Speaking at the second edition of the Indian Student Parliament, the largest gathering of student leaders from across the country organised by MAEER's MIT School of Government, the Dalai Lama urged the youth to join politics in order to bring change and weed out corruption.
A genuine appeal to Gen Y: Dalai Lama addresses the youth at the
second Indian Student Parliament at MIT yesterday. Pic/Krunal Gosavi
The January 10-12 event was organised at Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT) at Kothrud. "Years ago, I was told by my advisors not to get involved in Indian political scene, which they said was 'dirty', but I told them that politics is not dirty. It's because the people in politics are not very healthy therefore it looks dirty. Dirty politics must change and it is only today's youth who can change it," said the Tibetan spiritual leader while addressing nearly 8,000 students from across the country.
The Dalai Lama said that it was the responsibility of the youth to build a better country and solve problems through dialogue. "India has the potential to inspire peace within itself, but only if its leaders would look beyond their area of interest. The real transformation of life should begin in rural areas where education, health and infrastructure need to be developed. If that happens, I am sure India will one day lead the world," he said.
Emphasising on the promotion of human values and non-violence, Dalai Lama said that a calm mind is a source of happiness, and only if one has compassion for others their physical, verbal and mental actions will become non-violent. "But the Indian parliamentary scene is pretty different where leaders and speakers always have something to say against the government. The environment in the Chinese parliament is very hostile," he stated.
Urging all the political parties and spiritual leaders to take initiative to promote non-violence and religious values, he said that there are parts of India's tradition and can be spread only via education. "India is a land there were hundreds of religions - even before Buddhism and Jainism - that preached non-violence. And even when other foreign religions, including Islam Judaism, etc, which prospered here, propagated harmony and non-violence," he said.
Asked if religious norms should be compromised, he said, "I was shocked when a businessman and a student told me that it's difficult to survive without corruption. It's amusing to see corrupt people praying to their Gods. You either pray or be corrupt, but you can't be both," he said.
Dignitaries at the event
Some of the sessions at the event were addressed by world and national leaders like Dalai Lama, Chief Ministers Prithviraj Chavan, Nitish Kumar (Bihar) and Omar Abdullah (Jammu & Kashmir), Union Ministers Shashi Tharoor and Ajay Maken, former Chief Election Commissioner T N Seshan and Liam Burns, president, National Union of Students, UK, among others.