BBC Journalist Rajini Vaidyanathan interviewed Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama is yet again at the centre of a controversy because of as statement he made about a potential female successor, whom he said, should be “more attractive”.

The Buddhist spiritual leader was speaking to BBC News journalist Rajini Vaidyanathan when he was asked about the possibility of a woman successor to him.

“If female Dalai Lama comes, then she should be more attractive. (Otherwise) people I think prefer not (to) see her, that face,” he told Vaidyanathan.


The journalist was quick to point out that women would be offended that his comments amount to objectifying them and “it’s about who you are inside” rather than outside.

However, she said that the spiritual leader cited that Buddhist literature consider both inner and outer beauty matter. He also said that equality was important and stressed that he supported women’s rights and equal pay in the workplace.

In the video posted by Vaidyanthan, he is seen saying, “Real beauty is inner beauty; that’s true. But (as) we’re human being(s), I think the appearance (is) also important.”

His comments invited a lot of flak in the social media.

The Dalai Lama had made a similar comment in 2015, when he told the BBC that he was open to the idea of a woman Dalai Lama in future, but she would have to be good looking or would be “not much use.”

During the interview, the Dalai Lama also spoke up against US President Donald Trump and his “lack of moral principle”. He lamented Trump’s idea of “America first”, while calling on the US to take global responsibility.

On the question of Brexit, he suggested that Europe should be kept for Europeans. However, he did suggest that Europe “should give them (refugees) education and training and then aiming is return to their own lands (sic)”.

When Vaidyanathan asked if refugees who wanted to stay back should be allowed to, he said, “Limited number okay. The whole Europe (will) eventually become Muslim country (otherwise)? Impossible. Or African country? Also impossible.”

The comments by the Nobel Peace Prize winner created a furore on Twitter, with many users questioning the “irony” in his statement since he is a refugee himself.


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