When John Oliver, one of the wittiest men on the planet met his holiness the Dalai Lama, one of the most outspoken spiritual leaders, sparks were bound to fly, and their crackling chemistry was clearly visibly for the world to see in the latest ‘Last Week Tonight’ episode, where both the personalities came together in a hilarious yet insightful interview.
The British comedian recently flew to Dharamsala in Himachal Pradesh, where the Dalai Lama has lived in exile for more than five decades, to speak to him on issues ranging from his reincarnation to China.
When asked if it was likely that could be the very last Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader told Oliver it’s “very possible” even though he did not give a specific answer.
However, he was quick to give a definitive response when asked if he worries that China would appoint its own Dalai Lama, saying that “May I say so? That’s also, you say, one of the foolish acts. Short-sighted. Without using the human brain properly. It’s harmful. Our brain usually, you see, [has] the ability to create common sense. The Chinese hardliners, in their brains, that part of the brain is missing.”
A visibly amused Oliver responded to the powerful statement with his typical wit saying, “I’m happy to sit here to criticize China with you, because the consequences for me are not necessarily as bad as they are for you,” to which the Dalai Lama burst out laughing.
The interview also touched upon China’s perception of Dalai Lama, whom Oliver says they likely picture as an actual demon with horns.
“Whatever they want to say, that is their freedom. I have no negative feeling. I just feel love, like that. I practice, you see, taking others’ anger, suspicion, distrust and give them patience, tolerance and compassion. I practice that,” the Tibetan spiritual leader said in response.
However, the Dalai Lama’s infectious humor was on full display as he managed to stun Oliver with and anecdote from his life, where he said that during a visit to Mongolia he noticed a lot of people drinking vodka, so he suggested everyone drinks horse milk instead!
“Hold on, that is a huge claim! You cured Mongolia of alcoholism … using horse milk?” said a clearly flabbergasted Oliver, to which the Dalai Lama simply responded saying, “yes”.
The Dalai Lama had fled to India from Tibet in 1959 through Arunachal Pradesh, and has been running the Tibetan government-in-exile from Himachal Pradesh.
Beijing has on several counts repeated its displeasure over India inviting the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh in April, part of which China claims as its territory, and warned that his visit could result in a further straining of ties with New Delhi.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)