Nehru could have avoided Partition, says Dalai Lama

Spiritual leader praises India’s ability to merge rich traditional knowledge with modern facets of education

Panaji: Had Jawaharlal Nehru not been self-centred, India and Pakistan would have been one country, the Dalai Lama said on Wednesday, adding that while Nehru was gifted with experience, mistakes do occur.


“Mahatma Gandhi wanted to give the prime ministership to (Mohammad Ali) Jinnah. But Nehru refused. He was self-centred. 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 was very experienced. But mistakes do happen,” the Dalai Lama said in response to a question from a student during an interaction held at the Goa Institute of Managament, in North Goa’s Sanquelim village, nearly 30 kilometres from Panaji.

The Dalai Lama gave the Nehru analogy in response to a question from a student who sought to know about how one can be sure-footed about one’s decisions and how to avoid making mistakes in life.

The Dalai Lama was a key note 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 for its 25th anniversary.

Preceding the interaction, the Dalai Lama spoke extensively on India’s ability to merge its rich traditional knowledge with modern facets of education. “India has a culture deeply rooted in tradition and knowledge. The land of ahimsa is a cauldron of traditional knowledge, including the art of meditation, compassion, secularism and more,” the Dalai Lama said.

While acknowledging that the British sowed the seeds of the modern style of education as we know it today, he remarked that India is probably the only country which can find the right balance between traditional knowledge and modern education.

The spiritual leader also emphasised the need to create dialogue and debate on a range of subjects which can aid aspiring B-school students to learn, analyse and gain new experiences. “We need more people to come together and talk and debate on aspects linked to India’s ancient knowledge, such as ahimsa and compassion. We also need to find ways to reduce conflict amongst ourselves,” he added.

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