Honoured with the prestigious Democracy Service Medal, the Dalai Lama has hailed India's democracy, saying very unlike China it gives space for everyone to express their views.
"I found big difference between Indian and Chinese parliaments," said the Tibetan spiritual leader as he received the award in recognition of his commitment to advancing the principles of democracy and human dignity at the Library of Congress Friday.
"In Chinese parliament there is too much silence and in Indian parliament there is too much noise," quipped the Dalai Lama, who has lived in exile in India since 1959 when he fled his homeland after a failed uprising against Chinese rule.
The Dalai Lama received the award instituted by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) a day after President Barack Obama received him at the White House brushing aside Chinese warnings to spark a political row with Beijing.
Reiterating his personal commitment towards promotion of human values and democratic rights of the people world over,
the Dalai Lama said: "Change must come through people. Protection of individual human rights is very important for the development of the society."
Talking about his experience of democracy in India, the Tibetan leader recalled, "there was a big difference between Nehru and Acharya Kripalani on the Tibetan issue."
Then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru was against raising the Tibetan issue at United Nations, while Praja Socialist Party leader Kripalani favoured it, he said.
"This is democracy," he said noting democracy is defined by the right to free expression.