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From the BBC World Service Heart and Soul series

For over 50 years, the Dalai Lama has been the unifying force for Tibet's Buddhists, both in Tibet itself and for Tibetans living in exile, in India and elsewhere. He has also been a figurehead of the campaign for freedom for Tibet, and a thorn in the side of the Chinese government, who accuse him of wanting to split China and stirring up ethnic strife between Tibetans and Han Chinese. Now the Nobel Peace Prize winner has decided to step down from his political role.

Tinku Ray goes to Dharamsala in Northern India, where the Dalai Lama lives, to meet the 75-year-old and find out why he feels it is time to pass on his political powers into new hands. She also finds out what he makes of the possibility that the Chinese authorities might set up a Dalai Lama of their own choosing after his death, and hears how the man who boasts more than 1.5 million followers on Twitter has embraced the world of social media.

Listen to the programme audio here.