DHARAMSALA: BJP leader Ram Madhav on Saturday said India has always hosted people in difficult times with an open heart.
Speaking here at an event to mark the 60th anniversary of the Dalai Lama's arrival in India, he said: "We know the life of a refugee is very tough...we hosted many people in trouble. India always welcome with open hands and open heart those in difficulties."
Union Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma, Members of Parliament Shanta Kumar and Satyavrat Chaturvedi were also present in the event along with Nobel Peace Laureate the Dalai Lama and functionalities of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), comprising its President Lobsang Sangay.
Addressing the Tibetan administration-in-exile based here, he said: "Friends we don't want to use the word refugee (for you). This is your land. At the most, you are in exile and Tibet is waiting for you."
He said India also gave shelter to the Parsi community.
"We can understand the life of a refugee with the loss of livelihood and the life is in a struggle. But thanks to His Holiness and the people who came here (in 1959)," the BJP leader said.
On relations between India and Tibet, Madhav said: "We are spiritual and religious colleagues."
After cancelling events in Delhi, the Tibetan government-in-exile has now started countrywide "Thank You India" programmes to mark the beginning of the 60th year of the Dalai Lama arriving in India.