Jamia Milia Islamia might 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.
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 Banarus 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.”
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 Jiabo on the sidelines of ASEAN summit later this month.[Source: Times of India]