Dalai Lama says his thought process is Indian as he's a follower of Nalanda tradition of Buddhism

"Even though physically my body is Tibetan, mentally I have been nourished by the Nalanda tradition which is a thousand years old," he said.
The Dalai Lama (File photo | PTI)
The Dalai Lama (File photo | PTI)

DHARAMSALA: His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama has been living in India for over six decades now and says that he is a follower of the Nalanda tradition.

"Most of my life I have spent in India. Even though physically my body is Tibetan, mentally I have been nourished by the Nalanda tradition which is a thousand years old. I am a Nalanda practitioner - which is an Indian tradition and I have kept the Indian thought," he told The New Indian Express.

Speculation is rife on whether the Dalai Lama will announce his successor on his 90th birthday, which falls on July 6, 2025. The day is going to be observed as international peace day.

There are close to 83,000 Tibetan refugees in India and Nepal (nearly 73,000 live in India now). However, after the Galwan clashes, the inflow of Tibetan refugees to India is down to a trickle, less than 100 a year. There are nearly 1.4 lakh Tibetans living in exile across the world.

Tibetans in exile have been having back-channel talks with the Chinese during the past two years. "We have back-channel communications with the Chinese, but we have no immediate expectation in the short term," Penpa Tsering, political leader and head of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), also known as Sikyong, told The New Indian Express.

Between 2002 and 2010, nine rounds of talks were held between the Tibetans in exile and China but there was no outcome.

Tibetans in China are being repressed, specially those who have families in exile, according to the CTA, which also alleges that China spreads disinformation. Transnational repression is being followed by China extensively which has made everyone live in fear, it says.

"In China everyone is literally reduced to a barcode and every move and transaction is monitored, families of refugees become natural suspects. Tibetan children are forcibly taken to study in Chinese boarding schools," said the CTA.

"We follow the Middle Path and have been advocating the Tibet issue internationally," said Norzin Dolma, Minister, CTA.

A Tibetan refugee, who currently lives in Nepal, says that nearly all Tibetan refugees in Nepal are being monitored and are under surveillance due to the increasing influence of China on Nepal.

"We are scared to talk or communicate freely, as Chinese officials spring up from literally anywhere in Nepal," a Tibetan refugee from Nepal told The New Indian Express.

While Tibetans in exile haven't given up dreaming of regaining lost ground, the realities as of now in Tibet are challenging and harsh for the six million people living there.

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