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Updated: May 28, 2010 01:08 IST

Signs of change emanating within China: Dalai Lama

Shoumojit Banerjee
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Dalai Lama addressing a press conference after the inauguration of Buddha Smriti Park in Patna on Thursday. Photo: Ranjeet Kumar
The Hindu Dalai Lama addressing a press conference after the inauguration of Buddha Smriti Park in Patna on Thursday. Photo: Ranjeet Kumar

“There have been many incidents in the recent past which are indicative of strong change within the People's Republic of China,” said the Dalai Lama on Thursday.

In Patna to inaugurate the Buddha Smriti park set up to commemorate the 2550th year of Lord Buddha's ‘Mahaparinirvana,' the Tibetan religious leader noted that there were strong signs of socio-political change emanating from within the country.

Alluding to China's revised policy on minorities to substantiate his theory of changing political currents within the country, the Dalai Lama further stated that during the last two years, more than 200 Chinese writers had authored almost a thousand articles which were supportive and sympathetic to the question of Tibetan autonomy.

“Historically, China was a nation with strong Buddhist affiliations,” he said, speaking to journalists after the event. “There are more than 200 million Chinese Buddhists, which is more than the total number of Buddhists residing in India,” he noted, remarking that “even leaders of the Kuomintang (the Chinese Nationalist Party), including Chiang Kai-shek, had had Buddhist relatives.”

Commenting on China's rapid global progress, the Dalai Lama said China's economy had come a long way since Chairman Mao's Communist era. Remarking that Tibet faced a much different political scenario in contrast, he attributed Tibet's lack of progress to the “old Tibetan feudal system” as compared with China's speedy development.

“It [the Chinese economy] has developed by leaps and bounds with the emergence of a strong middle class,” he remarked, wryly commenting that “the country's economy today was a capitalist-communist combine.”

Commenting that China's Communist leaders had “the ability to act in tune with their times,” the Dalai Lama asserted that the Communist Party of China was “no longer merely a party of working class people.”

Responding to questions on Naxalism in India, the Dalai Lama said the state would have go to the root of the issue if any solution was to emerge in the near future.

He noted that developmental schemes were not reaching the most deprived sections and that widespread caste inequality impaired the country's social progress for a long time.

The Dalai Lama advocated the setting up of an independent judiciary to address the problems of Naxal-afflicted States.

Lauding the country's great cultural heritage, the Tibetan leader said the relationship between India and Tibet on Buddhism was like that of a ‘guru' and ‘chela' (disciple) and that the Tibetans could be counted upon as reliable ‘chelas.'

“India had every reason to be justifiably proud of itself,” he remarked, commenting that India's “multicultural unity and religious harmony based on mutual respect should serve as a model for the rest of the world.”

He said the Tibetan tradition of Buddhism owed much to the masters who came from Nalanda in the days of yore, noting that there were as many as 205 extant literary volumes of Tibetan Buddhism in the Nalanda tradition in Tibet.

Inaugurating the Buddha Smriti Park, The Dalai Lama said the stupa in the park would be named as the ‘Pataliputra Karuna Stupa.'

The park will house a museum, where Buddhist relics from Japan, Myanmar, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Thailand will be installed.

The park also has two saplings of the sacred ‘Maha Bodhi' trees brought from Bodh Gaya and Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka.

Keywords: Dalai LamaTibet

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