In a controversial statement, Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Wednesday said that India and Pakistan would have remained one country if Jinnah had become the first Prime Minister in place of Jawaharlal Nehru. The monk has also called Nehru "self-centred", triggering a fresh storm while addressing students at the Goa Institute of Management.
"Look at India, Mahatma Gandhi wanted Prime Ministership to go to Jinnah but Nehru refused to agree. I think Pandit Nehru was a little self-centred," the 14th Dalai Lama was quoted during his interaction in Goa.
"If Mahatma Gandhi's wish had materialised then India and Pakistan would have been united." Holding Nehru responsible for the partition, the Dalai Lama said, "I know Pandit Nehru very well, he was a very experienced person, very wise but sometimes mistake also happens," the spiritual leader went on to claim further.
Meanwhile, responding to the Dalai Lama's remarks, BJP senior leader Subramanian Swamy said that this kind of topics should be discussed during historical debates and it does not hold much value in the current political backdrop of India.
The BJP MP, however, has later pitched the Dalai Lama's comment on Nehru, adding that "Yes, it is true that Mahatma Gandhi wanted Jinnah to be the Prime Minister as he would have been a minority Prime Minister and he could be removed once the British were gone. But it is also true that Jawaharlal Nehru only thought about himself. Gandhi was only thinking of how the British could be removed".