New Delhi, 17 January 2009 (The Hindu): Emphasising the need to inculcate the spirit of tolerance and compassion from childhood, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Saturday suggested such lessons would not only create a better world but also a human being at peace with oneself.
Delivering the Madhavrao Scindia Memorial lecture on "Non-violence - A strategic tool", the Dalai Lama said it was important to promote secular values.
He said all Indians should take the lead in practising and spreading the concept of non-violence and ahimsa.
"The life of a human being is limited but spiritualism remains for centuries," the Dalai lama said. He wondered why its practice was lessening in India, which had exported these values to other parts of the world.
He said that if children in the kindergarten were to be taught compassion, tolerance and the spirit of accommodation, they would realise that dialogue was the way forward in situations that could otherwise lead to conflict.
The concept of non-violence was not just abstaining from violence but to work in a way where violence became redundant.
The Tibetan spiritual leader recalled that one of the great practitioners of non-violence was Mahatma Gandhi and said personalities like the American civil rights leader Martin Luther King and the former South African President, Nelson Mandela, were deeply influenced by Gandhiji.
Message of peace: Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama at the Madhavrao Scindia Memorial Lecture in New Delhi on Saturday. - Photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar.
Responding to a question on the application of non-violence in tackling terror, the Dalai Lama said hope lay in preventing it in the future. He said those indulging in terrorist acts could not be termed mad people as some were very educated. He said such people harboured strong ill-feeling and hatred due to many reasons, some of which could be centuries old.
Referring to 9/11, the Dalai Lama said he told President George Bush that while he regarded the U.S. President as a nice person, he stood opposed to Mr. Bush's policies. He said he had suggested to Mr. Bush that instead of spending billion of dollars in launching the war, the world would have been a much different place had these funds been utilised to spread education and health care.
Besides the family of the late Madhavrao Scindia, those present on the occasion included Amethi MP Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyana Vadra, Election Commissioner Navin Chawla, Home Minister P. Chidambaram, his predecessor, Shivraj Patil, Chairman of the National Knowledge Commission Sam Pitroda, Rajya Sabha MP Shobhana Bhartia, and members of the diplomatic corps.