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Planting seeds now for a peaceful future

delhi Updated: Jan 17, 2009 23:37 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The approach of non-violence may not be able to deal with terrorism in the short term but inculcating the spirit of dialogue in children to handle conflict could be a long-term method to reduce violence, Tibetan spiritual leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama said on Saturday.

“No, I think it will be difficult… Our only hope is prevention in future generations,” the Dalai Lama —who called terrorism “the worst kind of violence” —told a gathering of the capital’s elite included political leaders, senior union ministers, diplomats, commentators, academics, top officials and captains of industry.

Given that many of the reasons including a sense of hatred that led them to become terrorists date back to more than a century, the Dalai Lama — a life-long champion of non violence - said at the last minute, there was no force that could stop them but education could be a tool in the long run.

The Dalai Lama gave his assessment when he took a few questions after delivering the Madhavrao Scindia Memorial Lecture on “Non Violence: A Strategic Tool” at Teen Murti House here.

The prestigious lecture was instituted by the Madhavrao Scindia Foundation in 2002. Earlier, Madhavi Raje Scindia, wife of the late politician, said her husband was the product of the new age of emerging India who spent his life in pursuit of excellence and was a tireless crusader. The Foundation, she added, was focused on expanding public welfare in the fields of education, scientific and medical research.

A recipient of 84 international awards including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, the spiritual leader called himself “a messenger of India” as he always spoke of non-violence and secularism, values that were largely promoted in India and “exported” to the rest of the world, from the United States of America to South Africa.

The Tibetan leader pointed out that American civil rights activist Martin Luther King, South Africa’s Nelson Mandela among others were attracted to non-violence because of Gandhi.

“But it is not good to just export…. India should also lead promotion of non violence globally,” he said, cautioning Indians against taking non-violence for granted.

“There is a need to nurture that thought in India and export it to the world as happened during the times of Mahatma Gandhi,” he said.