- Dalai Lama addresses self-immolations for the Tibetan cause
- Can't condemn self-immolations, but they sadden me, says Dalai Lama
- 'Sensitive political issue, as retired monk, I feel silence is the best'
One of the world's most revered leaders and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the Dalai Lama in an exclusive interview to NDTV spoke for the first time on the self-immolation a few weeks ago of a 16-year-old Tibetan boy. Interestingly, he said he will not openly condemn these self immolations for the Tibetan cause though he is saddened by them. Speaking on the NDTV Dialogues, he said "I expressed my sadness but I also expressed how much effect such a drastic step has. If you criticise, that is also difficult. If the family members hear the Dalai Lama criticise self-immolation, a negative attitude, they would be tremendously sad. I don't want that. I can't also encourage such incidents so I just keep quiet. Let the Chinese say what they say."
Asked if he feels, this would send out the wrong message, he replied "This is a sensitive political issue, I am an old monk, already retired so I feel silence is the best."
In a free-wheeling interview, the Dalai Lama said he is in good health, extremely fit, after his recent medical check ups at the Mayo Clinic in the US. On his succession issue, he said that he does have a plan to choose a successor. "At the age of the first Dalai Lama, 84, then I'm going to consult religious leaders of various traditions." He added discussions had already begun on this .
Asked about China's laws on reincarnation wherein they claim they have the power to select the next Dalai Lama, he laughed, saying, "Let them first accept the principle of Buddha dharma, of rebirth. Let them accept the rebirth of Mao and Deng Xiaoping, then they have the legitimacy to choose the next Dalai Lama "
He also spoke of his love for India, saying he is the "Son of India... my physique is made up of Indian dal and roti."
The Dalai Lama said he is in good health, extremely fit, after his recent medical check ups.
Asked his views on various Indian Prime Ministers he has interacted with, he shared interesting recollections including how PM Nehru overruled a cabinet colleague's worries about China's reaction to giving him asylum in 1959.
"One of my great friends, Vajpayee, on one occasion I met him and I expressed, he should be in the Opposition Party so that you see you can express what your real feelings are more freely," he recalled of the BJP stalwart.
He said of PM Modi: "I think at the international level, India has become quite a significant nation."
Interestingly, asked on religious orthodoxy and his views on homosexuality, he chose to take the middle way, saying "It depends on individuals. If they believe in certain philosophy and certain teachings, they should follow it. But for non-believers, they can do what they want."
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