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'Tibetans to decide if they need institution of Dalai Lama'

Press Trust of India  |  Guwahati 

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama today said it was for Tibetan people to decide whether the institution of the Dalai Lama will remain and whether a female will ascend to the post or not.

"The question of the next Dalai Lama will arise after my death and if the Tibetan people feel there is no need to keep the tradition any more, then it can be done away with and there is nothing unusual about that," he said after an interfaith conclave on Peace and Religious Harmony organised on the first day of his two-day visit here.

The spiritual leader said that "the fact the very institution should continue or not depends on the Tibetan people and if the majority feels at any time that it is not relevant, it will go."

Asked whether there was a possibility of a female Dalai Lama in the future, the spiritual leader said, "Oh yes, certainly! If circumstances are such that a majority feel there is need for a female Dalai Lama, then there is no problem with that."

On a lighter note, he said, "The female Dalai Lama must be very, very attractive. Then more and more people will come to listen to her."

The spiritual leader said that he was against the selection of the Dalai Lama in the traditional way and in the future no Dalai Lama would have political authority.

"I had appealed and suggested to my fellow Tibetans that they should choose and elect their political leader and, in 2011 I handed over my political authority, completely retiring from politics," he said.

"In future, the Dalai Lama will not be involved in politics but will remain the temporal and spiritual guide," he added.

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First Published: Sat, February 01 2014. 17:20 IST