PANDIT JAWAHARLAL NEHRU BIOGRAPHY
Jawaharlal Nehru as the first Prime Minister of independent India laid the foundations of modern India. A man with modern scientific understanding put India onto the path of modernization. His contribution to building a strong India with democratic ethos cannot be denied by anyone. Nehru carried the burden of a newly independent country on his own shoulders and worked towards building a new India. He will always be remembered for his leadership and farsightedness by generations to come.
EARLY LIFE OF NEHRU: FAMILY, EDUCATION AND PRE- POLITICAL LIFE
The First Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was born on November 14, 1889. Born to Swaroop Rani and Motilal Nehru, Nehru’s childhood was joyous and colourful. His family was known for its administrative capability and charisma. His father Motilal Nehru a well-known lawyer and leader of India’s Freedom fight is the first teacher of Nehru who taught him the importance of education. He was a voracious reader and during his childhood itself, Nehru was equipped with diverse knowledge. His primary education was at his home only where tutors came to his house and took classes. At the age of 15 itself, Nehru went to England for his schooling. At the age of 17, Nehru joined Cambridge and completed his studies. After his return in 1912 Nehru directly joined Indian politics. He was always interested in analyzing international issues and was intrigued by the history of countries that were under foreign domination. Nehru’s contribution to India’s struggle for independence and in post-independent period is always important. His training in modern education and progressive outlook was a strength for India. Even today his charisma is praised. Nehru married Kamala Nehru in 1916 and they had one daughter, Indira who later became the Prime Minister of India. His religious outlook was always secular.
POLITICAL JOURNEY OF PANDIT NEHRU
Returning from England and joining politics was a turning point in Nehru’s life. It was Gandhi who influenced and gave advice to Nehru on how independence can be achieved. His first political engagement was when he attended the Bankipore Congress in 1912. In 1919 he took the charge of the secretary of the home rule league. Nehru’s leadership quality became visible when he organized the first Kisan March in Uttar Pradesh in 1920. Always being a right hand to Gandhi Nehru was imprisoned by the British colonial government twice during the period of Non-Cooperation movement and even during the Salt Satyagraha.
The Best quality of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was he was a man of experience who traveled to many parts of the world and attended many conferences organized by many of the oppressed nations. Nehru got elected as the President of Congress in Lahore Session of the Indian National Congress. The main aim the session focused was measured to achieve complete independence from the colonial government. It was during World War II the Bombay session of the Indian National Congress launched the Quit India movement which demanded the end of colonial rule from India. This resolution to launch Quit India was moved by Jawaharlal Nehru. Later Nehru and other Leaders were arrested which was the last time Nehru was imprisoned.
CONTRIBUTION TO INDIAN INDEPENDENCE
- Nehru joined the Home Rule Movement in 1916 and became the secretary of Annie Besant’s Home Rule League.
- He participated in the Non-Cooperation Movement in 1920 and led the movement in the United Province. He was arrested in 1921 for his anti- British activities.
- Played an important role in the internationalization of the Indian Struggle for Independence.
- Nehru was elected as the president of the Congress party during the Lahore session on 29 December 1929 and introduced a successful resolution calling for Swaraj.
- He was an important leader of the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930 and was arrested for the same.
- Played an important part in the Quit India Movement in 1939.
- Guided the Independence movement during difficult times in 1940’s world war two.
NEHRU AS THE FIRST PRIME MINISTER OF INDIA
The role of Jawaharlal Nehru is important when one is studying the trajectory of modern India. Nehru is the most discussed figure by historians, sociologists and other social scientists when they study about India after Independence. The Lion portion of India’s progressive nature is due to Nehru’s vision of a better India. Nehru was well aware of the context India will go through after Independence. To tackle the issues which will affect a newly independent country Nehru with other leaders introduced various measures. The idea to go for a mixed economy by giving importance for both socialism and capitalism was a great step taken by Nehru as he was aware that Indian society can’t sustain if only one type is followed. Famous Historian Ram Chandra Guha in his book ‘Makers of Modern India’ describes that the age of 1940s and 1950s was the age of Nehru. The impact Nehru has created in the Indian society is far-reaching. His ability to formulate policies by considering all sections of the society was always appreciated. It was Gandhi’s suggestion to make Jawaharlal Nehru as the Prime Minister of independent India. Gandhi was aware of the administrative capacity of Nehru. One of the major problems India faced after independence was of poverty. Nehru believed that focusing on developmental activities and giving space for industrialization will eradicate the poverty in this country. The setting up of the planning commission and focusing on diverse areas including agricultural sector, industrial sector etc. became possible only because of Nehru’s vision about development. Nehru was very much fond of children and he was of the belief that children are the future of this country, so they should be given more attention and care. Nehru was not wrong in this, and whatever India achieved after Nehru was because of this vision only. Every year on November 14th India celebrates children’s day or Bal Diwas which is Nehru’s birthday.
