Tibetans voted in Indian democracy with Tibet in the mind according to the various reports published on the story including quotes from the Tibetan voters. More than a thousand Tibetan took part in the assembly elections in the state of Himachal Pradesh, India in a historic shift of approaches in the exile.
“Tibetans voted for the first time in Indian democracy in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, but this was the first time the community participated in assembly elections. From monks to young men and women, most of the 1,400 registered Tibetan voters in the state actively participated in the electoral process. While 1.5 lakh Tibetans live across 30 countries, India has accorded voting rights to the community.” said the report in the Times of India today.
While most of the interviews in the report suggested that most of the voting Tibetans having born in India has a sense of belonging towards the country and a hope from the leaders to look after their welfare too.
The report from Voice of Tibet in Tibetan says that the voters are voting with Tibet in their mind. According to the report, a voter spoke to the reporter and said that most of the Tibetans in Exile around the world live as the citizens of those countries. The voter said that Tibetans in India seeking voter cards and taking part in the Indian democracy is healthy as long as we keep the Tibetan struggle first; contributing the voluntary chatrel and working on the Tibetan struggle in priority. Besides, Tibetans taking part in the voting would improve the relationship between the Tibetans and the local Indians while at the same time the government would cater to our welfare.
There are around 30,000 Tibetans living in the state and around a little more than one hundred thousand living as refugees in India. Tibetans born in India between 1950 and 1987 can register themselves to get voting rights as well as apply for Indian passport.