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Dalai Lama blames ‘self-centred’ Nehru for Partition, says ‘Gandhi wanted Jinnah to be PM’

Press Trust of India

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Panjim, August 8: Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Wednesday said Jawaharlal Nehru had a “self-centered attitude” to become India’s first prime minister even though Mahatma Gandhi was in favour of Muhammad Ali Jinnah taking the top post at that time.

He also claimed India’s partition would not have happened if Mahatma Gandhi’s wish of Jinnah becoming the prime minister had materialized.

The 83-year-old monk was addressing an event at the Goa Institute of Management in Goa’s Sankhalim town, located about 40 km from Panaji.

Responding to a student’s question on taking right decisions, he said, “I feel democratic systems are very good than the feudal system, which gives power of making decisions in the hands of a few people, which is more dangerous.”

“Now look at India. I think Mahatma Gandhiji was very much willing to give the prime ministership to Jinnah. But Pandit Nehru refused,” he said.

“I think it was a little bit self-centred attitude of Pandit Nehru that he should be the prime minister… Mahatma Gandhiji’s thinking, if it had materialised, then India, Pakistan would have been united,” he said.

“So Pandit Nehru, I know very well, (was) very experienced person, very wise but sometimes mistake also happens,” he said.

To a question on 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 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.

The monk said the route from where they escaped was quite near the Chinese military base. While passing along a river they could see the military personnel, he said narrating his journey from the neighbouring country into India.

“So we were completely quiet. But we cannot control the noise of horses’ feet. We really felt scared,” he said.

He said next day at the dawn, they were passing through a mountain and there was “every danger” of Chinese soldiers coming from two different places to stop them. “That was a fearful journey.”

“At the age of 16, I lost my freedom. At the age of 24, I lost my country. For 17 years, there was lot of suffering and lot of destruction in the country, but we kept our determination,” the Dalai Lama said.

He said the China’s power is its military force. “We can say from the barrel of gun.”

“Our strength is truth. Temporarily, the power of gun is more decisive but in the long run, the power of truth is much more stronger than the power of gun,” he said.

The monk said Tibetans never consider Chinese people as their enemy.

“We respect them. We always look at them as our human brothers and sisters,” he added.

At the event, he also appealed to Muslims in India to make efforts to reduce Shia-Sunni conflicts that are prevalent in some other countries and asserted that Islam is a religion of peace.

He lamented the bloodshed over denominational differences, which he said should be avoided as Islam teaches compassion and harmony.

The Dalai Lama stressed the need for international brotherhood and harmony. “We are part of the world of seven billion human beings. Sometimes, I suggested that the Indian community in America, England and different European countries should invite some Europeans during Diwali and New Year, and talk about ‘ahimsa’ (non-violence) which is the basis of religious tolerance,” he said.
Sunni and Shia are two major denominations of Islam. They chose sides after the death of Islamic prophet Muhammad in AD 632. “Muslims across the globe follow the same Quran and also pray five times a day. However, there are killing each other owing to differences between the sects like Shia and Sunni,” he said.

The Dalai Lama said, “I was in Ladakh. I suggested to Ladakhi Muslims that Indian Muslims should make some efforts to reduce the conflict between Shias and Sunnis”. He told the audience that a national conference of Muslims would be organised in the coming months, which will be followed by a similar convention at the international level. He said modern India has remained by and large peaceful due to the over 1000-year-old history of religious harmony.


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Satya Pal Malik is JK’s new Governor

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Srinagar, Aug 21: The president of India on Tuesday appointed Bihar governor and BJP’s former national vice-president, Satya Pal Malik, as the Governor of Jammu and Kashmir.
President Ram Nath Kovind okayed a string of appointments and transfers.
The Centre had given an extension to NN Vohra as J&K Governor till August 26 keeping in mind the Amarnath Yatra after the state government was dissolved in June. The state has been under Governor’s Rule ever since BJP pulled out of its coalition with the PDP on June 20, soon after which Mehbooba Mufti quit as the chief minister.
Malik, 72, has previously served as the union minister of state, parliamentary affairs and tourism and has held many important positions in central and state governments.
He was also a Rajya Sabha MP for two terms and a Lok Sabha MP from 1989 to 1990. Malik was also a Member of Uttar Pradesh Assembly from 1974 to 1977. In his political career, he has also been the chairman and member of many parliamentary committees.
He completed his B.Sc and LLB from Meerut University and holds a Diploma in Parliamentary Affairs from Institute of Constitutional and Parliamentary Studies run by Parliament of India.
Apart from the appointment of Malik, the Centre has appointed BJP veteran and Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s close aide Lal Ji Tandon as Governor of Bihar and Satyadev Narayan Arya as the Governor of Haryana.
Tathagata Roy, who was the Governor of Tripura has been transferred and appointed as Governor of Meghalaya while Kaptan Singh Solanki, who was Governor of Haryana has been transferred and appointed as Governor of Tripura. Baby Rani Maurya has been made the Governor of Uttarakhand.

