New Delhi, June 28: Buddhist spiritual guru Dalai Lama stoked a row during a recent televised interview, when he claimed that a female successor to him is possible, but she should be "attractive". The controversial remarks were made by him while speaking to BBC South Asia correspondent Rajini Vaidyanathan.
Notably, Dalai Lama had drawn flak four years ago on a similar question asked to him another journalist. The top monk had then said that a female successor to him, if appointed, would be useful only if she is beautiful. "Should be very attractive, otherwise not much use," he was then quoted as saying. Dalai Lama Says Indian Muslims Can Set an Example of Religious Harmony for World
Vaidyanathan, while interviewing the 84-year-old in Dharamshala earlier this week, asked him to explain his remarks of 2015 which had triggered a row.
The spiritual leader, while conceding that he stands by his remark, stressed that "inner beauty" is the real beauty but added that outward appearance also holds an equivalent prominence for human beings.
Watch Video of Dalai Lama's Controversial Remark:
This was perhaps the most surprising moment in the interview. I asked the Dalai Lama if he stood by his earlier comment that if his successor was female, she should be attractive.
— Rajini Vaidyanathan (@BBCRajiniV) June 27, 2019
On being asked whether he is objectifying women through his remarks, Dalai Lama refused, claiming that he is only pointing out that a leader will not be able to appeal to his devotees with a "dead or unattractive face".
In the interview with BBC, Dalai Lama also spoke on a range of other topics, including his support to gender equality and opposition to United States President Donald Trump. He also clarified over his "Europe for Europeans" remark, claiming that he is not opposed to immigration but wants the migrant community to learn and return to contribute for development of their home-nations.