The Dalai Lama, fleeing the Chinese suppression of a national uprising in Tibet, crosses the border into India, where he could be granted political asylum.
Born in Taktser, China, as Tensin Gyatso, he was designated the 14th Dalai Lama in 1940, a posture that at some time produced him the religious and political leader of Tibet. At the starting of the 20th century, Tibet increasingly came under Chinese handle, and in 1950 communist China invaded the country. One year later, a Tibetan-Chinese agreement was signed where the nation became a “national autonomous region” of China, supposedly under the standard rule of the Dalai Lama but actually beneath the control of a Chinese communist commission. The highly religious people of Tibet, who practice a distinctive sort of Buddhism, suffered beneath communist China’s anti-religious legislation.
After years of scattered protests, a full-scale revolt broke out in March 1959, and the Dalai Lama was forced to flee because the uprising was crushed by Chinese troops. On March 31, 1959, he began a permanent exile in India, settling at Dharamsala in Punjab, where he established a democratically dependent shadow Tibetan government. Back in Tibet, the Chinese adopted brutal repressive measures contrary to the Tibetans, provoking charges from the Dalai Lama of genocide. With the starting of the Cultural Revolution in China, the Chinese suppression of Tibetan Buddhism escalated, and practice of the religion was banned and a large number of monasteries were destroyed.
Although the ban was lifted in 1976, protests in Tibet continued, and the exiled Dalai Lama won widespread international assistance for the Tibetan independence movement. In 1989, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in recognition of his nonviolent campaign to complete the Chinese domination of Tibet.