Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi’s father, Rajiv Gandhi’s maternal grandfather, served as the Prime Minister of India from India’s independence in 1947 until his death in 1964. For seventeen long years he was in charge of running India as the elected Prime Minister. He was elected president of Indian National Congress five times in total. He led the Indian freedom movement.
Renowned Indian politician and the first Prime Minister of independent India, Jawaharlal Nehru was born in Allahabad on 14th November 1898. His father was Motilal Nehru, mother Swaruprani. Motilal Nehru was a famous lawyer of Allahabad High Court. He also actively participated in Indian politics. As a result of his participation in the freedom movement, he had to undergo imprisonment several times.
Although Motilal himself was born with a sense of nationality, his family environment was foreign. In this climate, Jawaharlal was nurtured by the luxury and affection of the rich.
His childhood education was from an English tutor. Jawaharlal was sent abroad in 1905. He studied there for a total of seven years at Harrow School, Trinity College, Cambridge University and finally the London School of Economics. After studying chemistry, geology, physics, he immediately started studying botany. Later he returned to the country from London in 1912 as a barrister.
Marriage Life & Family
Jawaharlal married Kamla, daughter of Maidakal owner of Delhi while engaged in legal business in Allahabad for some time. Their daughter Indira was born in 1917. The couple had a son in 1925, but he died on the second day. In the year before his departure, Jawaharlal attended the Bombay session of the National Congress with his father Motilal. But till then, nothing of the national consciousness was revealed in him.
Even after returning to the country, he was thinking of foreign ideas. Swadeshi spirit did not impress him at first. But his father Motilal was quite well known as a prominent Swadesh Sevak. In the meantime, Gandhiji returned to the country after passing the barrister from abroad. The Congress session held in Lucknow in December 1916. It was there that Jawaharlal met Gandhiji. Jawaharlal had respect for Annie Besant since childhood. In June 1917, he was ordered to be interned by the British government after various persecutions. This led to a strong reaction among Anibesante’s home ruleist Jawaharlal. He strongly protested this incident.
This is how Jawaharlal’s entry into politics began. However, the eminent personality of Jawaharlal could not fully accept the policies of Tilak or Besant. So he decided to follow Gandhiji as his own mind supported Gandhiji’s non-cooperation movement. At that time, there was a great stir in Indian politics around the Rowlatt Act or Jallianwala Bagh murder. Jawaharlal’s heart became deeply offended by these incidents.
Jawaharlal, as the leader of Motilal’s founded newspaper The Independent, protested these events in fiery language. After that he directly joined the Congress. In 1920, he was elected vice-president of the Allahabad Congress Committee. After that, he gradually held various positions in various committees of the Congress. He became the secretary of the All India National Congress in 1923, the general secretary in 1928 and the congress president in 1929 at the Lahore session. The decision of full swaraj was announced at the Lahore session itself. After that, Jawaharlal was elected Congress president six more times in 1936, 1937, 1946, 1951, 1953 and 1954 respectively in Lucknow, Faizpur, Delhi, Hyderabad and Kalyani Congress sessions.
In this way he tried to organize the Congress into a definite functional structure. His role in the working committees was quite important. In 1919-20, Jawaharlal got his first experience of working in a mass organization through the work of organizing a movement with the farmers of Uttar Pradesh. Besides, he got the opportunity to work together with the non-cooperation movement launched by Gandhiji. As a result, he had to suffer imprisonment and fine for 1921-22. Later he was sentenced to nine years imprisonment nine times. During his imprisonment from June 1934 to February 1935, Jawaharlal completed his famous autobiography, An Autobiography. This book was published in 1936. In 1923, he was elected to the post of president in the municipal elections of Allahabad.
This was his first elected post outside the Congress. From this position, his motivation gained maximum momentum. He established discipline from the beginning and created extraordinary work flow in the education, public health etc. departments of the municipality. He resigned from the municipality in 1924. He won the first election by 20-21 votes, but contested the re-election in 1928 and was defeated by one vote.
Continual imprisonment became a feature of Jawaharlal’s life. In this lifestyle, father Motilal died in 1931. Five years later, in 1936, his wife Kamala died prematurely. Although he did not see his father for the last time, Jawaharlal was able to come to his wife after being released on parole. Mata Swaruprani died in 1938. Thus, as the gap in his personal life increased, he began to fill that gap by involving himself in the service of the country. The lack of three continued to be fulfilled by the presence of many. In 1936, Jawaharlal was elected president of the Lucknow session of the Congress. He took various initiatives in support of the Republic of Spain and in 1938 he himself went to Spain.
At this time the ideology of England and Soviet Union influenced him. In 1939, he became the chairman of the National Planning Committee adopted by the Congress. This led to his final disagreement with Gandhiji. Gandhiji opposed him when he wanted to adopt a development program in this country also in the style of Five Year Plan of USSR. World War II started at this time.
Jawaharlal returned from China and found that Gandhi was on the side of the British in the matter of war. But Jawaharlal was against fascism. He saw that India’s independence had nothing to do with supporting the British. He completely ignored the suggestions and suggestions of Subhash Chandra and Gandhiji in the Congress Working Committee. However, during the Quit India Movement in 1942, Gandhi and Jawaharlal again reconciled and both were arrested.
He was released from prison in 1945. During this time he sat in discussions with the Muslim League on a Cabinet mission and joined the Interim Government on 2nd September 1946 at the invitation of the Viceroy. After this came the expected day of independence and on the previous day the country was divided and Pakistan was born. A Union Cabinet was formed with fourteen members and Jawaharlal became the Prime Minister of independent India and held the post till his death. The internal situation of independent India was “extremely critical. Foreign policy was also weak. The economic structure has collapsed, communal forces have come to the fore, constant border skirmishes have worn the country down. Jawaharlal took control of the country in such a devastated situation. He had to pave the way by setting up the Planning Commission and inventing a specific foreign policy. Indian constitutional elections were held in 1951-52. Jawaharlal became the head of the new government. During this time, Jawaharlal became deeply involved with the Non-Aligned Movement, which was formed under the leadership of President Nasser and Marshal Tito.
First Prime Minister of Independent India
Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India on 15 August 1947 when India gained independence. After that, the Congress party supported by him won all the elections held till 1962 and he remained as Prime Minister for life.
The birthday of the country’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru is celebrated as Children’s Day. His affection and love for children is well known. Therefore, Children’s Day is celebrated by remembering him.
However, until 1964, Children’s Day was celebrated on November 20 every year. Not only India but other countries of the world also announced the observance of that date by the United Nations. But after Nehru’s death that year, the consensus changed. Nehru emphasized on not only loving children but also raising them properly. And so once he said, the way we raise children today, tomorrow they will run the country. And from this idea, several important educational institutions of the country started their journey during Nehru’s time. Similarly Nehru started IMS keeping in mind good medical system. IIT is the product of his fertile brain. Moreover, he also decided to create the Indian Institute of Management. Therefore, Children’s Day is celebrated by remembering his contribution for children beyond freedom struggle or prime ministership
Jawaharlal’s literary heart was engaged in various works despite the busyness of political and administrative life. Soviet Russia (1928), Letters from a Father to his Daughter (1924), Glimpses of World History (1934), China, Spain and the War (1940), The Discovery of India (1946) etc. Jawaharlal’s literary genius can be found in the book. Later his autobiography and Discovery of India were translated into Bengali. A collection of his speeches was published in four volumes (1946-64).
On May 27, 1964 at the age of 75, this great leader of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, died of a heart attack.