Tibetan Democracy Day

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    Context 

    • September 2 marks the anniversary of the establishment of the democratic system of the Tibetan people living in exile in India.

    About Tibetan Democracy Day

    • It is widely known within the community as Mangsto Duchen (‘Mangsto’: democracy; ‘Duchen’: occasion).
    • It marks the inception of the Tibetan democratic system in exile. 
    • At the heart of the Tibetan democratic system, which governs over 1 lakh refugees across the world, stands the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA) which is the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamshala.
      • However, the CTA is not officially recognised by any country.

    Major Milestones on the road to the development of the Tibetan democratic system

    • On September 2, 1960, a year after thousands of Tibetans had been forced to flee their home, the first elected representatives of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile took their oaths in Bodh Gaya to inaugurate the Tibetan democratic system.
    • In 1963, the Dalai Lama enacted the Tibetan constitution based on the ideals of democracy and universal values, following which the first women representatives were elected. 
    • In 1975, Kashag, the apex body of CTA, declared September 2 as the founding day of Tibetan democracy
    • In 1991, the Charter of the Tibetans in exile was adopted, and in the following year, the Tibetan Supreme Justice Commission was established, introducing the exile community to the three pillars of democracy.
    • A major shift in the political and cultural landscape of the Tibetan people was marked when the Dalai Lama announced that he would assume a position of semi-retirement. 

    India’s official policy towards the CTA

    • India considers the Dalai Lama as a revered religious leader and an honoured guest, but it does not encourage political activities by Tibetans. 
    • India follows the “One China” policy, it does not feel the need to reiterate it frequently.

    Source: IE