While addressing a congregation in Shillong on February 3, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama said that India may be a religious country but one cannot ignore that plenty of corruption exists in the country as well.
“This country is considered a religious country, but a lot of corruption is taking place. There are many corrupt people, and I think, the corrupt people are also highly educated,” he said while addressing the sixth convocation ceremony of the Martin Christian Luther University.
He added, “They pray to God but the purpose of their prayer is to make their corrupt life more successful,” amidst thunderous applause from the audience at the Soso Tham auditorium.
Meghalaya state chief minister Mukul Sangma and Governor K.K. Paul, along with a host of bureaucrats and other cabinet members were present in the audience as well. This was Dalai Lama’s maiden visit to Shillong, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate.
According to the spiritual leader, religious harmony and nonviolence are crucial in today’s day and age, more so because religion has become an “instrument to cheat people.”
“In western countries, secularism means being negative towards religion while in India it means respect of all religions, and India can promote religious harmony and 'ahimsa',” said Dalai Lama.
Grieving over the idea that modern education has led to the degradation of humanity and fostered corruption, the Nobel Peace laureate insisted that ancient Indian teachings be revived and given place in the existing education system in India.
Modern India is multi-cultural, multi-linguistic and multi-racial. It is like the United Nations. I feel the greatness of India. Its people are harmless, and it is an example to the rest of the world as people are living together happily,” he said.
Urging China to learn from India on how people can live together harmoniously, Dalai Lama said, “I used to tell my Chinese friends that they should learn from India. Some Chinese hardliners see Tibet as a source of danger. But we are not seeking separation from China. Tibet must remain with China for economic development but the Chinese government must respect Tibet's unique language, script, culture, and ecology. These must be preserved.”
Photo Credits: Christopher Michel