In a huge embarrassment for the Congress and the Nehru-Gandhi family, Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama has come down heavily on the first prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. Responding to the questions of students from Goa Institute of Management students at Sakhali, 30 km from Panaji, he highlighted how Nehru’s errors and mistakes have costed India dearly. The Dalai Lama went on to claim that India and Pakistan would have remained united as a nation implying thereby that the tragic partition could have been averted but for the “self-centred attitude” of India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Dalai Lama was a keynote speaker on the subject “Today’s Relevance of India’s Ancient Knowledge” organised as part of the celebrations hosted by the Goa Institute of Management, which is completing 25 years of its existence. He added that Nehru was adamant on the post of prime minister for himself during the time of independence which ultimately resulted in the violence ridden partition of a united India.
The Dalai Lama also said, “When you look back in India, I think Mahatma Gandhiji was very much willing to give prime ministership to (Muhammad Ali) Jinnah, but Pandit Nehru refused. I think Pandit Nehru had a little bit of self centered attitude, ‘I should be the Prime Minister’. If Mahatma Gandhiji’s thinking had materialised, then India and Pakistan would have remained united”. With this statement, the Dalai Lama has clearly indicated Nehru of being too self-centered and committing a grave mistake due to which the nation is still suffering. This is significant because it is coming directly from the Dalai Lama who is considered to be really close to the first prime minister of India. It seems that the Dalai Lama is terming Nehru’s blunder as a mistake only out of courtesy given the relationship that he shared with Nehru.
Replying to a query as to how one can avoid taking wrong decision and keep emotions out of the decision making process, the spiritual leader said that, “I knew Nehru very well personally and he was a very well-experienced person otherwise. But sometimes mistakes also happen. So, ultimately responsibility is on your own shoulders. Analyse, analyse. Then take decision.” Thus, the Dalai Lama gave the students Nehru’s example in order to convey how mistakes can bear serious repercussions.
This is not coming from any critical or opponent of Nehru or the Gandhi family but from someone who was close to the first prime minister of independent India. It therefore reflects why the first prime minister was a serious failure. This would have definitely left the Congress and the Nehru-Gandhi family red faced and humiliated to the core.
It also reflects a much needed change in mindset. There was a time when criticising Jawaharlal Nehru almost amounted to blasphemy. Anyone who dared to point a finger at him and expose the blunders committed by him was labelled a bigot and was hounded by the entire leftist politico-media mafia. Now, times have changed Jawaharlal Nehru is no longer the holy cow of Indian politics. We are truly living in a democracy now where even the holy cows of the past like Nehru can be condemned.