Monday, September 28, 2015

Tashkent: who benefited the 'crime'?

A meeting between Lal Bahadur Shastri and the Dalai Lama
In a recent interview to a news channel, Anil Shastri, Congress leader and son of former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, stated that his father's death did not look natural.
He affirmed: “When my father's body came to the Delhi airport, the Palam airport as it was called then, and when it was taken out of the aircraft, that came as a shock because his body had turned blue. His face had turned blue and there were white spots on the temple."
He further added: "The moment my mother saw the body, she straightaway came to the conclusion that it was not a natural death …My mother told the family that it was a foul play.”
Anil Shastri asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declassify documents related to Lal Bahadur Shastri's in Tashkent.
Anil Shastri explained that he finds ‘unbelievable’ that the Prime Minister's room, in the capital of then Soviet Uzbekistan had "no call bell, no telephone, no caretaker in his room and no first aid. He had to walk up to the door himself. …His death was badly handled by the Indian government. …Post-mortem could have been done in Tashkent if there was a request from the Indian government or a request from the Indian doctors."
Interestingly, Anil Shastri asserted: "some close associates feel that suspicion revolves around an Indian hand or a foreign power."
I am not Inspecteur Jacques Clouzeau, but simply looking at the 'foreign powers' which benefited the ‘crime’ (or simply Shastri's death), one of them is clearly China.
Let me explain why.
After the 1962 war, Jawaharlal Nehru was physically and psychologically a broken man; he had realized that he had been taken for a ride by Mao - the strategist Chairman of the People’s Republic of China and Zhou, his Machiavellian Premier.
He soon had a stroke and passed away in May 1964.
The Government of India’s policy towards China (and Tibet) immediately changed after Lal Bahadur Shastri became the new Prime Minister.
Shastri decided to take a tougher stand on Tibet and his government voted in favour of the Resolution for Self-determination of Tibet in the UN in 1965.
The Indian Representative to the UN (Rafiq Zakaria) declared:
The naked truth - which all of us must face - is that the Chinese Government is determined to obliterate the Tibetan people, but surely no people can remain for long suppressed. I have faith in the world community. I believe it will be able to help restore the Tibetans all the freedom which we have enshrined, with such dedication, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
It is for these reasons that we support, fully and wholeheartedly, the cause of the people of Tibet. Our hearts go out to them in their miserable plight and the terrible suppression that they are suffering at the hands of the Government of the People's Republic of China. My delegation will, therefore, vote in favour of the draft resolution.
China was obviously not amused.
But there is more.
One day in September 1965, Tsipon Shakabpa, the then the Tibetan Representative in Delhi came down to South India to meet the Dalai Lama (during the 1965 Indo-Pakistani war, the Dalai Lama had been sent by the Government of India to South India ‘to avoid the shelling’, told us one day the Tibetan Leader).
Shakabpa was very excited; he had just had a meeting with Prime Minister Shastri who told him that India had decided to recognize the Tibetan Government-in-exile after his return from Tashkent.
Unfortunately for the Tibetans (and for India too), Shastri never returned from Tashkent.
Indira Gandhi, who was subsequently elected Prime Minister, continued her father's Tibet policy.
If Shastri had come back from Tashkent, many things would have been a different (for the Tibetans at least).
There is no doubt that China greatly benefited from Shastri’s untimely death…

I wish the Government of India would also declassify the minutes of the meeting between Lal Bahadur Shastri and Shakabpa.

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