No other Leaders in history faced such a tough situation has Nehru faced after independence. The duties in front of him were to suppress the insurrection taking place in different parts of the country, rehabilitation of the refugees, unification of almost 600 provinces and also to overcome food scarcity, poverty, and diseases. This was not an easy task in a country where the economic backbone was broken, the social situation was in an emergency and political situation was not structured. The colonial government completely looted this country which was once the most prosperous one. But Nehru overcame all these situations during his prime ministership. His quality to hear the suggestions of other leaders and opposition made him the hero of this country. His strong disagreement with the fundamentalists, extremists and other violent groups gave energy to the people of India. It was Nehru who gifted dreams for the youth of this country. Nehru’s non-alignment policy was a model for many developing countries. Standing with a straight spine and not bending heading in front of the superpowers made Nehru an icon among other world leaders. Many world Leaders always wanted to be like Nehru because his way of handling situations and implementing policies was always admired. An India without Nehru was even unthinkable for Indians back in the 50s and 60s. A successor to Nehru was impossible because the grip he had among the masses was huge.
Unlike other political leaders, Nehru was not only a good orator but also was a good writer who published three books which covered topics related to India and struggle for independence and also Nehru’s experience in this country. Glimpses of World History and the Discovery of India discusses the Indian experience of Independence and its quest for freedom. The other book ‘An autobiography’ largely discusses Nehru’s experience. The major thing to be noted is that all these three books were written by Nehru before independence. The one who reads this book will get a clear understanding about Nehru’s brilliance who had a clear cut idea about the Indian Society. Nehru always wanted to be friendly with his neighboring countries as his policy was a success is possible only when respect become a give and take policy.
Nehru uses to travel across India while he was holding the office of Prime minister. He uses to go to every city and village in India to understand the problems of the people and also to find in which sector India should focus more. This is a quality many of the later prime ministers lacked. Nehru campaigned whole over India for the Congress Party in 1952 and people all over the country rushed to hear Nehru. He was hopeful for the youth. He was the symbol of better tomorrow for the farmers. He assured safety and education for woman, he guaranteed equality for all sections of the society.
In India’s Political History Nehru’s role is inevitable. Returning to India after his studies and till his death Nehru’s share in building a complete New India is massive. His long-term vision about the future of India has helped every government which came to power later. It was Nehru who bought together the rulers and people. Unlike today then the citizens of this country were the priority and it was all because of Nehru. As Ramachandra Guha notes Nehru was the connecting factor between the sovereign public and the middle class on one side and India and rest of the world on the other side.
AWARDS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
- First Prime Minister of India
- Bharat Ratna in 1955
- Built institutions such as IIT and AIIMS
- Laid the foundation of Heavy Industries such as HEC
- Foundation of Non-Aligned Movement
LEGACY OF CHACHA NEHRU AND HIS DEATH
Nehru’s 17 years of ruling in India was completely on the socialist, secular principle. He never made any type of discrimination between the citizens. He always asked the opinions of leaders like Sardar Patel, Dr. B R Ambedkar on how the people of India can be treated in a better way. He was always peoples Prime Minister who never wanted India to go back to the old dark past. None of the religious ideology was given the upper hand during Nehru’s reign. India never got a leader like Nehru after Nehru. Children’s dearest chacha Ji left this world on May 27, 1964, at the age of 74. Nehru will be always remembered in history as the bravest and sophisticated maker of modern India.