Saturday, November 14, 2009


Jawaharlal Nehru was born on November 14, 1889 in Allahabad, central India. Nehru was born the eldest child of Swarup Rani and the prominent advocate and early leader of the Indian Independence movement Motilal Nehru. The Nehru family came of Kashmiri Brahmin stock and their gotra was Kaul. Motilal had moved to Allahabad many years before and developed a successful legal practice. He was also an active member of the fledgling Indian national movement led by the Indian National Congress. Nehru and his two sisters—Vijaya Lakshmi and Krishna were brought up in a large mansion, Anand Bhavan, and were raised predominantly in the English custom, then thought necessary by the Indian elite. They were also taught Hindi, Sanskrit and given grounding in the Indian classics.

Jawaharlal Nehru was an Indian statesman who was the first, and has been the longest-serving prime minister of India to date, having served from 1947 until 1964. A leading figure in the Indian Independence movement, Nehru was elected by the Congress party to assume office as independent India's first Prime Minister, and later when the Congress won India's first general election in 1952. As one of the founders of the Non-aligned Movement, he was also an important figure in the international politics of the post-war era. He is frequently referred to as Pandit Nehru ("pandit" means "scholar" or "teacher").

The son of a wealthy Indian barrister and politician, Motilal Nehru, Nehru became a leader of the left wing of the Indian National Congress when still fairly young. Rising to become Congress President, under the mentorship of Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru was a charismatic and radical leader, advocating complete Independence from the British Empire. In the long struggle for Indian independence, in which he was a key player, Nehru was eventually recognized as Gandhi's political heir. Throughout his life, Nehru was also an advocate for Fabian socialism and the public sector as the means by which long-standing challenges of economic development could be addressed by poorer nations.

Nehru was given the singular honour of raising the flag of Independent India in New Delhi on 15 August 1947, when India gained Independence. Nehru's appreciation of the virtues of parliamentary democracy, secularism and liberalism coupled with concerns for the poor and under privileged are recognized to have guided him in formulating policies that influence India to this day. They also reflect the socialist origins of his worldview. His long tenure was instrumental in shaping the traditions and structures of Independent India. He is sometimes referred to as the 'Architect of Modern India.

Nehru took the Cambridge entrance examinations in 1907 and went up to Trinity College, to study natural sciences. Hel stood second in his Tripos and graduated in 1910. The famously liberal atmosphere of the University also encouraged him to participate in a host of extra-curricular activities and has been noted as having been a key influence on his general outlook. He then enrolled at the Inner Temple for his legal studies in October 1910.

Jawaharlal Nehru passed the final examination in 1912 and was called to the Bar later that year at the Inner Temple. He returned to India soon after to set up a legal practice.

Jawaharlal Nehru was a passionate advocate of education for India's children and youth, believing it essential for India's future progress. His government oversaw the establishment of many institutions of higher learning, including the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, the Indian Institutes of Technology and the Indian Institutes of Management. Nehru also outlined a commitment in his five-year plans to guarantee free and compulsory primary education to all of India's children.

Nehru oversaw the creation of mass village enrollment programmes and the construction of thousands of schools. Nehru also launched initiatives such as the provision of free milk and meals to children in order to fight malnutrition. Adult education centres, vocational and technical schools were also organized for adults, especially in the rural areas.

Jawaharlal Nehru remained the Prime Minister of India for 17 long years and can rightly be called the architect of modern India. He set India on the path of democracy and nurtured its institution – Parliament, multi-party system, independent judiciary and free press. He encouraged Panjayati Raj institutions. With the foresight of a statesman he created institutions like Planning Commission, National Science Laboratories and laid the foundation of a vast public sector for developing infrastructure for industrial growth. Besides, developing the public sector, Nehru also wanted to encourage the private sector to establish a social order based on social justice he emphasised the need of planned development.

Education to Nehru was very important for internal freedom and fearlessness. It was Nehru who insisted if the world was to exist at all; it must exist as one. He was generous and gracious. Emotional sensitivity and intellectual passion infused his writings, giving them unusual appeal and topicality even today.

Jawaharlal was a prolific writer in English and wrote a number of books like ‘The Discovery of India’, ‘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 and topicality even today. He was awarded Bharat Ratna in 1955.

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's love for children and his faith in their strength rightly earned him the name "Chacha Nehru.” His birthday, November 14, is aptly commemorated as Children's Day. He believed that children are the future of the nation. He served as India’s first Prime Minister from 1947 until he died in May, 1964.


ஷ‌ஃபிக்ஸ்/Suffix said...

Thank you Babli, another pack of information and quality pictures, your postings are really unique and interesting, keep it up my friend. Have a nice weekend.

BK Chowla said...

Babli,you must have put in a lot of time and effort to collect data.
Nehru had played a very important role in giving India a direction.
Though,I feel he faltered in dividing states on linguistic basis,trusting Chinese and not listening to Sardar Patel on Kashmir issue.

nsiyer said...

The Nehru family has contributed quite a lot to India. Nehru was the doyen along with Gandhi to get independence. Loved by children and called Chacha Nehru.

deeps said...

a perfect way to honor someone who has left his mark with style ....
and thats something really spl on your part to come up with something like this on children's day ... nice one

Ria said...

wonderful post dear!! :) Really liked it.

Jeevan said...

After reading this I feel former president APJ Abdul Kalam also reflect the thoughts similar to Nehru! It was very interesting read, and I never know deep about him before reading your post. Well written and indeed informative about Nehru!

Indrani said...

Great read Babli!
It feels good to refresh what we have learned once.

Destiny's child... said...

Hats off to the research you must have done to write this. It was very informative. :)
Belated Children's day wishes :)

GMG said...

Hi Babli! Another interesting post. Always learning when coming here!!

Blogtrotter is firmly back to an amazing building... ;)). Enjoy and have a great week!

संजय भास्कर said...

good and interesting post.