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The Editors | 03.26.08

Books

Holy Man: What does the Dalai Lama actually stand for?

Pankaj Mishra,New Yorker [Read the Review]

Holy Man: What does the Dalai Lama actually stand for?
“’The more he gave himself to the world,’ Iyer writes, the more Tibetans have come to feel ‘like natural children bewildered by the fact that their father has adopted three others.’ …Avidly embracing the liberating ideas of the secular metropolis, the Dalai Lama resembles the two emblematic types who have shaped the modern age, for better and for worse—the provincial fleeing ossified custom and the refugee fleeing totalitarianism. Even so, his critics may have a point: the Dalai Lama’s citizenship in the global cosmopolis seems to come at a cost to his dispossessed people… It is hard to see the Dalai Lama bringing about mutual understanding in the world at large when he has failed to bring it about between China and Tibet.”
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TOPICS:    buddhists | china | dalailama | exile | tibet
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