Wednesday, April 17, 2024

“Nehru trusted China more than Tibet”…”it all changed after 2014”

Sikyong Penpa Tsering (extreme left), head of Tibetan government in exile.

India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru trusted China more than Tibet, said the head of the Tibetan government-in-exile, Sikyong Penpa Tsering, while visiting Washington to meet the US State department. 

Speaking about India’s stand on the Tibet issue, Central Tibetan Administration president Penpa Tsering said that people believed that India’s first PM Jawaharlal Nehru made a “blunder” when he recognised China’s sovereignty over Tibet. “But he did what he thought was best for his country”, the president of the Tibetan government in exile said. He went on to claim that India’s stance on the issue changed after 2014.

Tsering, who was in the US to meet top officials of the Biden Administration and members of the US Congress, was speaking to reporters when he talked about the Indo-Tibet relationship. Responding to a question, he said Nehru’s decisions over Tibet were due to his own world vision. He further claimed that Nehru had “too much faith and confidence in China”.

“I don’t blame only Pandit Nehru for doing that. We understand that the national interest comes first for every nation and he did what he thought was best for India at that time,” Tsering said. He further added that several other counties like India conceded China’s sovereignty over Tibet. “With the benefit of hindsight, now many think that Pandit Nehru made a blunder. In fact, he trusted China so much that when China invaded India in 1962, some believe that he was so hurt that it’s one of the reasons for his death,” he said.

Penpa Tsering went on to tell reporters that things changed in India in 2014 after PM Modi came into power. “I think India has changed its policy by not repeating that Tibet is part of PRC (People’s Republic of China) because India’s position is that India has to abide by the one-China policy, then China also has to abide by one India policy regarding Kashmir,” Tsering added. He further reiterated that “Tibet has never been part of China,” and said that he saw a fresh impetus from the Biden Administration on Tibet.

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