Dharamsala: Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar on Saturday felicitated Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama with the Gandhi Mandela Award at a ceremony in this Himachal Pradesh town.
The award, constituted by the Gandhi Mandela Foundation, is in recognition of promoting the values and ideals of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela in the interest of global peace and freedom.
The award serves to recognise the global leaders who inspire citizens for peace, unity and freedom.
On the occasion, the Dalai Lama said, “Non-violence and compassion are essential for world peace and both these principles have been ingrained in Indian culture for thousands of years”.
“Any problem can’t be solved in war but through dialogue and peace,” he said, adding for world peace “we have to adopt non-violence and compassion. Both these principles are the guiding force of existence”.
He thanked the foundation for bestowing the award on him.
The Governor said His Holiness “is perhaps the most deserving person in the world today for this award as he is a universal ambassador of peace and his honour is to carry forward Indian culture and ideas”.
He said he was fortunate to have got the opportunity to honor the Dalai Lama.
Arlekar said the Dalai Lama has given two principles — non-violence and compassion, which are required in today’s time as it is more effective than the power of the Army.
“Our culture has a sense of goodwill, compassion and love towards others and it has been running for thousands of years, which the Dalai Lama has done the work of taking forward,” he said.
Congratulating the Gandhi Mandela Foundation, the Governor said by giving the award to the Dalai Lama he has taken forward “our thousand-year-old culture in a true sense”.
He said after Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, His Holiness Dalai Lama has the potential to become a world citizen as he is not a person bound by borders.
Earlier, Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Jury Chairman and Former Chief Justice of India, said the spiritual leader is the saviour of the large community and the younger generation must follow the teachings of His Holiness Dalai Lama.
He said the Dalai Lama is a great leader and the foundation felt honoured to choose him for the Gandhi Mandela Award.
Justice Gyan Sudha Misra, Jury Vice-Chairman and former Supreme Court judge, said His Holiness showed the path of peace to the whole world. “We are facing the unrest in the world but, at that time Dalai Lama-ji preaches peace which tells us that peace is not outdated but it finds the way out.”
Foundation national president, G.M.F. Shyam Jaju, proposed a vote of thanks.
For India, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, 87, is a symbol of Buddhism, also a revered guest not just of India but of its citizens.
A Nobel laureate and a promoter of peace and religious harmony in the world, the Dalai Lama is one of the respected religious leaders.
The Dalai Lama, along with many of his supporters, fled the Himalayan homeland and took refuge in India when Chinese troops moved in and took control of Lhasa in 1959.