In a sensational statement, the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has claimed that Nehru was self-centered and thus opposed Mahatma Gandhi’s wish to make Jinnah the first PM of India.
Dalai Lama on Wednesday claimed that both India and Pakistan would have been a single country if former Prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru would not have been self-centered.
Dalai Lama said,” Mahatma Gandhi wanted to give the prime ministership to (Mohammad Ali) Jinnah. But Nehru refused. He was self-centered. He said, “I wanted to be Prime Minister’. India and Pakistan would have been united (had Jinnah been made Prime Minister at the time). Pandit Nehru is very experienced. But mistakes do happen.”
Dalai Lama further said, “India has a culture deeply rooted in tradition and knowledge. The land of ahimsa is a cauldron of traditional knowledge includes the art of meditation, compassion, secularism and more.”
In a sensational statement, the Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has claimed that Nehru was self-centered and thus opposed Mahatma Gandhi’s wish to make Jinnah the first PM of India. HW News brings you reactions from experts and across party lines.
Sheshadri Chari, BJP NEC:
“According to some unpublished documents, it is true there was a proposal which was made to Mahatma Gandhi that Muhammad Ali Jinnah should be made the first PM of India but both Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru did not accept this proposal and this proposal was unfortunately dismissed. I am saying unfortunately because had this proposal been considered seriously in all likelihood Muhammad Jinnah would have settled for the Prime ministership rather than partition, in which case this entire issue of Jammu & Kashmir would not have been the reason at all. “
But that apart earlier documents also indicate that Jinnah was not interested in becoming the Prime Minister but he wanted a country of his own. In case Jinnah’s proposal was taken seriously the only saving grace would have been that Jinnah did not even leave for one year after partition which means India would have been in all likelihood had a new Prime Minister in 1949 but the fact that this issue has been raised by a prominent figure like Dalai Lama is also very important.”
“So it is impeccable from the point of view of the current issue of Tibet there are a number of groups within Tibet and one of the group which is demanding independence of Tibet is of the view that India’s cosying up to China from 1947 to 1957 was one of the main reasons why China was emboldened to occupy Tibet. Since the Dalai Lama has raised this issue now it is important for the historians to go into the details of all this fact and bring out the truth and rewrite the history of partition.”
Nawab Malik, NCP Spokesperson:
“Whether the statement is true or not nobody can say, this can be his personal view, no historical evidence proves of such an instance happening in the history. First of all, he is not an India though he has been granted the citizenship of the country. This instance that he commented on, does he have any evidence to back this statement? I certainly don’t think so.”
Madhav Bhandari, BJP Spokesperson:
“What Dalai Lama has said he has expressed his own views and opinion based on the information that he is versed with. He is definitely free to express his own views and if he is making such a controversial statement that it’s a matter of historians to check it.”
Shehzad Poonawalla, Political Commentator:
“I think the Dali Lama who was given shelter in India by Jawaharlal Nehru and who has spent decades in this country has a lot of experience in terms of understanding, seeing and knowing what kind of a person Nehru was. If he is saying that Mr. Nehru put his personal ambitions above national interest and that it was his mistake that led to the partition of India or else India could have been united if Mahatma Gandhi’s advice would have been followed. I think it is time for us, for the nation to collectively accept that yes our first PM perhaps not hide but had tried to erase those mistakes. This must be incorporated history textbook and other platforms and modes. So future generation knows exactly what transpired in those days. They must not be given a whitewashed version of history where only one family is celebrated.”
Al Nasser Zakaria, Congress Spokesperson:
“Basically, there is no historical facts to prove that Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was any way remotely responsible for partition. It is an empirical truth and a universal truth that the theory of partition was mooted by none other than Muslim League under the leadership of Mohammed Ali Jinnah. So Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru or the Congress party was nowhere connected with partition. In fact, we espoused the unity and integrity of the nation. So from where his highness Dalai Lama came up with the imagination.”