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Title : Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Previous topic PreviousNext Next topic

Jawaharlal Nehru, the son of Motilal Nehru and Swaroop Rani, was born on 14th November, 1889 at Allahabad. He was the first Prime Minister of India. He was born in an aristocratic family. His father was a famous lawyer and a prominent leader of the Indian independence movement. With successful early education at home Jawaharlal was sent to Harrow, the best public school in England. He was a brilliant student. Nehru graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge University and came back to India in 1912. In 1916, by his parents' arrangement, he married 17-year-old Kamala from a Kashmiri business family in Delhi.

Jawaharlal was a true patriot. While a student in England, he kept close touch with the political events in India. He had been inspired by the life of Garibaldi, an Italian patriot. He had an ambition to be a patriot. With degree of law he came back to India and joined the bar at the Allahabad High court.
In 1920, he joined the Non-Co-operation Movement of Mahatma Gandhi. He was greatly influenced by the Mahatma and became his ardent follower. In connection with the national movement Jawaharlal suffered imprisonment for the first time in 1921. Gradually he became a prominent figure among the national leaders of India. In 1923, he became the General Secretary of the India National Congress. In 1929, he was elected President of the Indian National Congress at Lahore. This was the highest honour of a national leader of our country during the British rule. In this historic session of the Congress it was declared for the first time that complete independence was the goal of the Indians.

In 1930 Gandhiji started his Civil Disobedience Movement. Jawaharlal joined this movement. As a result he was imprisoned once in 1930 and again in 1932. In 1935 he was released from Jail, because his wife was seriously ill. She was then in Switzerland for treatment. Jawaharlal went there, but she died there in 1936. Jawaharlal toured in Europe. In the course of his tour he gained much experience in international affairs. That year again for the second time Jawaharlal was elected President of the Congress. His popularity grew so much that he became President of the Congress in 1937 and 1946 also and came to occupy a position in the nationalist movement second only to that of Gandhi. Jawaharlal Nehru was arrested in 1942 during Quit India Movement. Released in 1945, he took a leading part in the negotiations that culminated in the emergence of the dominions of India and Pakistan in August 1947.

In 1947, he became the first Prime Minister of independent India. He effectively coped with the formidable challenges of those times: the disorders and mass exodus of minorities across the new border with Pakistan, the integration of 500-odd princely states into the Indian Union, the framing of a new constitution, and the establishment of the political and administrative infrastructure for a parliamentary democracy.

Jawaharlal Nehru played a key role in building modern India. He set up a Planning Commission, encouraged development of science and technology, and launched three successive five-year plans. His policies led to a sizable growth in agricultural and industrial production. Nehru also played a major role in developing independent India's foreign policy. He called for liquidation of colonialism in Asia and Africa and along with Tito and Nasser, was one of the chief architects of the nonaligned movement. He played a constructive, mediatory role in bringing the Korean War to an end and in resolving other international crises, such as those over the Suez Canal and the Congo, offering India's services for conciliation and international policing. He contributed behind the scenes toward the solution of several other explosive issues, such as those of West Berlin, Austria, and Laos.

Jawaharlal Nehru was a lover of Indian Culture. He had a high appreciation for the rivers, the mountains, the festivals and the sculpture of India. He was a great writer and a thinker. He wrote such famous books as "Autobiography", "the Discovery of India" and "Glimpses of World History". His autobiography, 'towards Freedom' (1936) ran nine editions in the first year alone. Emotional sensitivity and intellectual passion infused his writings, giving them unusual appeal & topicality even today. He was a great speaker and delivered his speech at many places in India and abroad. He advocated India's stand on non-violence, love and universal brotherhood.

Nehru signed the first constitution of independent India in 1949. He served as the first Prime Minister of India from 1947 until May 27, 1964, the day he died. He was one of the founders of the international non-aligned movement. He was awarded Bharat Ratna in 1955.

Pandit Nehru loved children and they call him affectionately as Chacha Nehru. His birthday is observed as Children's Day. He believed that children are the future of the nation.

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