Sikkim government's request puts Centre in a bind - DNA India



Thursday, 26 November 2015 - 6:50am IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: dna | From the print edition

Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling requested union home minister Rajnath Singh last week to allow the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa visit the monastery as large numbers of Sikkimese followers want to see him Rumtek which is the main seat of Karma Kagyu or Black Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism having over 700 monasteries worldwide.




The Sikkim government request to allow Ogyen Trinley Dorje, one of the two claimants to be Karmapa of the Kagyu sect of Buddhism, to visit the Rumtek monastery has put the Centre in a bind.
Sikkim chief minister Pawan Chamling requested union home minister Rajnath Singh last week to allow the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa visit the monastery as large numbers of Sikkimese followers want to see him Rumtek which is the main seat of Karma Kagyu or Black Hat sect of Tibetan Buddhism having over 700 monasteries worldwide.
The Centre has maintained consistently that the 30-year-old Karmapa's activities are connected to Chinese shenanigans since his arrival in India in 2000. Intelligence agencies have been watchful of Ogyen whom they refer to as Ugyen Trinley Dorje or "UTD" in secret files and believe Beijing anointed him to serve its long term ulterior motive of changing the mindset of Buddhist population in favour of China.
The intelligence agencies have also routinely reported on activities UTD for encouraging "China-friendly" religious institutions in the Himalayan region.
The conspiracy theory gained a lot of currency in 2011, when Enforcement Directorate raided several premises of Ogyen in Himachal Pradesh and booked his associates for with holding foreign currencies.
The then NSA Shiv Shankar Menon had to step in himself to contain the growing tirade against Ogyen.
Despite this, many in government, especially those in the security establishment, are still wary of Ogyen and believe that allowing Karmapa to visit Rumtek would give legitimacy to one claimant, sources said.
The Kagyu sect has two claimants as Karmapa - Ogyen Trinley Dorje who lives in Himachal Pradesh and Delhi based Trinley Thaye Dorje. Both were born in Tibet and anointed by two different senior monks and said to have escaped from Tibet due to pressure of Chinese authorities. Both have their own websites and claim that they are the real 17th Gyalwang Karmapa.
Claiming that Ogyen was anointed by Beijing, India tacitly backs Delhi-based Thaye as the religious leader. But the undisputed and topmost leader of Tibetans, Dalai Lamarecognises Ogyen Trinley Dorje as the Karmapa.
Understanding Centre's dilemma, Chamling has given it the ropeway that even if the government disallows the monk to visit the monastery now, it should specify a time frame by which a should be made. His party, the Sikkim Democratic Front has maintained that a large number of Sikkimese believe Ogyen Trinley Dorje is the Karmapa.
Sikkim MP, PD Rai also said that the cooling off period of so many years should be enough for intelligence agencies to decide and at least a date should be given now to allow him to visit Rumtek. A written request has also been made to the Narendra Modi government.
Cooling off period
Sikkim MP, PD Rai also said that the cooling off period of so many years should be enough for intelligence agencies to decide and at least a date should be given now to allow him to visit Rumtek. A written request has also been made to the Narendra Modi government.

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