I apologise: Dalai Lama after remark on Jawaharlal Nehru

Bengaluru, Aug 10 (PTI): Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Friday apologised for his statement that India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was “self-centred.”

On Wednesday, he had said Nehru had a “self-centred attitude” to become India’s first prime minister even though Mahatma Gandhi was in favour of Muhammad Ali Jinnah taking the top post at that time.

He had also claimed India’s partition would not have happened if Mahatma Gandhi’s wish of Jinnah becoming the prime minister had materialised.

“My statement has created a controversy. I apologise if I have said something wrong,” said the Dalai Lama, when he was asked by reporters to comment on what he meant by calling Nehru self-centred.

“I felt pity when I heard that Mahatma Gandhi was opposed to partition… There are more Muslims in India than in Pakistan, but past is past,” the Dalai Lama said.

Addressing an event at the Goa Institute of Management in Sankhalim town on Wednesday, he said, “I think it was a little bit self-centred attitude of Pandit Nehru that he should be the prime minister… Mahatma Gandhiji’s thinking, if it had materialised, then India, Pakistan would have been united,” he said.

“So Pandit Nehru, I know very well, (was a) very experienced person, very wise but sometimes mistake also happens,” he said.

Addressing a gathering at an event called ‘Thank You Karnataka’ to commemorate 60 years of Tibetan government in exile here today, the 83-year-old monk said Nehru fully supported creation of a Tibetan settlement.

Nehru insisted that they should have separate Tibetan school for preserving the Tibetan issue, he said.

“Immediately he set up a committee headed by the union education minister…at that time, we wrote to different states for the allocation of some land. The best sort of response came from the Mysore state. One major factor was late Nijalingappa, who extraordinarily showed concern for the Tibetan cause. He promised me he will support the Tibetan cause,” the Dalai Lama said.

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Comment on this article

  • Alphonso D'souza, Mumbai

    Sat, Aug 11 2018

    appears his voice has been bought. He made no sense in his talk. After gaining foothold in India at the courtesy of Nehru and other stalwarts, today he is ungratefully siding with people who did not even think of him in his needy hour.
    I had a lot of respect for him; now... he is like any other.

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • sunitha, UDUPI

    Sat, Aug 11 2018

    respected Dalia lama ji
    you should thank nehru
    if it was modi -i think you have heard of godhra....
    or you would be speaking sanskrit today.
    dont know if nehru or gandhi did a mistake
    but you really did one that will be recorded in history by speaking illogically

    DisAgree [1] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • Critic, Mangaluru

    Sat, Aug 11 2018

    He is the most influential Buddhist voice in the world. But his often outspoken languages made people to think negatively about him. We all knew how he was ignorant aginst rohingyas masscre in Myanmar.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [5] Reply Report Abuse

  • mohan, Mangalore

    Sat, Aug 11 2018

    It was Congress gave shelter to Dalai Lana when there was a war while tibate problems... and gave shelter to Tibetans in India... now millions of tibetins staying India because of neharu and Indira Gandhi legacy.... India has the rights to throw the Tibetans out of the country....
    This Dalai Lana must understand that..

    DisAgree [1] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Truth Teller, Karnataka

    Sat, Aug 11 2018

    Dalai Lama should not have said so! After all it's Nehru who gave shelter and treated better than Indians when they came to this country escaping from Chinese atrocities!

    DisAgree [1] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse

  • Raj, Mangalore

    Sat, Aug 11 2018

    Dalai Lama should remember he is a guest in India. It is bad form for a guest to meddle in the host country's politics.

    DisAgree Agree [11] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Sat, Aug 11 2018

    Next time be Careful ...

    DisAgree [2] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse


    Sat, Aug 11 2018

    Ketta mele buddhi banthu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Actually Nehru did so many blunder during his tenure, one of these is gave asylum to this Dalai Lama. This spiritual leader talking about peace, but mum on Myanmar (Burma) & Sri Lankan Buddhist atrocities!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

    In reality we can't blame him, we should blame those who gave him Nobel Prize for Peace!!!!!!.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [9] Reply Report Abuse


    Fri, Aug 10 2018

    Why every body is questioning Pt. Nehru.THE circumstances compel to decide about anything. And moreover if Pt. Nehru had decided ,it has gone in favour of INDIA otherwise that community problem would have been double what India is facing today

    DisAgree [2] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

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