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Modi may make a positive difference in Tibetan affairs

 BJP leader Narendra Modi visits his mother seeking her blessing.
BJP leader Narendra Modi visits his mother seeking her blessing.
Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

With Narendra Modi the new prime minister of India there are signs he may institute radical positive reforms in dealing with the Tibet issue. Regarding the Tibet factor there is an interest in whether Modi will rewrite the rules of India-China engagement reported the Central Tibetan Administration on June 9, 2014. Modi already took the dramatic move of inviting Lobsang Sangay, the democratically elected political leader of Tibetan people in exile, to his swearing-in at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The inviting of Sangay to an official function attended by the heads of state and the government has given us an indication of how India under Modi is changing the rules in engaging the Tibetan leadership. He is not allowing China to intimidate him into ignoring the Tibetans in public places. Modi has also appointed Ajit Doval, a known sympathizer of the persecuted Tibetans, as the National Security Adviser. Modi is clearly shaping a foreign policy agenda which paints a picture of India as a powerful nation which is not afraid to take such radical foreign policy initiatives in dealing with Tibet.

Tibetan exiles are now asking Modi to discuss Tibet with the Chinese foreign Minister Wang Yi reports The Tibetan Youth Congress has welcomed Yi's recent visit to India and has encouraged Modi to raise the issue of Tibet with him. This is a shift for a group that usually protests against Chinese leaders visiting India.

It is the position of the Tibetan Youth Congress that a free Tibet is essential for a lasting peace and security for India. It is felt by the TYC that a Tibet free from Chinese military presence is essential for India to be free from constant Chinese incursions as well as absurd claims on the borders. Only time will now show us how well Modi will hold up to anticipated pressure from Beijing to sell out the Tibetan cause.