Jawaharlal Nehru was the first prime minister of independent India. He led the freedom movement against the British government. Under his supervision, the first five-year plans were launched in 1951. He was the chief architect in framing all national and international policies.
- Born: November 14, 1889
- Place of Birth: Allahabad
- Parents: Motilal Nehru (father) and Swaruprani Thussu (mother).
- Spouse: Kamala Nehru
- Children: Indira Gandhi
- Education: Harrow School, London; Trinity College, Cambridge; Inns of Court School of Law, London
- Associations: Indian National Congress
- Political Ideology: Nationalism; Socialism; Democracy; Communist influences
- Religious Beliefs: Hinduism
- Publications: The Discovery of India, Glimpses of World History, Toward Freedom, Letters from a Father to His Daughter
- Death: 27 May 1964
- Memorial: Shantivan, New Delhi
He was born into a wealthy Kashmiri brahmin family on November 14, 1889, in Allahabad to Motilal Nehru and Swaroopa Rani. Motilal Nehru was a renowned advocate and actively participated in the freedom movement. His father appointed English and Scottish teachers. for his children. For higher studies, he was sent to England where he obtained a degree in natural science from Cambridge University. He showed a keen interest in law and, in two years, he became a barrister. He was attracted to the ideas of liberalism, socialism, and nationalism.
He got married to Kamala Kaul, who is also a HinduBrahmin, on February 8th, 1916. During the non cooperation movement in 1921, she played a key role in organising groups of women and blockade shops to sell foreign clothing and liquor. She gave birth to Indira Priyadarshini in 1917 . Kamala Nehru died from tuberculosis in Switzerland in the year 1936,when Nehru was in jail.
In the wake of the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre, which took place in 1919, Nehru wholeheartedly embraced a political career. He followed in the steps of Gandhi and participated in all the movements led by Gandhi. He was moved by the Gandhian approach to dealing with caste and untouchability. He stuck to Gandhian philosophy and refused to join the swaraj party, which was established by his father and Chittaranjan Das in 1922.
In 1923, Nehru was elected to the new Central Legislative Assembly of British India in New Delhi and became the leader of the opposition. He resigned his assembly seat when his demand for Dominion status in India was rejected by the Assembly in 1926.
Nehru joined the All India Home Rule League with Annie Besant, a British liberal and advocate for Irish and Indian self rule.The home rule movement was unsuccessful.
Nehru’s vision for India
Nehru drafted a set of core principles for India, which he called “Fundamental Rights and Economic Policy,” which was adopted by the Indian Congress committee. Nehru, often called the ” Architect of Modern India”. He held the sole responsibility for drafting the foreign policy of a future Indian nation state.
During his period as prime minister of India , he suffered many military defeats. The Indian force of 10k to 12k troops suffered many losses in the Sino Indian war , with almost 1400 killed and 1700 missing, and the rest captured by the People’s Liberation Army of China. The outbreak of war and the humiliating defeat depressed Nehru, and some thought the shock may have hastened his death.
After spending some time in Kashmir, he returned to Delhi, where he suffered a stroke and then a heart attack on the morning of May 27, 1964. His birthday has been celebrated as “children ‘s day”, as he loved children and spent time with them. Children often called him “Chacha Nehru.”