he referred to reports about the fact that some Tibetans had died along the way while being on the move while there were cases of disappearances as well. Likewise, he asked whether facilities such as medical care and language interpreters had been made available to the Tibetan refugees as they were being moved through the country. And while addressing the Lower House of the Indian parliament, he had occasions to draw attention to the fact that the destructions that were being carried out in Tibet were of vital concern to the nationhood and concerns of India and was bound to be destabilizing to the long-term situation in the country.
In particular, when the All Party Parliamentary Forum for Tibet was revived, the late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee took up the role as its advisor. Not only that, during the First World Parliamentarians’ Convention on Tibet organized by the Central Tibetan Administration, when His Holiness the Dalai Lama addressed members of the Indian parliament in a parliament Annexe, he especially made it a point to attend it.
The Late Shri Vajpayee was a person who took a broad inclusive view of the whole society with a great sense of responsibility during his 40 years of membership of the Indian parliament. During that period, he spoke up on the issue of Tibet as and when the opportunity arose. In addition, he was a person who could render correct facts and authentic citations on the real issue of Tibet and its history. Besides, he was a person who could speak with authority on the basis of full understanding of the extent of the central importance that the issue of Tibet has become to the normalization of the security situation between China and India. In particular, he had met with His Holiness the Dalai Lama on a number of occasions. The late Shri Vajpayee was not just a political leader. He was also, in the normal course of his life, an author and poet. Besides, he had the power to win the hearts of the ordinary masses and captivate his audiences when he gave public speeches. That such a person who was an unequivocal supporter both in his words and deeds on the issue of Tibet and an unswerving friend of the Tibetan people has passed away is a matter of great sadness to us. It is therefore apt for the Tibetan Parliament in Exile at this time to adopt a resolution to express its mourning and pay its tribute at this session.
With great reverence admiration in tribute for his splendid deeds and accomplishments, the Tibetan Parliament in Exile offers homage to late Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The passing away of Shri Vajpayee meant a tragic loss to the Tibetan people’s struggle too and therefore on behalf of the entire Tibetan people in Tibet and in exile, the Tibetan Parliament in Exile offers heartfelt condolences to his entire surviving family members. And we offer ardent prayers that all the noble wishes of the late former Prime Minister of India may be seen fulfilled, with all the wrongly, negatively classed of his accumulated deeds, if any, being seen dispelled by being cleansed, setting him on an unrelenting course of an ever brighter future.
Adopted by the Tibetan Parliament in Exile on this the 18th of September in 2018
The above resolution was adopted unanimously by the 16th Tibetan Parliament in Exile during its sixth session on 18 September 2018
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
* In case of any discrepancy between this English translation and its Tibetan original, the latter should be considered authoritative and final for all purposes.