Once the Dalai Lama's not around anymore, the stabilizing factor for the Tibetan leadership will no longer be there. A lot more Tibetans will rush to get Indian passports and for the elite and rich, they will leave India for other countries. It's just a matter of time before that happens. Unfortunately, Tibetans would be scattered and perhaps even more Tibetans, especially of the older generation would rather opt to return to their homeland.
--------------------------------First Tibetan in exile gets Indian passport
Mar 17, 2017, 07.36 AM IST
DHARAMSHALA: After fighting a court battle against Union ministry of external affairs and authorities concerned, a Tibetan in exile has succeeded in getting an Indian passport. Lobsang Wangyal (47), the man behind Miss Tibet pageant, after approaching various authorities had filed the case in May 2016.
Holding the passport in hand, Wangyal on Thursday told mediapersons that Sonia Gandhi being from Italy got Indian citizenship after her marriage, but he despite taking birth in India had to move from pillar to post to attain the same. Wangyal was born in Orissa in May, 1970.
"There are laws that if you marry an Indian you will get citizenship, but I couldn't prove it before the authorities concerned and was constrained to file the case. I have got it, and now my battle will go on for rest of the Tibetans in exile," he said.
This is a landmark judgment by Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, who quashed the government's decision to ask for a citizenship certificate from Tibetans when they apply for a passport. "This has paved the way for other Tibetans to apply," he said, adding that it was in a short period of four months that the case had been decided.
"I had to file a contempt petition in February, which the court resolved later that month. Despite some police objection that I didn't have a house/property to prove that I am a permanent resident, I finally got my passport," he added.
"I have been told by an officer at the RPO Shimla that the MEA is looking into the issue and a decision may soon be taken to issue a passport to Tibetans," he said.
According to law, anybody born in India between 1950 and 1987 are citizens of India. The government of India usually issues stay permits called registration certificate (RC) and Tibetans have to get this document renewed every five years. But holder of an RC is not considered an Indian citizen.
For Tibetans to travel abroad, the Indian government issues an identity certificate (IC), popularly known as the 'yellow book' in place of a passport. "It takes at least one year to get an IC, and then each time you travel, you need to get a return visa and an exit permit, a complex and time-consuming process" he maintained.