Dharamshala — "Under leadership of Xi Jinping, I think economy and many things happened. One significant thing is he is courageously fighting corruption. So I think, same party, generally same ideology but in reality, according new circumstances, things are changing. I am always optimistic, things are changing. Over past sixty years, there have been much change and still changing,” His Holiness the Dalai Lama said, expressing his hope for change in China and Tibet.
In transit from Southern India to his residence in Dharamshala, His Holiness the Dalai Lama stopped in Delhi on May 24th, where he attended ‘Express Adda’, a series of informal interactions organized by The Indian Express Group. His Holiness the Dalai Lama expressed his optimism about the Tibetan issue in light of the changes taking place in China.
“Things are changing. Through Chairman Mao’s era, Deng Xiaoping era, Jiang Zemin era, Hu Jintao and now Xi Jinping, it is same party and same system but lot of change took place. Particularly during Deng’s era, they follow more market oriented economy. As a result, huge gap between rich and poor. Jiang Zemin’s three represents theory of not only working class people, but cultural and educated people. So therefore things are changing,” the Dalai Lama said to a question on the possible resolution of Tibet's issue.
"Under leadership of Xi Jinping, I think economy and many things happened. One significant thing is he is courageously fighting corruption. So I think, same party, generally same ideology but in reality, according new circumstances, things are changing. I am always optimistic, things are changing. Over past sixty years, there have been much change and still changing,” the Nobel laureate said.
Speaking on the much debated issue of his reincarnation, the Dalai Lama said that China’s interest and assertion of authority in the matter stemmed out of political motivations and do not carry weight. The Dalai Lama jested that Communist leaders should find incarnations of prominent leaders such as Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping before they lay claim over the issue of his reincarnation.
His Holiness mentioned his commitment to promoting inter-religious harmony and spoke of the inspiration he takes from the example of India, which has shown down the centuries that religions can live amicably side by side. He also disclosed that 40 years ago he urged monasteries and nunneries without programs of study to initiate them. One consequence of this has been that a group of 20 nuns were recently awarded Geshe-ma degrees, equivalent to doctorates, after more than 20 years rigorous study.
He compared this to reforms he has introduced in relation to democracy. He failed to achieve reform in Tibet because of Chinese obstruction. However, from the 60s onwards in exile democratic practices have been introduced culminating in an elected leadership that enabled His Holiness to retire from political responsibility in 2011.
He outlined the introduction of Buddhism to Tibet when the Emperor, Trisong Detsen, despite his links to China, decided to invite an Indian master, Shantarakshita to come and teach.
“Shantarakshita was a great philosopher and logician and he taught us to be like him. He initiated study of the works of such Indian masters as Nagarjuna, Aryadeva and Chandrakirti. Consequently, India truly was Tibet’s guru. The 14th century Tibetan master Je Tsongkhapa said that although Tibet was the Land of Snow, until the coming of the light from India, Tibet had remained dark.”