"India has a long tradition of relations with Tibet and its dharma gurus (religious leaders). India should not change its political path. India is the land of Gautam Buddha and the land of Mahatma Gandhi," said Rijiju.

The minister of state for home affairs also said it was the Bharatiya Janata Party-led NDA government that decided to declare Buddha Jayanti a national holiday.

Rijiju was addressing the Tibetan community at the Palpung Sherabling Monastery on the occasion of Guru Padma Sambhava maha puja.

Veteran BJP leader and former chief minister Shanta Kumar was also present on the occasion."After we formed the government last year, we declared Buddha Jayanti as a national holiday.

"Indians and Tibetans have a spiritual relationship. Guru Padma Sambhava went to Tibet and at a later day, Buddhism returned to India in its purest form," said Rijiju.

Rijiju further stressed the role of religious leaders in containing the threat of violence faced by society. "Only the government and the security forces cannot stop violence. We have to depend on the dharma gurus to spread the message of peace," he added.

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