The Tibet Awareness Talk Series Program Report: “India Tibet Boundary- Historical Perspective, Sino-India Dispute and Future Prospects.”

On 29th September 2023, The Tibet Museum, as a part of its Tibet Awareness Talk series(bi-monthly) conducted a talk by Mr. Claude Arpi,a renowned Author,Historian,Tibetologist and Distinguished Fellow, Centre of Excellence for Himalayan Study, Shiv Nadar Institution of Eminence(Delhi) at the Auditorium from 3pm-4pm.

The talk began with a welcome note by Mr Tsering. Mr Arpi, delved straight into discussing the recent clash between the Chinese troops and Indian Army. He further highlighted how China is occupying many parts of Indian Territory in the state of Arunachal Pradesh and changing the name of those regions. Additionally, China has also renamed Tibet to Xizang.

The speaker further discussed the historical context when Tibet used to be a buffer zone, with no clashes,no army or police till the mid 1950s. He further stressed that it is the India-Tibet boundary and the government should stop referring to it as an Indo-Sino border. Thereafter, the speaker highlighted how Tibet was blank on the maps in the 18th century.

He shared one of the maps highlighting the journey of a lhama, who traveled from Lhasa to India. Additionally he showcased Shakbpa’s Map,1962. The speaker further discussed how to define a border based on geographical principles such as a watershed,a pass, a river,a pasture and a lake. Under the current challenges, the speaker raised the pertinent question of – Where is the LAC? The map is vague. Some agreements between India and China are officially mentioned in the LAC but there is no map.

He also stated that the Mc Mahon line and watershed are not aligning. The 19 rounds of talks at Moldo resulted in partial delineation of the LAC. The speaker concluded by saying – “ Will His Holiness see again a Tibet without borders? He wishes to see similar museums like the Tibet museum in Lhasa if Tibetans can go back one day.

Thereafter, an engaging Q&A session followed and a valedictory speech was given by the Director, stating how Mr Arpi is a courageous writer and grateful for his talk. The Director stressed on addressing the border as ITBP.

A memento as a gratitude was presented to the speaker. The talk session was followed by tea and refreshments for all the participants. Overall, the talk was informative and thought-provoking. It effectively conveyed the complexities of India, Tibet and China diplomatic relationship. It succeeded in generating interest and discussion among the audience.

Reported by: The Tibet Museum

Mr. Claude Arpi delivering his presentation.

Audience listening to the presentation

Speaker presenting his presentation to the audience.

Audience asking question to the speaker