Bengaluru: A new survey has revealed that nearly 80 per cent Indians support a free Tibet.

The survey conducted by Indo-Asian News Service and C-Voter also had two-thirds of respondents endorsing the demand for conferring the country's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna on the Dalai Lama.

Over 68 per cent of respondents even acknowledged that the spiritual leader has played a significant role in reviving ancient Indian culture.

A majority of respondents, however, were in the dark over where the Tibetan government in exile operated from.

The Tibetan Government in Exile, also known as the Central Tibetan Administration, was established in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand on April 29, 1959. In May 1960, the Central Tibetan Administration was moved to Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh. 

Tibetans across the world recognise the Central Tibetan Administration as the legitimate government. 

Much to China's chagrin, the Tibetan diaspora earlier this month voted to elect a new government. The term of the current president, Lobsang Sangay, ends in May 2021. 

The survey comes amidst the ongoing standoff between India and China along the Line of Control. The sentiment against the Chinese government reflects in the responses to the survey questions.

Parallelly, there is a diplomatic tussle going on between the United States and China with regard to the Dalai Lama's successor and Beijing human rights excesses in Tibet.

Another 80 per cent of Indians believe that the interventions by the Indian government can limit the human rights violations prevailing in Tibet.

According to numerous reports, the Panchen Lama, who was recognised by the Dalai Lama, is allegedly under Chinese control. Reports suggest that China has installed its own Panchen Lama, who has been peddling Beijing's agenda.

In India, the IANS-CVoter poll indicated, that the Dalai Lama has more acceptance among the female respondents (66 per cent). The Dalai Lama also remained most popular in the age group of respondents above 55 years (68.5 per cent).