Tribune News Service
New Delhi, July 6
In a departure from last year when New Delhi still entertained expectations of a border rapprochement with China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi wished the Dalai Lama on his 86th birthday on Tuesday.
Last year, PM Modi had been conspicuously silent on Dalai Lama’s 85th birthday.
Dalai Lama, though, has not failed to wish PM Modi on his birthday each year on September 17, regardless of whether a greeting has come his way on his birthday on July 6.
As was the case in 2019 after he returned for a second term, the Prime Minister spoke on the phone with the Dalai Lama on Tuesday to wish him a long and healthy life. Last year around this time, when there seemed some hope of a PLA pull back, PM Modi had refrained from wishing the Dalai Lama on his birthday.
Interestingly, Union Minister Kiren Rejiju, who is an MP from Arunachal Pradesh, part of which China claims as its territory, has not wished the Dalai Lama so far. Last year, Rejiju and the Lt Governor of Ladakh UT RK Mathur had wished the Dalai Lama from their official accounts even though the PM hadn’t done so.