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2-min read

Few Incidents of Attacks on Minorities Can't Become Symbolic of A Nation, Says Dalai Lama

The Tibetan spiritual leader was reacting to a question on attacks on the minority community in India, including a recent incident in Gurugram where a mob had assaulted a Muslim family.

PTI

Updated:April 4, 2019, 10:58 PM IST
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Few Incidents of Attacks on Minorities Can't Become Symbolic of A Nation, Says Dalai Lama
File photo of Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama. (Image: PTI)
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New Delhi: India is a land where religious harmony has existed for ages and a few incidents of attack on minorities cannot become symbolic of the nation that it is, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama Thursday said.

Reacting to a question on attacks on the minority community in India, including the recent incident in Gurugram where a mob of over 40 persons had pelted stones at the house of Muslim family, the spiritual leader said there are always "a few mischievous people", but that does not mean it a symbol of that nation.

"A few incidents (of attack on minorities) cannot become symbolic of the nation that we are. There are always a few mischievous people, but that does not mean it a symbol of that nation," he said while addressing a press conference here.

A mob of over 40 persons had recently pelted stones at the house of Mohammed Akhtar in Bhup Singh Nagar area in Gurugram and had also beaten up members of his family, in an attack triggered by a game of cricket on Holi.

The attack was captured on a cellphone by one of the victims and the video had gone viral on the internet.

The spiritual leader said India should help the world in reducing conflict in the name of religion and asserted that he has been suggesting to the government to organise an international religious conference.

"Since many years, I have suggested to the Indian government to organise international religious conference in India. In 1956, an international Buddhist conference was held in Delhi and then Vice President S Radhakrishnan was the chairman of the committee," the Dalai Lama said.

He also said that people from Tibet have been seeking a mutually acceptable solution to the Tibetan issue with China since 1974 but Beijing considers him a "splittist" though he isn't one. The Tibetans were "open" to such a solution, while reiterating that he was not seeking Tibet's independence from China, he said. "In 1974, we decided to not seek independence and seek a mutually acceptable solution. And, in 1979, we established a direct contact with the Chinese government. So basically, our side is open," the Dalai Lama said. "I am not a splittist, but Chinese government considers me a splittist," he said.

So, the Chinese government "wants me to fight for Tibet's independence", he added in a lighter vein, drawing laughter from the audience. "Splittist" is a person who advocates separation from a larger body.

He said he preferred Tibet remaining with China, with "some kind of a reunion".

The Tibetan spiritual leader said, both sides can mutually benefit each other by harnessing their old links, and while China can help Tibet economically, Tibet can offer its knowledge to China. "China and Tibet have century-old ties, and through marriage also have very old links.
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