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"We Tibetans are looking for a legitimate and meaningful autonomy, an arrangement that would enable Tibetans to live within the framework of the People’s Republic of China."

Dal-roti, Nalanda make me a son of India: Dalai Lama

February 2, 2011

TNN, Jan 31, 2011, 03.11am IST

BANGALORE: That it was a Sunday morning did not deter people from
walking into St Joseph's College (autonomous) to listen to the Dalai
Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibetans. The entire place wore a look
of Tibet. The dais was decorated in the Tibetan style with pictures of
Lhasa andBuddha as the background. It was red and green all over. But
the Dalai Lama said: "I am a son of India."

Continuing on his theme India, he said: "Once a Chinese media person
asked me why I call myself a son of India. I told them my brain is
filled with Nalanda thought (Nalanda is an ancient centre of higher
learning). My body is built with Indian rice, dal and chapathi. I am
proud of it."

When he came on the dais, the students were in for a surprise. Happily
munching biscuits when offered, trying on a conical cap that was
presented to him and teasing some, he was so child-like in his
enthusiasm that he bowled over the gathering.

Clad in his signature maroon robe, he first paid homage to the Buddha's
photo. Then he greeted the crowd in his mother tongue but soon switched
over to English. "That was the formal part and now to the informal one,"
he said.
And the informal speech was peppered with some one-liners. Like when
asked about divorce, he said: "After all, we do not have much experience!"

He elaborated: "We Tibetans learn from Indians. Indians are our gurus
and we are chelas. And history shows we are good chelas." Asked how one
could control anger, he said laughing: "The day before yesterday, I lost
my temper. But my temper is like lightning, it comes and goes. If anger
remains, it turns into hatred. One life is not enough to completely
eliminate anger."

After praising the Christian 'brothers and sisters' for their
significant contribution in the field of education, he said that some
missionaries were engaged in conversion. This, when the management of St
Joseph's College was sharing the dais with him. "Some get converted to
Buddhism too," he said.

"I am straightforward. While praising all this while, I have been
critical too," he added as the crowd burst into laughter.
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