Dalai Lama Apologises For Saying Jawaharlal Nehru Refused to Give Prime Ministership to Jinnah
The Dalai Lama (Photo Credit: IANS)

New Delhi, Aug 10: Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who said Jawaharlal Nehru refused to give prime ministership to Muhammad Ali Jinnah, on Friday apologised for his statement. "My statement has created controversy, if I said something wrong I apologise," the Dalai Lama said. He made the statement, which trigerred a political row, in response to a question from a student who sought to know from the Tibetan leader, about how one can be sure-footed about one's decisions and how to avoid committing mistakes in life.

"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 is very experienced. But mistakes do happen," the Dalai Lama said on Wednesday during an interaction held at the Goa Institute of Managament in North Goa's Sanquelim village.

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, which is completing 25 years of its existence. To a question about the biggest fear that he encountered in life, the spiritual leader recalled the day he had to escape from Tibet along with his supporters. "On the night of March 17, 1959, after 10th March crisis which was the result of the problem that started in 1956, we had to escape," he said.

Recalling how the problem in Tibet with China had started becoming worse, he said the attitude of Chinese officers kept on being more and more aggressive. "So then on 17th night, in spite of all my efforts to cool down the situation, that very day, I decided that I cannot remain here and I escaped," he said. "(In the) meantime, the feeling whether I will see tomorrow or not topped my mind," he added.