of the great religions of the world: Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama Tuesday hailed Islam as one of the great religions
of the world, saying true jihad was about fighting "negative
emotions" within oneself.
Speaking after receiving an honorary Doctor of Letters (D. Litt)
degree from Delhi's Jamia Millia
The Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of six millions Tibetans and
a global icon of peace and inter-faith harmony, was Tuesday
conferred an honorary doctorate by Delhi's Jamia Millia Islamia, a
government-funded central university with a 90-year-old rich
history. The Jamia is the first Indian university to confer an
honorary degree on the spiritual leader.
The honour that had the nod of the Indian government was conferred
on the Nobel Peace laureate after the Human Resource Development
Ministry's proposal on the matter was cleared by the Ministry of
The proposal was earlier held up by the government as it feared it
might upset China which calls the Dalai Lama a separatist.
Religious tolerance and peace were the messages which echoed as
university Vice Chancellor Najeeb Jung awarded the 'Doctor of
Letters' (D.Litt) degree to the Dalai Lama in the presence of
Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal and thousands of
students and members of the faculty, besides diplomats and leading
lights, at the university campus.
"I feel highly honoured to get this degree from an Islamic
university. One of my main concerns is religious harmony," the
Dalai Lama said after receiving the degree.
The citation presented on the occasion to the Dalai Lama said "Jamia
Millia Islamia honours His Holiness, the fourteenth Dalai Lama of
Tibet, one of the most respected figures and teachers of our
times, who stands for rationality, humanism, non-violence, peace
and universal benevolence."
Addressing the students, the Dalai Lama gave the message of making
the 21st century a century of peace.
"The 20th century was a century of bloodshed, but nothing was
achieved out of that bloodshed. The 21st century must be a century
of peace and you will shape it," he said adding that education
should go along with morals and ethics to achieve this aim.
Sibal congratulated the university for honouring the Dalai Lama in
"keeping with its secular traditions".
Emphasising on the value of higher education, Sibal said that the
future of India depended on its education sector.
"India will emerge as the international hub for education and what
the BPO and IT sectors are today for India, education will be in
2010," he said to loud cheers from the students.
Speaking on the occasion, Najeeb Jung said that the Dalai Lama was
one of the biggest propagators of inter-faith dialogue and a true
inheritor of Mahatma Gandhi's message of peace and non-violence.
"If there is any one who has stood for the power of non-violent
persuasion in the contemporary world, who has restored our faith
in relevance of moral critique, it is His Holiness," Jung said.
Talking about the university, Jung highlighted that the founders
envisioned Jamia as an institution to bring Muslims as partners in
"The Jamia envisioned by Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar, Dr. M.A.
Ansari, and Dr. Zakir Hussain, was a pioneering teaching
institution that would make Muslims full partners in the great
project that is Indian pluralism," he said.
The Dalai lama also hailed Islam saying that few mischievous
elements were bringing a bad name to it.
"I defend Islam, due to few mischievous people, Islam is getting a
bad name," the Dalai Lama said.
Thousands of students attended the annual convocation of the
university - described as the "creme de la creme of our central
universities" by Sibal - where 3,529 degrees and diplomas, 127
Ph.D. degrees and 147 gold medals were awarded.
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students shouldn't fall into communal trap: Najeeb Jung
Calling for caution after anonymous letters with communal
overtones were distributed on campus, Najeeb Jung, vice chancellor
of Jamia Millia Islamia, says he has taken a serious note of the
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daily said in an editorial