By : Mohan Verma
Election Commission of India (ECI) is likely to give the rights of vote to all Tibetans who are governed by Article 3 of Constitution of India as they got citizenship of this country by virtue of this right and most of them are already enrolled in the voter lists for the first time.
Spokesman of Election Commission of India told media that it could not deprive any citizen whatever be their decent as ECI have to abide by Article 23 of Constitution of India.
‘Article 5 in the Constitution of India’ says that every person who has his domicile in the territory is Citizen of this country (a) born in the territory of India or (b) either of whose parents were born in the territory of India or c ordinarily resident in the territory of India not less than five years (preceding such commencement).
We have enrolled all such people, who are Indian citizen as electoral rolls are prepared following Article 5, could give right to vote number of Tibetan who were residing in any settlement of this nation.
“But final electoral lists are to be prepared after April 9, 2014 could reveal the exact number of Tibetans and others voters enrolled in this hill state” Shimla based election officer told.
Dharamshala, Shimla, Riwalsar, Lahaul & Spiti, Kullu and Kinnaur are the places where Tibetans live in large number as about 50,000 Tibetan are expectedly living in the state.
Sanjauli and Kasumpti are the two main settlements in Shimla town and many of Tibetan residing here run business and most of them are borne after Asylum in India.
The state government while implementing Food Security Act in state also made provisions in the scheme to include all Tibetan refuges to bring under the ambit of this subsidized food scheme recently.
Soon after launching this scheme Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister told media that all Tibetan had been covered under its ambit as they would be entitled under scheme on the subsidized food grains at the rate as given to BPL , IRDP etc.
After Himahcal Pradesh there are settlement of Tibetan at Majnoo ka Tila at National Capital Region at Delhi, Arunachal Pradesh and Karnataka. According to sources, all the settlements in Karnataka having mainly Tibetan population was given rights of vote this time covering most of such settlement as voters in the electoral lists.
In state of Himahcal Pradesh number of Tibetan is concentrated at Dharamshala which housed the headquarter of Tibetan Central Government in Exile and Temple of Tibetan Spiritual leader Dalai Lama.
It is worthwhile to said that Tibetan had their own democratic set up and having parliamentary system which is also elected on the India pattern and own government in exile.
But most of Indians born Tibetan have got right of citizenship in the country by virtue of this and their more than five years stay in the country also give them right to become the citizen and voter of this nation.
But in earlier elections, most of them were kept away but it was first time when most of them had been issued Adhar card and had been made entitled for social welfare schemes on the analogy of Indian citizen.
Some of Tibetan aspirants who want jobs in the country also knocked door of court to stake claim for citizenship as Indian Constitution gives them entitlement, however, there was no demand from Tibetan to stake claim for right to vote.
Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, 78, has lived in India since 1959 when he fled his homeland after a failed uprising against Communist rule. His government-in-exile is based here but is not recognized by any country, including India.
Some 140,000 Tibetans live in exile around the world, over 100,000 of them in India. After India, Nepal holds a large number of Tibetan Diaspora.