Dharamshala: “Freedom is essential. It is the foundation for development and without freedom, development is rigid,” said His Holiness the Dalai Lama during a virtual conversation with NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom on Wednesday.
The NBA player is lately recognised not for his talk about the basketball game but for his outspoken political voice against the human rights abuses in his Turkish homeland and lately against the rights violations committed by China.
In a tweet posted following his virtual conversation with the Tibetan spiritual leader, Enes Kanter has said he was deeply honoured for the virtual audience, and the support and friendship he shared with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
During their conversation, the NBA player asked His Holiness a series of questions involving freedom, refugee crisis, democracy etc.
When asked his views on the state of democracy in the world today, His Holiness asserted he completely supports democracy over totalitarianism and stated, “since birth, we have inherent rights to do what we want”.
When asked his views on some governments shutting down borders on refugees, His Holiness cited his own example as a Tibetan refugee and mentioned that his escape was the freedom guaranteed to him by the Indian government to preserve the Tibetan culture and identity which was not possible in Tibet under the Chinese occupation.
“I, for instance, was born in Tibet but became a refugee and currently live in India as a guest of the Indian government. Here, I am completely a free person” added His Holiness.
Lastly, Enes Freedom asked His Holiness’ advice for the young generation to which His Holiness said, “The young generation is our future. They have the opportunity to change the world. They should cultivate open-mindedness. There needs to be a tangible transformation in how modern education is taught. Modern education should promote a sense of oneness. We have to live together in harmony on this planet. I have always emphasised the oneness of 7 billion human beings. Another serious concern today is the issue of climate change which is our own creation. It is time we discard the narrow mindedness and think for the well-being of all sentient beings”.