Jaipur Literature Festival 2013: I do not like the death sentence, says Dalai Lama

Last Updated: Jan 24, 2013, 18:11 PM IST

Resham Sengar

Jaipur: His Holiness the Dalai Lama came down to the capital city of the Land of the Maharajas to address an enormous gathering of his avid followers and literature connoisseurs on the first day of the 6th DSC Jaipur Literature Festival.

The Nobel peace prize laureate spoke on the need to follow the path of non-materialistic living and promoting world peace.

“Everyone wants a happy life but usually we seek this from the outside world. Looking for happiness from outside is wrong. Happiness and satisfaction is within us,” said the prominent religious leader.

He further said that his commitment is to promote secular ethics and moral education: “My aim is to promote secularism. Media’s task should be to educate people and inform people about valid and sensible happenings. Simply seeking money won’t give any happiness. As human beings, one must look to purify one’s inner values,” added the Dalai Lama.

Being a religious leader of high stature, the Dalai Lama was asked by the media persons whether giving capital punishment to the rapists is an apt way to deal with the increasing rate of rape cases in India. To which he surprisingly answered in the negative.

“I do not like the death sentence. I agree that in big cities, some murder or rape keeps happening every 24 hours. But these crimes can be dealt in other ways too,” answered the Dalai Lama.

He also added that the need of the hour is also to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor. “Only by doing this we can stop corruption. And measures should be taken to protect women too and one of those main measures is ensuring proper education for women,” he asserted.

Urging the people to follow a non-violent path, the Dalai Lama said that the 21st century is the age of dialogue and not violence. In his words, violence is “mutual destruction.”

He even went on to say that greed is also a source of destruction. “Even if the people own the whole world, someone will want to buy land on the moon,” said the 14th religious leader of the Tibetan monks.

When asked by the one of the press persons present at the venue about the message he would like to give to Rajasthan’s youth, the Dalai Lama came up with a politically correct reply saying: “Rajasthan’s youth is not different from other human beings that I should be giving a separate message to them. What I said earlier is relevant for their benefit too.”

Shedding light on his literary interests, the religious leader said that he does not read much since his knowledge of English and vocabulary is very poor.

“I am also very lazy when it comes to reading. But I do like the works of eminent figures from the historical Nalanda Institute (in Patna),” replied the Dalai Lama.