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Saturday, April 8, 2017

nostalgic emotional reunion of Dalai Lama with Assam Rifles guard after 58 years !

In the Himalayas, a young monk, about to be crowned the Rinpoche of the monastery, is kidnapped by a gang of black magicians who wishto make a human sacrifice of Rinpoche to attain invincibility. The  young Rinpoche manages to escape from the clutches of the magicians and runs away to Kathmandu. At the other end of the subcontinent, in a small village in Kerala, Ashokan (Mohanlal) is an unemployed youth of no great virtues ends up guarding …..  that was ‘Yodha’ – Malayalam movie of 1992 scripted by SasidharanArattuvazhi and directed by Sangeeth Sivan, starring Mohanlal in the lead.

May your luck increase to the size of a mountain. May your fame be such as to cover the whole sky. May your knowledge become vast and deep as the sea long and healthy lives to you and hope your work for others, will be a success. ~ blessings of Dalai Lama to .. .. .. ..  Assam Rifles – and that has a history !!

Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, shortly Tenzin Gyatso is more famously known as ‘the  14th Dalai Lama’ .  The reverred  Buddhist leader  won the 2012 Templeton Prize worth $1.7 million for his work affirming the spiritual dimension of life.  The spiritual leader Dalai Lama, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, and decorated with another honour the  2012 Templeton Prize.

The Assam Rifles is the oldest paramilitary force of India, tracing its lineage back to a paramilitary police force that was formed under the British in 1835 called Cachar Levy. Since then the Assam Rifles have undergone a number of name changes.  Over the course of its history, the Assam Rifles and its predecessor units have served in a number of roles, conflicts and theatres including World War I where they served in Europe and the Middle East, and World War II where they served mainly in Burma. Since 2002 it has been guarding the Indo–Myanmar barrier as per the government policy "one border one force".

In March 1959, unrest in Tibet, which had been smoldering for some time, flamed into revolt. The Dalai Lama fled from the country and was granted asylum in India. The Dalai Lama’s entry into India was through the frontier post of Chuthangmu in Kameng division from where he was safely escorted by 5 Assam Rifles personnel to the plains of Assam. Following the Dalai Lama’s flight to India, the frontier post of Chuthangmu, Bumla and Chuna was faced with a mass ingress of Tibetan refugees called Khampas, all of whom had to be disarmed before being allowed to proceed further. The Battalion through the Kameng frontier division escorted approximately 12000 refugees.

Media reports mention that Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama had an emotional reunion on Sunday (2nd Apr 2017) with one of the  Assam Rifles guards who escorted him to India during his escape from Tibet in March 1959. The revered Dalai Lama embraced retired jawanNaren Chandra Das at an interactive session organised at the Namami Brahmaputra River festival by the Assam government in Guwahati.  Seventy-nine-year-old Das was among a group of seven Assam Rifles personnel who escorted the fleeing spiritual leader near Tibet in 1959 during his daring escape. The highpoint of the reunion was when the spiritual leader saluted Das.The scenario ensued as Assam Rifles director general Lt Gen ShokinChauhan, who was on the podium pointed out to the Dalai Lama that at least one soldier, who had received him on the border that day, was in the crowd.

Das became nostalgic on seeing the Dalai Lama. Recalling the incident, he said they were ordered to move to the border to receive a “special guest” and bring him to Tawang in Arunachal safely.“It was just three years that I had joined the Assam Rifles. I was then a rifleman posted at Tawang. On March 29, 1959, seven of us were tasked to escort the Dalai Lama safely to Indian territory. The journey began the next day. There was no road there then and it took us a day to cover the distance on foot. We were armed with 303 rifles and I was his bodyguard. He (Dalai Lama) was on a horseback while we walked. All seven of us were relieved of duty when we had reached Tawang,” Das recalled.“I cannot tell you how excited I am today. Those two minutes (when Dalai Lama hugged him on stage for the first time) are the best moment of my life,” Das said as his eyes turned moist.

Das retired in 1982 as havildar and has four daughters and three sons. He is settled in northern Assam’s Sonitpur district. Addressing students at the Gauhati University earlier in the day, the Dalai Lama called himself an Indian. "For the past over 50 years, my body has been surviving on Indian dal and chapati. So, physically and mentally I am an Indian,” he said, adding, “I am the longest guest of India”.“I call myself as the son of India. Some Chinese media came to me a few years ago and asked me why I say so. I told them that each part of my brain is filled with Nalanda thoughts,” he said.

“Thank you very much.... I am very very happy to meet such an old member of the Assam Rifles who guarded and escorted me to India 58 years ago,” a visibly emotional Dalai Lama said on the occasion.“Looking at your face, I now realize must be very old too,” he said to Das in jest.Assam Rifles director general Lt Gen ShokinChouhan was also present on the occasion.

Emotional reunion indeed. .. .. .. …….

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

3rd Apr 2017.

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