Sunday October 21, 2018
Home Opinion Fanaticism ba...

Fanaticism bad, religions misunderstood and misinterpreted: Gyalwang Drukpa

0
//
242
credit: www.pastoralmeanderings.com
Republish
Reprint

Nangchen (China): Speaking out against fanaticism, the spiritual head of the Drukpa lineage of Buddhism said religions are “misunderstood” and “misinterpreted” in a sectarian kind of way.

credit: www.static.talkvietnam.com
Gyalwang Drukpa credit: www.static.talkvietnam.com

“Fanaticism is a bad thing. Fanaticism that connects with the religion, be it Hindu, be it Muslim, be it Buddhist, it doesn’t matter,” Gyalwang Drukpa told a group of visiting Indian mediapersons in this town in the southernmost part of Qinghai province, neighbouring Tibet’s Chamdo district. He is here for the inauguration of a restored Ashoka stupa and a new Buddhist temple in the same complex.

Saying that he was not authorised to speak on Hindus and Muslims, the Ladakh-based Drukpa advised Buddhists to focus on the spirituality and not the religiosity of the religion.

He said when religion is “misinterpreted” in a sectarian way, Buddhism would also one day face problems and asked members of the community not to be fanatic in their beliefs.

“Luckily Buddhism still represents non-violence. But one day, who knows, Buddhism will also not really be representing non-violence. Buddhist people should not be fanatic about the religiosity. The Buddhists should really keep the spirituality of Buddhism, not the religiosity. If they don’t do that well, then one day they will also be a violent kind of group,” said Drukpa, whose associates claim he has over 27 million followers across the world.

Asked about the developments in Tibet, Gyalwang Drukpa said he himself felt confused on the issue.

“Some say (the progress made) is not good, some say it’s good. I am not in a position to say good or bad right now,” he replied.

“Obviously, some part of Tibet has a little bit of difficulty and some parts have good life. I don’t really have any kind of opinion to share with you,” he said.

Last year, the spiritual leader had complained that eight of his monasteries were snatched by “some people who were “misusing” the name of the Karmapa. He has also posted an open letter on the issue on his website.

Questioned on the issue, the revered monk reiterated his position.

“We are going through the process of modalities to be done. It is a historical kind of disasters happening. It’s like something that we cannot really be patient or tolerant (about).”

Speaking about the restored Ashoka Stupa and the new Buddhist temple in the same complex, Drukpa said he was proud and happy at his “little bit of contribution” to the project.

“Ashoka was the biggest and the most well known Buddhist king not only in India, but all over the world. We are very proud about what we have done. I myself am also proud about my little bit of contribution to the Ashokan remains,” he said.

Drukpa hoped the restoration of the Stupa would help better Sino-Indian relations as Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoped would happen.

“Yes, this will be a very good contribution towards Modi’s wish and I hope that will also be beneficial (for bilateral ties between India and China).”

Answering a query, the senior monk said he had no immediate plans to restore any other Ashokan stupa in China or across Southeast Asia, but would give his assent if some symbolic remains were found in any corner of the world.

“I don’t really have a plan right now. But obviously, if there is a very significant kind of thing, symbolic kind of thing, that it is lying somewhere, in some corner of the world I will definitely go ahead and do something,” he added.

(Sirshendu Panth IANS)

(He is in China at the invitation of the Chinese government)

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2015 NewsGram

Next Story

Shanghai Airport Gets Check-In With Facial Recognition Machines

Increased convenience may come at a cost in a country with few rules on how the government can use biometric data.

0
Shanghai,
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection facial recognition device is ready to scan another passenger at a United Airlines gate. VOA

It’s now possible to check in automatically at Shanghai Hongqiao airport using facial recognition technology, part of an ambitious rollout of facial recognition systems in China that has raised privacy concerns as Beijing pushes to become a global leader in the field.

Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport unveiled self-service kiosks for flight and baggage check-in, security clearance and boarding powered by facial recognition technology, according to the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Similar efforts are under way at airports in Beijing and Nanyang city, in central China’s Henan province.

Shanghai,
Face recognition tool was first launched in 2012

Many airports in China already use facial recognition to help speed security checks, but Shanghai’s system, which debuted Monday, is being billed as the first to be fully automated.

“It is the first time in China to achieve self-service for the whole check-in process,” said Zhang Zheng, general manager of the ground services department for Spring Airlines, the first airline to adopt the system at Hongqiao airport. Currently, only Chinese identity card holders can use the technology.

Spring Airlines, Shanghai said Tuesday that passengers had embraced automated check-in, with 87 percent of 5,017 people who took Spring flights on Monday using the self-service kiosks, which can cut down check-in times to less than a minute and a half.

Shanghai,
Rana el Kaliouby, CEO of the Boston-based artificial intelligence firm Affectiva, demonstrates the company’s facial recognition technology, in Boston, April 23, 2018. VOA

Across greater China, facial recognition is finding its way into daily life. Mainland police have used facial recognition systems to identify people of interest in crowds and nab jaywalkers, and are working to develop an integrated national system of surveillance camera data.

Chinese media are filled with reports of ever-expanding applications: A KFC outlet in Hangzhou, near Shanghai, where it’s possible to pay using facial recognition technology; a school that uses facial recognition cameras to monitor students’ reactions in class; and hundreds of ATMs in Macau equipped with facial recognition devices to curb money laundering.

Also Read: Facial Recognition Technology Catches A Person With Fake Passpost At The US Airport 

But increased convenience may come at a cost in a country with few rules on how the government can use biometric data.

“Authorities are using biometric and artificial intelligence to record and track people for social control purposes,” said Maya Wang, senior China researcher for Human Rights Watch. “We are concerned about the increasing integration and use of facial recognition technologies throughout the country because it provides more and more data points for the authorities to track people.” (VOA)