Dalai Lama lauds India’s secularism

New Delhi: Nobel Laureate the Dalai Lama has said on Saturday that the results of Bihar elections pointed out the fact that people preferred harmony. However, he refused to comment on Indian politics saying that he had been the guest of the country for long. Speaking at the annual convocation of Lovely Professional University (LPU), he termed the incidents of intolerance as “occasional acts by a few mischievous people”.

“There may be some mischievous individuals. Some party politics or other interests can be the reason behind unethical happenings. But it should not be taken as the real picture. If I may say so, the Bihar results have shown that a majority of Hindu people still believe in harmony,” he said.

Lauding the presence of secularism in India, the Dalai Lama said a few instances does not tarnish the image of a nation that has been inculcating secularism for centuries.

“India’s religious harmony is remarkable. And secular ethics have been followed here for more than 2,000 years. I am a Buddhist and Buddhism comes from India. Indians are traditionally our gurus and we are the chelas (followers). The country has recognised secularism not only for all religions but also for non-believers. That’s something unique about India’s secularism,” he further said.

About a recent US delegation raising concerns over the freedom of expression in Tibet, the spiritual guru said a few people had raised genuine concerns. “Among Chinese friends also, there are people who have continuously raised this concern. More than 100 articles have appeared in Chinese newspapers that have raised similar concerns on Tibet,” the Dalai Lama said.

The Dalai Lama condemned the killings in the Friday-night Paris terror attack, “Violence is a reaction by short-sighted, out-of-control people. At 81, I believe it cannot be resolved through prayers or government help. We have to begin the change at individual level and then move on to neighbourhood and society.”

(With inputs from various sources)