A free press has an important role to play in keeping people of a country informed of the reality, Tibetan spiritual leader and Nobel peace laureate the Dalai Lama said on Wednesday.
“Since people are the real rulers of a country, people should be informed what is the reality and a free press can play a very important role to educate people,” the Dalai Lama said while delivering the annual Rajendra Mathur Lecture on “Importance of Independent Press and Ethics” organised by the Editors Guild of India here.
“The press should be clear about those things that concerned people or leaders or government try to hide and so, it is your responsibility to make it clear,” he said.
Stating that media should be honest and truthful, the Dalai Lama said that it should avoid the perception that it belonged to this party or that party and that it was doing biased reporting.
“Media should report truthfully, objectively. That is very essential,” he said, adding that media should educate people.
“Basic human nature is very compassionate. Media should give people confidence.”
The Dalai Lama also said that today’s need was to create a more compassionate society.
Stating that the world belonged to seven billion human beings and not to kings or queens or leaders, he said that people are the real boss of a country.
“The democratic system is the best system,” he asserted.
The Dalai Lama said that Tibet’s own government system had its drawbacks with power being in the hands of a few people.
“In 1950-51, I took responsibility and tried reforms but the Chinese leaders wanted reforms their own way,” he said.
He also credited India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru with laying the foundations for preserving the Tibetan culture after he and his followers took refuge in India in 1959.
He said that despite being the most populated country in the region, India has been the most stable nation compared to others like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
“India is the only country where all the world’s religions are living together,” the Tibetan spiritual leader said.
“Ahimsa and karuna are the combination of India’s 1,000-year-old tradition. But it is not enough. We need to educate inner values.”
Stressing the importance of education, the Dalai Lama also pointed out: “Buddha himself said not to follow his teachings out of faith but to investigate these first.”