New Delhi, April 13 (IANS) A handful of Tibetan refugees followed their deposed ruler, the Dalai Lama, to India in 1959 with nothing in their hands. Decades later, this nation has emerged as the largest reservoir of the authentic Tibetan culture. A photo festival here presents their success story.
The largest ever photo-exhibition on the Dalai Lama and Tibetan civilisation – “Thank you Dalai Lama” by photographer Vijay Kranti is running at All India Fine Arts & Crafts Society (AIFACS) till April 15.
“This photo-festival is an artistic tribute to the success story of a peaceful and brave refugee community, its monk leader the Dalai Lama and their magnanimous hosts – the people and the government of India”, said Vijay Kranti, a senior Indian journalist, an accomplished photographer and an acclaimed Tibetologist.
“On behalf of Indian citizens, I acknowledge HH Dalai Lama and Tibetan refugee community for making a creative use of Indian hospitality,” he said.
“The benevolent presence of HH Dalai Lama in India as our honoured guests since 1959 has enriched India’s spiritual, social and cultural life enormously in so many ways,” he added.
Kranti started his professional interaction with the Tibetan community and the Dalai Lama in 1972.
He has frequently written and extensively photographed the cultural and social life of the Tibetan community.
His coffee table book “Dalai Lama – The Nobel Peace Laureate Speaks” which is based on his photography and interviews with Dalai Lama, stands out as the only one of its kind in the international market.
The ongoing exhibition is the concluding show of Vijay’s five year long photo-festival titled “Buddha’s home coming” which started in March 2011 at Barcelona in Spain.
About 300 photo exhibits, along with slideshows of over 500 images, present an intimate photo-study of Dalai Lama, Tibetan culture and Tibetan refugee community in India.
“The Dalai Lama is considered as the reincarnation of Lord Buddha. His coming and adopting India as his second home has proved a blessing in disguise for India,” said Vijay Kranti.
When India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, ensured the rehabilitation and a favourable and free environment to the refugees, the Dalai Lama persuaded the exiled community to start a process of national reconstruction around whatever manpower and talent was available.
“Looking at the enormous contribution he has made to India’s spiritual and cultural life, I look at his presence in India as the second homecoming of Buddha after a long gap of over 2,500 years,” Vijay Kranti said.
The collection has been acknowledged as the largest photo documentation of Tibetan life and culture across the globe.