Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama made a controversial statement on the situations that led to Indo-Pak separation and blamed Indian first Prime Minister Nehru for it.
Dalai Lama said that India and Pakistan would have been united as one single nation today if it were not for the self-centered attitude of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first PM.
He said, “When you look back in India, I think Mahatma Gandhiji was very much willing to give the post of PM to Muhammad Ali Jinnah, but Pandit Nehru refused. I think Pandit Nehru had a little bit of a self-centered attitude, ‘I should be the PM’. If Gandhiji’s thinking had materialized, then India and Pakistan would have remained united.”
“I knew Nehru very well personally and he was a very well experienced person otherwise. But sometimes mistakes also happen. So, ultimately the responsibility is on your own shoulders. Analyse, analyze. Then take a decision,” he added.
Jawaharlal Nehru was the Prime Minister in 1959 when the Dalai Lama escaped from Tibet and was given asylum in India. Many Tibetans followed him to India. “Then, the power of decision making was in the hands of a few people, which was more dangerous.” He expressed that the independence for Tibet is difficult though if freedom is achieved, only a part of Central Tibet would be free which is meaningless, he said.
The Dalai Lama said, “I am one of the admirers of the European Union. It is wonderful that they consider that common interest is more important than national sovereignty. The world is becoming smaller and smaller. So, there is a big question whether independent Tibet is in our interest or to remain within the People’s Republic of China with all the rights mentioned in the Chinese constitution is. That is practical and realistic.”
The spiritual leader gave the Nehru analogy, in response to a question from a student who sought to know from him, about how one can be sure-footed about one’s decisions and how to avoid committing mistakes in life. It was an interactive session held at the Goa Institute of Management in North Goa’s Sanquelim village, located nearly 30 km from Panaji.