Mumbai, Maharashtra, India, 19 February 2011 (By Hemali Chhapia, TNN) - For a snow-shrouded Tibet, here's something that will thaw its heart.
"Yes, I will see a free Tibet in my lifetime. I am confident about that. More and more Chinese are supporting the Tibetan cause than ever before," the 14th Dalai Lama, who was in the city on Friday, told TOI.
The Nobel laureate spoke at the Gothic Cowasjee Jehangir Convocation Hall of the University of Mumbai as sun rays streamed in through the stained glass panel above. Before he started his talks, the university vice-chancellor, Rajan Welukar, honoured him with a garland that came all the way from Gujarat. More importantly, the environmentally friendly garland of cotton fibre was used by Mahatma Gandhi.
The University wanted to have the Dalai Lama here on October 2 to inaugurate a student-driven initiative to work for social causes.
"Now in China, genuine socialism is no longer there; a communist party without communist ideology. Capitalist communism: this is new. I heard that the life of some Indian communists and a few leaders of the Indian communist party is more bourgeois than socialist."
Praising India, he said it didn't need to look out for answers. "Indian civilization, when compared to the western and Chinese civilizations, is much more sophisticated. It is the world's treasure." He repeatedly described himself as a chela of Indian tradition. "I describe Indians as the guru, we (Tibetans) are chelas of Indian guru," he said. "Essentially we learn from you."
But as an honest friend, he said it was essential to rid all the systems of some evils: "Caste, dowry, discrimination, these may be a part of your tradition but they are outdated, and must change. The youth must change some of theseâ€¦. From your chela, this is constructive criticism. Sometimes, you are a little bit lazy. You must be more hard-working; work with full self-confidence."
Modern education system does not pay attention to wholeheartedness. Teaching ethics without touching the religious space is important
Life based on material wealth with no roots in affection is a delusion
Secularism does not mean disrespect of religion, but equal respect for all religions
Business people also come from society, we need a change at the fundamental level, and now in the west, some educationists are really questioning the educational system
Technology provides physical comfort and spiritual development mental comfort
The real change in India needs to happen in its rural areas, in its old villages
The desire for peace is very strong. People proudly joined when the World Wars broke out. That situation has changed. Before the Iraq crisis, think of how many people came out against using force. It's a sign of change: non-violence.