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Eid-ul-Azha, the festival of sacrifice, today

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Srinagar, Aug 21: Eid-ul-Adha, the festival of sacrifice, would be observed across Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday.
Huge congregational Eid prayer gatherings are expected at Srinagar’s Eidgah in Downtown and Dargah Hazratbal, apart from other Eidgahs, Masjids and Shrines where Islamic scholars shall throw light on the significance of Eid-ul-Adha.
A spokesman of Anjuman-e-Auqaf Jamia Masjid Nowhatta said the congregational Eid-ul-Adha prayers would be offered at Eidgah in Downtown at 9 am. In a statement, the spokesman said Kashmir’s chief cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq will deliver the Eid sermon, highlighting the significance of Qurbani and Eid-ul-Adha, from 8 am onwards.
Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated on the 10th day of the Islamic calendar’s last month Dhu’l-Hijjah and on this day, a Muslim offers a goat or sheep as a sacrificial animal while the sacrifice of one camel and a calf suffices for the vow of seven Muslims.
Allah ordered Ibrahim (AS) to sacrifice his son Ismail (AS). When the blindfolded father moved the blade on his son’s throat to carry out the divine command, an animal from heaven replaced Ismail.
It is to celebrate the absolute submission of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) to Allah’s command and the saving of Ismail’s life that Muslims offer animal sacrifices on Eid-ul-Azha.
The big congregational Eid prayers are also expected at Khadi Mill Alochi Bagh here.
As per the Islamic teachings, the Muslims across the State will start performing the act of sacrificing animals following the congregational Eid prayers as this Eid is being observed to commemorate Prophet Ibraham’s (AS) willingness to follow Allah’s command to sacrifice his son Ismaeel (AS).
Meanwhile, markets in Kashmir valley, particularly in the summer capital, wore a festive look on Tuesday as residents went on a shopping spree, including for sacrificial animals, to prepare for Eid-ul-Azha.
The Consumer Affairs Department fixed a ceiling of Rs 210 per kilogram of live animal but the rate list was being observed in breach, indicating a higher demand for the animals this year.
“The rate list issued by the government departments exists only on paper as the animals are sold at the rate of Rs 240 to Rs 260 per kilogram,” Mohammad Ishaq, a city resident, said.
A mutton dealer has brought in camels from Rajasthan to be sacrificed this Eid. While few people showed interest in buying these animals, a large crowd gathered at places where these are put on sale.
Some animals are fetching the mutton dealers three to four times the actual value.
“We are selling the live animals at Rs 220 per kg but there are some sheep and goats which have higher price. The customers are willing to pay more for animals which look beautiful,” Mohammad Ayoub, a mutton dealer, said.
Elsewhere, bakeries, confectioneries and ready-made garment showrooms witnessed heavy footfall over the past few days as people made purchases for Eid.
However, the business community claimed that the sales were not as good as they had expected.
We have had a tough decade with agitations claiming three seasons in 2008, 2010 and 2016. Then we had 2014 floods which have badly affected the financial condition of the people,” Sajad Ahmad, a shopkeeper, said.
He said extension of GST to Jammu and Kashmir preceded by demonetisation in 2016 also had adverse effect on business in Kashmir.

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Observe Eid with austerity, Mirwaiz tells people

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Srinagar, Aug 21: Mutahida Majlise Ulema patron and All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq extended his warm greetings to the entire Muslim Ummah including the oppressed people of Jammu and Kashmir, on the auspicious occasion of Eid ul Azha.
In a statement issued here, Mirwaiz in his Eid message said the occasion of Eid ul has a significance as there is a great history behind sacrificing animals as the act reminds the people of the courage and patience shown by the Prophet Ibraheem( AS) and Ismaeel(AS)
Mirwaiz said in J&K, Eid ul Azha has come at a time when there is an all-out assault our identity and citizenship rights as anti-Kashmir forces are trying their level best to change the majority character and disputed nature of the State.
Mirwaiz said people of J&K irrespective of cast creed, region must take a pledge to protect State Subject Law and to remain rock solid to foil all bids aimed at changing the demography of the State. On this auspicious occasion, people of state must vow to take the ongoing freedom struggle toward.
Mirwaiz urged all sections of society to refrain from extravaganza and to observe Eid with austerity. He appealed well to do people to help poor and destitute and also the victims of Delhi’s aggression in Kashmir so that they too can celebrate Eid.
The Mirwaiz also hailed the courage and resilience of Kashmiri political prisoners who are languishing in various jails in and outside the State.

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