`Pol, religious bodies must function separately`

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 18:18

New Delhi: With Harvard scholar Lobsang
Sangay succeeding him as the political head of Tibetans, the
Dalai Lama on Wednesday said he always believed political and
religious institutions must be separated from each other.

The 76-year-old Tibetan spiritual leader said that he
always said that religious and political institutions should
function separately but was himself discharging both the roles
as the situation necessitated it.

"Now I feel I am committed to what I have been saying all
these years," he said addressing the fourth annual lecture of
National Commission for Minorities here.

The Dalai Lama said that he had served as political head
of the Tibetan government for 60 years during tough times and
now had the right to claim retirement from this responsibility
being a senior Buddhist monk.

The spiritual leader, who described himself as a "son of
India", expressed concern over corruption in the country
saying it was a "disgrace" especially as India is a religious
country.

"This is not criticism but I am concerned. Corruption by
religious minded persons is really disgrace. When I hear of
immense corruption in China, I think OK because they are
non-believers, they believe in power and money.

"But look at India. This nation is more or less a
religious minded nation. Every Indian worships in the morning
but in the mean time is this corruption. I say there is no
third way. Either remain believer, God fearing or if you
really want corruption, then carry corruption as a
non-believer," he said, adding, "Corruption by religious
minded people is really a disgrace."

Asked why the Tibetans needed to elect a Prime Minister of
the government-in-exile if they are only seeking autonomy
within China, the Dalai Lama made it clear that they have
"never formally used" the terms like "exile government" or
Prime Minister.

Replying to another question, he said that thousands of
exiled Tibetans are in India and a central organisation is
needed to to give them education and to carry their voice.

Sangay, who succeeded the Dalai Lama as political head
was sworn in on Monday at function in Dharamashala presided by
the Dalai Lama and attended by 5,000 Tibetans, including
community leaders settled outside Tibet and India.

Asked whether the incident of beating of Tibetan Lamas
during a prayer meeting in Nepal some time back pointed out to
the growing Chinese influence in that country, he said,
"Spiritually Nepal and Tibet are brothers and sisters" before
adding that a question on politics should be directed to
Sangay.

Noting that the world belongs to humanity and countries
belong to people not the leaders, he said, "China belongs to
the Chinese people not to the Communist Party."

The Tibetan spiritual leader said he can now focus more
on promotion of inners values and harmony of various religions
as he has resigned from his political responsibilities.
The Dalai Lama also urged Indians to take a pro-active
role in spreading the message of religious harmony across the
world.

"As a messenger and a `chela` (disciple) of India, I am
quite active in promoting the message of India. Now my boss
must also get active in promoting it. Otherwise people will
says this is Dalai Lama`s creation. It`s time India must
promote its message of religious harmony," he said.

Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and West Bengal
Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi also attended the function along
with NCM Chairman Wajahat Habibullah.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 18:18

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