Jamia Islamia University likely to confer doctorate on Dalai Lama

NEW DELHI: Jamia Milia Islamia is likely to be allowed to give honorary doctorate to Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama. Jamia is going ahead with its preparations to confer the doctorate on November 23, highly placed sources said.

Jamia Millia Islamia University

Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao in her briefing said, “I would not like to comment now, but the matter is receiving our attention.” Before her interaction with reporters on Friday, Jamia Milia Islamia vice-chancellor Najeeb Jung spoke to Rao. Sources in the Jamia said,”We have been assured that the foreign ministry will take a positive look into the request.”Jamia sources also said, “We are dismayed with the reaction of the foreign ministry. The Dalai Lama’s presence in the campus would have made a positive impact on students.” A university official said, “The Dalai Lama has been given honorary doctorate by Banaras Hindu University, Jain Vishwa Bharati and nearly 10 more Indian universities. Why discriminate Jamia? At a time when one community is besieged, such a decision will send a wrong signal.”

Jamia officials are also expressing surprise that the China factor should influence such decisions. “Should we be so scared of China as to forget about our own country?” an official asked.

Official sources, however, said the final decision could still take a few weeks, the main reason being Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s scheduled meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of ASEAN summit later this month. Fearing a sharp response from Beijing, the government clearly does not want any awkward moment just ahead of the meeting, which is likely to take place on October 30.

Confirming the visit, Rao on Friday said there is enough space for two countries to grow together. Beijing lodged a strong protest after the recent “routine” meeting between the Dalai Lama and Singh. India continues to maintain that the Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader and its honoured guest. It has, however, always tempered that remark with the assertion that India recognises the Tibetan Autonomous Region as a part of the Chinese republic.

Read more:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Jamia-likely-to-confer-doctorate-on-Dalai-Lama-on-Nov-23/articleshow/6795178.cms Jamia likely to confer doctorate on Dalai Lama on Nov 23 – The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Jamia-likely-to-confer-doctorate-on-Dalai-Lama-on-Nov-23/articleshow/6795178.cms#ixzz13LgD8ySL