Two-third Indians acknowledge Dalai Lama as country’s eminent spiritual figure
New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) Around two-third of Indians acknowledge Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama as an important cultural and spiritual influencer here, according to the IANS C-Voter Tibet Pall.
In the survey, which included a sample size of 3,000 people spread across the country, 68.5 per cent of the respondents agreed that the Dalai Lama has played a significant role in reviving ancient Indian culture.
The survey suggested that a huge chunk of the population considers the Dalai Lama as an Indian spiritual leader, and not as a foreigner.
The spiritual leader found more acceptance among the female respondents with around 66 per cent of them agreeing to the query posed.
The 14th Dalai Lama also remained most popular in the age group of respondents above 55 years with 68.5 per cent of them concurring with the query asked in the survey.
The survey outlined that the Dalai Lama has garnered more approval as an Indian religious icon among upper caste Hindus. Around 70 per cent of the respondents belonging to this group voted in favour of him.
However, the survey also found that the Dalai Lama’s popularity reached only half the population of Muslims with only 55 per cent of them agreeing upon reckoning his identity as a spiritual leader simultaneous to Tibet here.
Surprisingly, the Northeast region, which seems to be the most influenced by the Buddhist culture, least recognises the Dalai Lama as India’s spiritual icon, as compared to other regions of the country with 57 per cent of the respondents approving him as an important cultural and spiritual influencer in India, as per the survey.
However, the respondents from the Western part of the country gave the Dalai Lama an approval of 68 per cent. As per the 2011 Census, the region with the highest Buddhist population in the country was Maharashtra, which falls in the Western part of India.
The findings of the survey have suggested contradictory outcomes. On one hand, it could be considered a great achievement of assimilation, but on the other hand it also tells that not being aggressive on the China front has diluted the Tibetan brand identity of the Dalai Lama.