(TibetanReview.net, Dec30, 2017) – Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, was on Dec 28 honoured for outstanding efforts in building bridges and promoting peace at an inaugural inter-religious conference held at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. He was presented with the Syedna Qutbuddin Harmony Prize at the conference attended by leaders from various religious traditions.
The award was instituted in memory of the 53rd Da’i al-Mutlaq, leader of the Dawoodi Bohra, a sect within the Ismaili branch of Shia Islam and whose followers mainly reside in the western cities of India besides Pakistan, Yemen and East Africa. It is awarded annually to honour an individual or organisation whose work has had an exceptional impact in promoting harmony and peace in India as well as globally.
The intern-religious conference was organised by the Qutbi Jubilee Scholarship Program and the Centre of Arabic and African Studies of the JNU. Those who attended it included Syedna Taher Fakhruddin (who presented the award), poet and Jain leader Acharya Dr Lokesh Muni, philosopher and Hindu leader Shri Gaurgopal Das, Head of the Jewish community of Delhi Rabbi Ezekiel Isaac Malekar, Sikh leader Sardar Manjit Singh, the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic of Delhi, and former Chief Justice of India Mr Ahmadi.
“All religious traditions have the potential to produce warm-hearted people, but unless we are sincere, it’s all too easy for religion to be further grounds for thinking in terms of ‘us’ and ‘them’,” the Dalai Lama said in his acceptance speech.
The Dalai Lama also spoke about the role of inner peace for promoting harmony which he said could be brought about with emotional hygiene. “The cultivation of inner beauty – of being able to smile and show trust and concern for others – is crucial. As social animals we need friends, but we don’t make friends through fear and anger. It’s by showing genuine concern for others’ well-being that we earn their trust and trust, which is the basis for friendship,” he said.