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I am a son of India, Dalai Lama says at Gandhian event

November 23, 2009

November 22, 2009

New Delhi, November 22 -- His Holiness the Dalai
Lama today joined the closing day of the "Hind
Swaraj Centenary Commemoration International
Conference" that began on November 19 at Surajkund near the Indian capital.

The 74 year old Tibetan leader and Nobel laureate
was presented with an Action Plan drawn up to
create "Global Gandhian Movement for Swaraj” with
the international network of nonviolent
activists, thinkers, academics and social
activists. One of the main action plans was to
“train one hundred youth in the Gandhian practice
of nonviolence." The action aims to invite
activists from conflicts zones in various parts of the world.

His Holiness was also formally requested to lead
the Global Gandhian Movement. However the Tibetan
leader said, "You are the leader, I am only a
chela, a student of India. You are the boss,"
pointing at senior Gandhians in the audience.
Accepting the request His Holiness lauded the
efforts made by the Gandhians and said, "yes,
yes, I am very very much happy, you are doing such a good work."

More than a hundred Gandhians, social activists,
academics, thinkers, writers, social leaders from
around India and 18 different countries listened
to His Holiness as he spoke of India in great
respect and admiration. "India is the land of
religious harmony, so many different communities
live together here, practicing such diverse
religious traditions. My body is Tibet, but my
mind is India," His Holiness said. Pointing at
his bald head, he said , "Tibetan Buddhist
culture is from India. I am a son of India".

"India has exported nonviolence so much that
there is shortage today in India, like how
Buddhism has been exported to countries like
Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Japan, Korea, China
and Tibet, today there is hardly any Buddhism
left in India,” His Holiness pointed out.

Organizer Rajiv Vora of Swaraj Peeth said,
"reviewing our experiences of nonviolence of past
decades on the basis of our understanding of Hind
Swaraj, creating an action plan to walk on the path of Swaraj."

Translated into several Indian and foreign
languages, Mahatma Gandhi’s "Hind Swaraj" today
celebrates its 100th birthday. Reminding the
gathering of such similar events of
commemorations happening all over India,
chairperson of the organizing committee Dr Niru
Vora said, “while we celebrate this day, we
reflect upon the blessings of the book and the
rich legacy Gandhi left behind for us."

His Holiness also launched the second Tibetan
translation of Hind Swaraj. The first translation
was published by Amye Machen Tibetan research centre.

Prof UR Annanthamurty and Thailand’s Buddhist
leader and social activist Ajarn Sulak Sivaraksa
shared the stage with the exiled Tibetan leader.
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