The Dalai Lama sees himself as a “son” and “disciple” of India, shaped by “Indian traditions” and fed on “Indian daal (lentil soup) and rice”.
Calling India his “guru” and himself a “reliable chela”(follower), the Dalai Lama said he wanted his “boss” to address corruption “seriously” and curb intolerance. He egged India on to “succeed”, not drift.
The Buddhist spiritual leader was in a good mood, as he delivered the Fourth Annual Lecture of the National Commission for Minorities on Wednesday. So, rather than give a spiritually highbrow speech, he engaged in a conversation in the manner of an avuncular old monk who didn’t take himself too seriously.
“I was a hypocrite,” he said, because so long he had combined his spiritual and political activities when the two should have been kept separate.
He said corruption was “immense” in China because “they are non-believers…they believe in power and money”. But how could “religious-minded Indians” ignore “moral ethics”, he asked, chastising a nation seen consumed by graft.
His remarks come at a time when the country is in the throes of a debate over the scope of the draft anti-corruption law, or the lokpal bill.