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India should shun caste system: Dalai Lama

PTI | Dharamshala |

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Monday condemned the discriminating caste system in India, saying it should be discontinued.

Interacting briefly with over 1,000 foreign tourists at the Tsuglagkhang courtyard here, he expressed admiration at the secular nature of India’s thousands of years tradition which respects all religious traditions.

“India is home to all of the world’s major religious traditions and also respects non-believers. This is really wonderful and something to be proud of,” he said.

The Dalai Lama said the inner peace was the basis of self-confidence and that children should be taught about inner values and moral principles through a secular approach in schools instead of self-centered attitude.

The Nobel Peace Laureate also emphasised the importance of Tibetan language and said it was the only language that has preserved India’s ancient knowledge.

“The rich ancient knowledge of Nalanda is lost to the world now. However, due to the painstaking effort of the Tibetan translators, this knowledge is now available only in the Tibetan language. Therefore, the preservation and study of Tibetan language are crucial.”

He said modern education focuses too much on the minor differences such as nationality, faith and economic conditions.

The Dalai Lama escaped from Tibet to India in March 1959. The Tibetan administration in exile is based in the north Indian hill town of Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh.