Freedom fighter, India`s first prime minister, noble statesman, social reformer and erudite scholar - throughout his life Jawaharlal Nehru donned many hats and all with poise and equanimity. His immense contribution to the freedom movement notwithstanding, Jawaharlal Nehru`s appropriate place in Indian history would be that of the architect of free India.
Entrusted with the responsibility of leading the free nation and delivering on the promise made to the millions of countrymen, Jawaharlal Nehru played a definitive role in laying the basic building blocks of a socialist democratic nation. Apart from launching a range of initiatives to facilitate development in all sectors, Nehru enriched the soul of the nation with the tenets of secularism, social justice and non-alignment.
While Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was a beloved leader of the masses in the freedom struggle, his tenure as India`s prime minister was marked by many controversies. He was accused of nepotism consequent to the election of daughter Indira as the Congress president in 1959. Many alleged that Nehru`s pacifist policies caused Indian Army`s humiliating defeat in the 1962 Chinese invasion. Jawaharlal has been dubbed by many historians as an aristocrat who never connected with the masses the way other leaders did.
1.Facts about Jawaharlal Nehru:
Both as a freedom fighter and as India`s prime minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was in the public limelight al his life. Still the general public is unaware of many aspects of his personality and life. Following are some facts and information on Jawaharlal Nehru:
The Nehru- Gandhi Dynasty:
Jawaharlal Nehru was the patriarch of the Nehru-Gandhi family, which is often called the First Family of Indian politics. Over the years, the term Nehru-Gandhi dynasty has been more frequently used, given that three members of this family have become Prime Minister of India. Apart from Nehru, the other two are Nehru`s daughter Indira Gandhi and Indira`s son Rajeev Gandhi. After Rajeev`s assassination, his wife Sonia Gandhi has been chosen the President of the Congress Party.
Children`s Day/Chacha Nehru:
Jawaharlal Nehru was well-known for his love for children and he took many steps to ensure educational development of Indian children. Nehru`s birthday, November 14, is celebrated in India as Children`s Day. Children addressed him as Chacha Nehru which means Uncle Nehru.
The Discovery of India:
`The Discovery of India` was a manifestation of Nehru`s wisdom and literary genius. Widely regarded a classic among books by Indian authors, Discovery of India chronicles the growth of the Indian nation from the days of Indus Valley Civilization to the British Raj. Nehru wrote this book during his incarceration from 1942-1946 after the Quit India movement.
The ubiquitous Nehru Jacket is named after Jawaharlal Nehru who took to wearing this attire after shunning his Western wardrobe. Barring the distinctive stand-up collar, the Nehru Jacket is similar to the waistcoats or suit jackets. It is the preferred formal wear for many Indian politicians.
2.Life of Jawaharlal Nehru:
Jawaharlal Nehru was born on November 14, 1889 in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. Born with the proverbial silver spoon, Jawaharlal had a western upbringing and studied in the famous Harrow School and Trinity College in England. In 1916, at the age of 27, Jawaharlal married Kamala Kaul and the following year saw the birth of their only child Indira Priyadarshini. After an initial brush with legal practice, Jawaharlal Nehru joined the Indian National Congress and started his political career under the tutelage of father Motilal Nehru.
After the successful Champaran and Kheda Satyagrahas, Mahatma Gandhi emerged as the undisputed leader of the masses and Nehru soon became one of his trusted aides. Under Gandhi`s influence Nehru shunned his western lifestyle and traveled extensively to garner resistance against the British. Through the 1920s Jawaharlal Nehru earned accolades for his passionate anti-British stance and was elected Congress Party president in the 1929 Lahore session.
Nehru played a prominent role in the 1930 Salt Satyagraha launched by Gandhi and when Congress called for the historic Quit India movement in 1942, he and Subhash Chandra Bose were at the forefront of the mass protests against the government. The moment of freedom has arrived and after some internal conflicts in the Congress Party Nehru was chosen as the head of the interim government. He took office as the first Prime Minister of India on August 15, 1947.
As Independent India`s prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru launched a series of economic and social initiatives in line with his vision of a socialist Indian nation. Apart from domestic issues, Nehru emphasized on forging alliances with other like-minded countries and was instrumental in founding the Non-Aligned Movement. The 1962 Chinese invasion of India`s northeastern states was a big setback to Nehru`s peaceful policies and his government also had to face corruption charges. After a period of illness, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru passed away on May 27, 1964.