Washington, Feb 20 : India may be lagging behind China economically, but its free and democratic society will eventually enable it to have far more influence in the world than its Communist neighbour, believes the Dalai Lama.
The Tibetan spiritual leader preferred India’s democracy, transparency and independent judiciary over China’s massive economic prowess, which he said was not enough to bring a "genuine" and "happy society".
He said this when asked which country, according to him, will have greater influence in the world in the years ahead -- a democratic India or a Communist China -- after accepting the prestigious Democracy Service Medal from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) at the historic Library of Congress at the Capitol Hill.
Rebuking the Chinese leadership for losing touch with real socialism, the Dalai Lama said it is India which will have greater influence in the world even if it is currently behind China as far as economic development is concerned.
India has "democracy, (is) transparent and has free information, open society and independent judiciary," which was not the case with China, he said, describing Manmohan Singh as a "saintly Prime Minister".
"So these are very much lacking in People’s Republic of China, unfortunately. So the hardliner Communist leadership, they do not see the holistic picture in order to bring genuine, happy society," he noted.
The 74-year old Nobel peace Prize winner said in countries like the US and India, even Prime Ministers and Presidents were accountable to the judiciary.
In China, however, "you can’t imagine... the leader should go to court. Court is Party’s court. Army also Party’s army. But name very beautiful: People’s Army. People’s government. People’s Republic. But actually, no people, no public. Only officials. Only party member," he said.
Highly appreciative of Manmohan Singh, the Dalai Lama described him as a saintly prime minister.
"Sometimes I describe him as a saintly prime minister. (He is) very nice. His record (is) very clean. His face also looks like saint," the Dalai Lama said.
Criticising the Chinese leadership, he said the leaders do not care about Marxist socialism, but only capitalism, and think nothing but making money.
"Actually, today China’s Communist Party is a Communist Party without a Communist ideology," he said.