Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has over 90 lakh fans following him in cyberspace. Although not tech-savvy, the Dalai Lama, revered as a demi-god by his people and followers the world over, is quite a hit on social media sites Twitter and Facebook.
The phenomenal fan following is all the more significant as his private office, based in this northern Indian town, believes extensive use of social media helps in reaching out to the netizens worldwide.
As of September 10, the Dalai Lama’s Twitter account @DalaiLama rose to 50,80,571 followers against 20,75,807 on July 26, 2011 — or 30,04,764 followers added in just one year. Likewise, on Facebook Dalai Lama had 42,97,234 likes on September 10.
The social media accounts are managed by his team of technological experts, including his official photographer Tenzin Choejor. “A small team is managing the Twitter and Facebook accounts of His Holiness. We regularly tweet his inspirational teachings, discourses and tour programmes,” Choejor said. “Of course, it’s the best way to connect with your followers,” he added.
The Dalai Lama’s office says the Chinese scholars from Taiwan and Mainland China are regularly interacting with the spiritual leader on Facebook posts. It also helps in understanding his ‘middle-way’ policy for Tibet.
“The Facebook account has more than 40 lakh likes. We regularly post comments and replies to keep people following him updated with the latest happenings. The page has a touch of spirituality with quotations from the Dalai Lama’s books and speeches,” Choejor added. Even his forthcoming visits and lectures are posted on Facebook. His speeches are on his YouTube account.
The teachings of the Dalai Lama, the global face of the Tibetan exile movement, on ethics, non-violence, peace and religious harmony have made him one of 20th century’s most popular and revered figures.
In an interview to a TV channel, the 77-year-old pontiff, had said, “I don’t e-mail or use a computer, and still haven’t quite worked out how to use a mobile phone.”
It was in 1959 that the Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, whom China calls a separatist, fled Tibet after an anti-communist uprising. His government-in-exile, which never won recognition from any country, is based here.