Shillong, Dec 14: The pandemic has exposed China and now the world knows about its true colours, said Tashi Topgyal, a candidate for the PM in Exile post for Tibet.
Talking to Meghalaya Times, 55-year-old Topgyal, a local businessman, said, “China has made it difficult for people around the world to breathe. Now, everyone knows China’s true self. Hence, the world must support our demand for ‘Free Tibet’.”
Topgyal is among the seven candidates, and the only one from the North East, in fray for the January 5 election. With only a few weeks remaining, he has been campaigning, which started in September, hard on social media. The PM in Exile candidate, however, does not have a smartphone.
“I am campaigning on Facebook (Tashi Topgyal Sikyong Candidate) and my son is managing the page. My only agenda is freeing Tibet from the clutches of China. It is time that India changes its policy on China and take stren measures, especially what happened in Galwan,” said Topgyal.
On the Galwan incident in June where 20 Indian soldiers were killed by Chinese army, Topgyal said Prime Minister Narendra Modi did the right thing to expose Chinese occupancy in the region as the neighbouring country’s lies were exposed.
“If we do not rein in China now, then it will be never (done). Only the US and India can control China. We (the Tibetans) have been asking for freedom for so long but many people around the globe did not pay heed. Now that China is exposed, they have to support us and I believe that they will support us,” said Topgyal, adding that Tibetans in Tibet were being harassed by China after the Galwan attack.
Topgyal was of the view that with Modi’s declaration of Chinese occupancy at Pangong Tso, the neighbouring country cannot use Tibetans to “kill other Tibetans on the Indian side”.
“Tibet ki azadi, Bharat ki suraksha (Tibet’s freedom is India’s security),” the candidate believes.
The election to the post of PM in exile is a party-less election and “there is no cheating in counting or money involved during the campaigning”, informed Topgyal, who is a resident of Barapathar in the city.
Though Topgyal is confident about his speeches uploaded on his Facebook page, he said many people believe that the prime minister has to be highly educated. “I am not educated but I have the nous to work on the issues. Education is important but not necessary when it comes to tackling political issues,” said Topgyal and referred to the case of Narendra Modi, who rose to power from being a mere chaiwallah.
If elected to the post, Topgyal has to shift to Dharamshala. When asked how he would negotiate with Delhi on the Tibet issue, he said he believed in grassroots strength. “Talks with the diplomacy will be there but first the people of the country have to understand what problem is prevailing in Tibet and how we are suffering at the hands of china,” he added.
The election process for Tibetan PM started only 20 years back. Before that, the Dalai Lama was both the religious and political head.
Topgyal talks with conviction and has a confident countenance every time he speaks about Tibet’s freedom.
“I am confident that I can bring about a change. Considering what China had done and is still doing to the world, I am sure that India and the world would be with us. I will work day and night to make Tibet’s freedom a reality. If we cannot do it now, then we can never,” he concluded.