Lt. General A Sengupta, AVSM, YSM (GOC), Fire and Fury Corps today unveiled a statue of the architect of modern Ladakh Kushok Bakula Rinpoche at the Lamdon School Leh. The school dedicates the statue as a token of love, gratitude, and tribute to the contributions of the 19th Gyalsras Bakula Rinpoche for promotion of education, peace, communal harmony and development in Ladakh. Kushok Bakula played a significant role in the awakening of the people of Ladakh about the significance of education and strengthening of Lamdon School. Over the years Lamdon was blessed and guided by Bakula’s wisdom and vision to shape an educated and inclusive Ladakh which is prosperous, healthy and peaceful.
While addressing the audience Lt. General A Sengupta, highlights the leadership attributes of Bakula said “Being born in a royal family, religious head, he lived a very ordinary life connected with people and their issues. Today we can see the vision of Bakula translating into an educated and progressive Ladakh. In 21st century Bakula is an inspiration for every Ladakh who served all Ladakhis irrespective of their religions. An excellent leader to emulate for today’s younger generations”
Kushok Bakula Rinpoche, the 19th incarnation of Arhat Bakula, considered one of the 16 direct disciples of Lord Buddha, was a prominent Buddhist monk, statesman, and international diplomat. The former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called him “the architect of Modern Ladakh. While welcoming the guests the Principal Dr. Stanzin Dawa highlights “Massive contributions of Bukula for transforming Ladakh. Kushok Bakula is the most effective and influential people’s leader in the 20th and 21st century. Bakula is more relevant today than ever before. Where there is no vision, the people perish. We expressed our profound thanks and gratitude to Bakula for giving a vision to Ladakhis for an independent UT. He planted the seeds for the demand for Union Territory (UT) status for Ladakh.”
Gen Angchuk Sankar Gonpa while addressing the audience said “It was Kushok Bakula’s profound wish to see Lamdon growing and contributing to Ladakh’s development. Keeping that in view he donated substantial land for the construction of Lamdon School. Kushok Bakula enjoys an inalienable relationship with Lamdon School.” He held many official positions during his lifetime including Member of the J&K Constituent Assembly, a minister in the Jammu and Kashmir Government, a two-term Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha), a Member of the National Commission on Minorities, and India’s ambassador to Mongolia. A recipient of Padma Bhushan in 1988, the late Bakula Rinpoche remains the most prominent Buddhist leader of Independent India.
After an eventful life, Rinpoche passed away on November 4, 2003, at the age of 86 but his mission of a peaceful and progressive Ladakh need to be nurtured collectively by all leaders and people irrespective of religions and regions.