Buddhist spiritual leader Dalai Lama on Wednesday said India and Pakistan would have remained united had Mahatma Gandhi’s wish of seeing Muhammad Ali Jinnah as the first prime minister of India come true. He said Jawaharlal Nehru’s “self-centred attitude” was the reason why it did not happen, reported PTI.

The Dalai Lama made the remarks to students at the Goa Institute of Management in Sankhalim, located more than 30 km northeast of the state capital Panaji.

“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,” he said, answering a query on taking right decisions.

Citing India’s example, he said: “I think Mahatma Gandhiji was very much willing to give the prime ministership to Jinnah. But Pandit Nehru refused.” This shows that even a “wise and experienced” person like Nehru made mistakes, he added.

He said it was up to Tibetans to decide if they want to maintain the institution of the Dalai Lama as it was not politically relevant anymore. China was more concerned about the institution than him because of political reasons, the Dalai Lama added. “As early as in 1969, I had formally made a statement whether this institution of Dalai Lama should continue or not, it is up to the Tibetan people to decide.”

The Dalai Lama has lived in Dharamshala since 1959 after escaping Tibet during an uprising against Chinese rule. He said Tibetans respect the Chinese and do not think of them as an enemy. “We always look at them as our human brothers and sisters,” he added.