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Dalai Lama’s comment on ‘female successor’ shocks TV interviewer

The Dalai Lama has said should his successor be a female she must be “very, very attractive” otherwise she is “not much use.”

world Updated: Sep 24, 2015 10:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Dalai Lama,Female successor,BBC interview
Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama speaks during a news conference at Magdalene College in Oxford, Britain (REUTERS)

The Dalai Lama has said should his successor be a female she must be “very, very attractive” otherwise she is “not much use.”

In an interview with the BBC’s Clive Myrie, the 80-year old spiritual leader was asked if there will be a 15th incarnation of the Dalai Lama after him and if so, could the next Dalai Lama be a woman?

“Yes! The female biologically [has] more potential to show affection... and compassion,” said the Dalai Lama.

He told Myrie that a French female journalist had asked the similar question almost 15 years ago and he had responded similarly.

“Today in a more troubled world, I think females should take more important roles, and then I told that reporter, if a female Dalai Lama comes, their face should be very attractive,” said the leader who is in London for nine days to promote compassion.

In order to ascertain what exactly the Dalai Lama’s response was, Myrie asked, “So you can only have a female Dalai Lama if they are attractive? Is that what you are saying?”

“I mean if female Dalai Lama come, then that female must be very attractive, otherwise not much use,” insisted the Nobel Peace Prize winner who in 2009 had called himself a feminist while accepting an International Freedom Award in Tennessee.

To that an incredulous Myrie said, “You are joking, I am assuming. Or you are not joking?”

“No. True!” the spiritual leader said laughing.

He made similar comments in 2013 during a visit to Australia about the next Dalai Lama being a woman and was criticised for his statement for reinforcing gender stereotypes.

“I think [it would be] good because you see, biologically, female[s] have more potential to develop affection or love to other... So therefore…now we are 21st century…female have more potential so should take more active role regarding promotion of human compassion... If the circumstances are such that a female Dalai Lama is more useful, then automatically a female Dalai Lama will come.

First Published: Sep 23, 2015 17:09 IST