India a religious country, but too much graft: Dalai Lama

Shillong, Feb 3: India is considered a religious country, but a lot of corruption is taking place in this country, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama rued Monday.

“This country (India) is considered a religious country, but a lot of corruption is taking place. There are many corrupt people, and I think, the corrupt people are also highly educated,” the Tibetan spiritual leader said while addressing the sixth convocation ceremony of the Martin Christian Luther University here.

“They (some educated people) pray to God but the purpose of their prayer is to make their corrupt life more successful,” he added amidst thunderous applause from the audience at the Soso Tham auditorium.

Meghalaya Governor K.K. Paul, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and a host of his cabinet colleagues and bureaucrats were also present.

The Dalai Lama, on his maiden visit to this mountainous state capital of Meghalaya, was awarded an honorary doctorate by the private varsity.

He said religious harmony and “ahimsa” are relevant in today’s world as religion has become an “instrument to cheat people”.

“In western countries, secularism means being negative towards religion while in India it means respect of all religions, and India can promote religious harmony and ‘ahimsa’,” he said.

Lamenting that modern education has contributed to the degradation of human values and given rise to corruption, the Nobel Peace laureate said ancient Indian knowledge must find place in the modern Indian education system.

“Modern India is multi-cultural, multi-linguistic and multi-racial. It is like the United Nations. I feel the greatness of India. Its people are harmless, and it is an example to the rest of the world as people are living together happily,” the Buddhist spiritual leader said.

Asking China to learn from India on how to live together, the Dalai Lama said: “I use to tell my Chinese friends that they should learn from India. Some Chinese hardliners see Tibet as a source of danger. But we are not seeking separation from China.”

“Tibet must remain with China for economic development but the Chinese government must respect Tibet’s unique language, script, culture, and ecology. These must be preserved,” he said.

IANS