DHARAMSHALA: Dehra MLA and former minister Ravinder Singh Ravi said on Saturday that Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama shifting to his new abode in Karnataka from McLeodganj will hit tourism in the state.
"Dalai Lama had put Himachal on the world map. His moving out will hit tourism badly, which would affect revenue of the state," the former minister said at Palampur.
"The cricket stadium here would serve the tourism purpose to some extent. It attracts thousands of cricket admirers from across the world during matches, but state government is bidding to spoil this. It has failed to foresee as to what will be left in this hill city, if Dalai Lama would not be there," said Ravi, lambasting the state government for initiating vigilance inquiries against Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association.
The Dalai Lama had fled from China in 1959 with 80,000 Tibetans and took asylum in McLeodganj near here -- his exile home since then. The 78-year-old spiritual leader is apparently shifting to Tibetan settlements in south India, which are larger and well organized places in comparison to this exile hamlet. Once that happens, McLeodganj might become his temporary residence, hitting the prospects of this hill station, sources said.
Major teachings by the Buddhist leader, which draw thousands of foreign tourists, have already been shifted to southern parts of the country. The residence of the Dalai Lama has already come up in a Tibetan settlement in Mysore, sources said here. However, Dalai Lama has not expressed his stand on shifting from McLeodganj so far.
Tibetan activists here revealed that teachings of the Dalai Lama have been shifted to the south Indian settlements from McLeodganj due to lack of proper space and basic amenities here. "If 3,000 monks, along with followers from different countries, converge at McLeodganj, the situation would become very complicated here. It seems the authorities are neglecting the factual situation here," said a Tibetan, requesting anonymity.
When contacted, Tenzin Takla, private secretary to Dalai Lama, confirmed that a residence for the spiritual leader has already come up in Mysore.
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All things considered, I think McLeodganj is rather cramped. HHDL gives public teachings and Namgyal isn't really able to accommodate the crowds so well. Some people have to sit upstairs or downstairs and watch a TV monitor.