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I think Pandit Nehru was a bit self-centred: Dalai Lama

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New Delhi: Reminiscing the time of partition in India, the fourteenth Dalai Lama said that he thinks Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was a bit-self centred but a very experienced and wise person. He also said that India would have remained a united country if Jinnah had become the first prime minister but sometimes mistakes happen.

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Addressing people at an event organised by Goa Institute of Management to kick off its silver jubilee celebrations, “Mistakes always happen. Now, look at India. I think Mahatma Gandhi ji was very much willing to give prime ministership to Jinnah. But Pandit Nehru refused. I think Pandit Nehru’s was a little bit self-centred.”

“Pandit Nehru, I know very well, was a very experienced person, very wise, but sometimes mistakes happen.”

The Dalai Lama, living in exile in India since he fled Chinese forces in 1959. “I had a lot of discussion with Nehru. On one occasion, Nehru told me that America will not go to war with China to liberate Tibet… And, he told me that sooner or later you will have to discuss the issue with the Chinese government. So in 1974, we decided not to seek independence. But history is history,” the Dalai Lama said.

“I am one of the admirers of the European Union. They think they consider common interest is more important than national sovereignty… So that’s very practical, very realistic… We had to consider whether separate, independent (Tibet) will be more beneficial or remaining in the People’s Republic of China…”

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“So, therefore, from our side, we are open. But Chinese officials still consider me a separatist. But, all over the world those with some knowledge of Tibet they know that we are not seeking independence,” he added.

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