07 Sep 2020: BJP's Ram Madhav attends Tibetan soldier's funeral, later deletes tweet
In an unparalleled incident, the Indian Army on Monday accorded an honorable goodbye to a Tibetan soldier who died in Ladakh last month, reportedly after stepping on a landmine.
The funeral was also attended by BJP's Ram Madhav. The top leader of the saffron party also posted rich tributes for the deceased soldier on Twitter, but surprisingly, deleted the tweet later.
Here's what happened.
What happened: The deceased soldier was part of the elite SFF
The martyred soldier, commando Nyima Tenzin, belonged to the Special Frontier Force (SFF), a unit consisting of Tibetan soldiers who owe their allegiance to the Indian Army.
The troupe, which was reportedly formed after the 1962 Indo-China war, remained a secret for years.
Members of the unit hold HH Dalai Lama, the Tibetan flag, and the Indian tricolor in great regards.
Background: A bit about Tibet's fight for independence
China has been occupying Tibet since 1951, much to the displeasure of the natives who have always regarded their country as an independent one.
In 1959, an uprising against the Chinese government, led by HH Dalai Lama, failed, forcing the revered personality to seek refuge in India.
Like him, thousands of others also settled here, with some even getting Indian citizenship.
Funeral: Madhav's attendance was meant to send a message to China
Tellingly, as Beijing's transgressions along LAC are continuing many have been prodding the Centre to recognize and assist Tibet's struggle. Observers believe aiding Tibetans will help India embolden its fight against China.
Seemingly following the same line of thought, Madhav attended the funeral and also wrote about the soldiers' sacrifices in a tweet.
However, in an embarrassing flip-flop, he deleted the post soon.
Fact: Here is deleted tweet
Funeral: India gave Tenzin the funeral he deserved
Now, by giving a befitting funeral to Tenzin, India indicated that it respects the sacrifices of Tibetan soldiers. The mortal remains of the braveheart were wrapped in both the Tibetan flag and the tricolor.
He was given a gun salute by Army, officials from the civil administration laid a wreath, and those present at the funeral raised "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" slogans.
Fact: Here are some visuals from the spot
Details: Tenzin is survived by wife, a daughter, and two sons
Later, the two flags were neatly folded and handed over to Tenzin's wife. The braveheart also leaves behind a daughter and two sons.
Speaking about the unprecedented ceremony, Dawa Dolma, a local journalist, told India Today, "It's our responsibility to let everyone know that nobody is forcing them (Tibetans) to join the Army, they are doing it on their own."
Fact: "Proud of him, he is our hero"
"We are here to pay our tributes to a man who sacrificed his life for India. We are all proud of him, not just the Tibetan community but he is a hero to the entire country," said a student named Tenzin Yangkey.
Fact: Watch: Gun salute and Buddhist chants filled the air
Tensions: Meanwhile, tensions between India and China haven't subsided
Just last week, the Indian government revealed that China's attempt to change the status quo at the Southern bank of Pangong Tso on the night of August 29 and 30 were thwarted by the Indian Army.
The latest incident fueled the already raging tensions but China denied any wrongdoing on its part, saying that channels for dialogue with India are open.