Jawaharlal Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru

Overview
Jawaharlal Nehru often referred to with the epithet of Panditji, was an Indian statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

 who became the first Prime Minister
Prime Minister of India
The Prime Minister of India , as addressed to in the Constitution of India — Prime Minister for the Union, is the chief of government, head of the Council of Ministers and the leader of the majority party in parliament...

 of independent India (1947–64) and became noted for his “neutralist” policies in foreign affairs. He was also one of the principal leaders of India’s independence movement
Indian independence movement
The term Indian independence movement encompasses a wide area of political organisations, philosophies, and movements which had the common aim of ending first British East India Company rule, and then British imperial authority, in parts of South Asia...

 in the 1930s and ’40s. Nehru was elected by the Indian National Congress
Indian National Congress
The Indian National Congress is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is the largest and one of the oldest democratic political parties in the world. The party's modern liberal platform is largely considered center-left in the Indian...

 to assume office as independent India's first Prime Minister, and re-elected when the Congress Party won India's first general election in 1951 and 1952
Indian general election, 1951
General elections to the first Lok Sabha since independence were held in India were held between 25 October 1951 and 21 February 1952. The Indian National Congress stormed into power with 364 of the 489 seat. With this, India's grand old party managed to secure 45 per cent of the total votes...

.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Jawaharlal Nehru'
Start a new discussion about 'Jawaharlal Nehru'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Unanswered Questions
Quotations

Great causes and little men go ill together.

The Indian Annual Register Vol.1 (January-June 1939)

Most of us seldom take the trouble to think. It is a troublesome and fatiguing process and often leads to uncomfortable conclusions. But crises and deadlocks when they occur have at least this advantage, that they force us to think.

The Unity of India : Collected Writings, 1937-1940 (1942), p. 94

Because we have sought to cover up past evil, though it still persists, we have been powerless to check the new evil of today. Evil unchecked grows, Evil tolerated poisons the whole system. And because we have tolerated our past and present evils, international affairs are poisoned and law and justice have disappeared from them.

The Unity of India : Collected Writings, 1937-1940 (1942), p. 280

Wars are fought to gain a certain objective. War itself is not the objective; victory is not the objective; you fight to remove the obstruction that comes in the way of your objective. If you let victory become the end in itself then you've gone astray and forgotten what you were originally fighting about.

Interview by James Cameron (journalist)|James Cameron, in Picture Post|Picture Post (28 October 1950)

If in the modern world wars have unfortunately to be fought (and they do, it seems) then they must be stopped at the first possible moment, otherwise they corrupt us, they create new problems and make our future even more uncertain. That is more than morality; it's sense.

Interview by James Cameron in Picture Post (28 October 1950)
Encyclopedia
Jawaharlal Nehru often referred to with the epithet of Panditji, was an Indian statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

 who became the first Prime Minister
Prime Minister of India
The Prime Minister of India , as addressed to in the Constitution of India — Prime Minister for the Union, is the chief of government, head of the Council of Ministers and the leader of the majority party in parliament...

 of independent India (1947–64) and became noted for his “neutralist” policies in foreign affairs. He was also one of the principal leaders of India’s independence movement
Indian independence movement
The term Indian independence movement encompasses a wide area of political organisations, philosophies, and movements which had the common aim of ending first British East India Company rule, and then British imperial authority, in parts of South Asia...

 in the 1930s and ’40s. Nehru was elected by the Indian National Congress
Indian National Congress
The Indian National Congress is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is the largest and one of the oldest democratic political parties in the world. The party's modern liberal platform is largely considered center-left in the Indian...

 to assume office as independent India's first Prime Minister, and re-elected when the Congress Party won India's first general election in 1951 and 1952
Indian general election, 1951
General elections to the first Lok Sabha since independence were held in India were held between 25 October 1951 and 21 February 1952. The Indian National Congress stormed into power with 364 of the 489 seat. With this, India's grand old party managed to secure 45 per cent of the total votes...

. Nehru contributed to the establishment of a secular Parliamentary democracy in India and was one of the founders of the international Non-Aligned Movement
Non-Aligned Movement
The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...

.

The son of moderate nationalist leader and Congressman Motilal Nehru
Motilal Nehru
Motilal Nehru was an early Indian independence activist and leader of the Indian National Congress, who remained Congress President twice, and...

, Jawaharlal Nehru became a leader of the left wing of the Congress when fairly young. Rising to become Congress President
Congress President
The President of the All India Congress Committee, and therefore of the Indian National Congress Party as a whole, is known as the Congress President.-History:...

 under the mentorship of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Nehru was a charismatic and radical leader, advocating complete independence
Swaraj
Swaraj can mean generally self-governance or "self-rule", and was used synonymously with "home-rule" by Gandhi but the word usually refers to Gandhi's concept for Indian independence from foreign domination. Swaraj lays stress on governance not by a hierarchical government, but self governance...

 for India from the British Empire
British Empire
The British Empire comprised the dominions, colonies, protectorates, mandates and other territories ruled or administered by the United Kingdom. It originated with the overseas colonies and trading posts established by England in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. At its height, it was the...

. In the long struggle for Indian independence, Nehru was eventually recognized as Gandhi's political heir. Throughout his life, Nehru advocated Democratic socialism
Democratic socialism
Democratic socialism is a description used by various socialist movements and organizations to emphasize the democratic character of their political orientation...

/Fabian Socialism and a strong Public sector
Public sector
The public sector, sometimes referred to as the state sector, is a part of the state that deals with either the production, delivery and allocation of goods and services by and for the government or its citizens, whether national, regional or local/municipal.Examples of public sector activity range...

 as the means by which economic development
Economic development
Economic development generally refers to the sustained, concerted actions of policymakers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area...

 could be pursued by poorer nations. He was the father of Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhara was an Indian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms and a fourth term . She was assassinated by Sikh extremists...

 and the maternal grandfather of Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Ratna Gandhi was the sixth Prime Minister of India . He took office after his mother's assassination on 31 October 1984; he himself was assassinated on 21 May 1991. He became the youngest Prime Minister of India when he took office at the age of 40.Rajiv Gandhi was the elder son of Indira...

, who would later serve as the third and sixth Prime Ministers of India.

Early life and career



Jawaharlal Nehru was born to Motilal Nehru
Motilal Nehru
Motilal Nehru was an early Indian independence activist and leader of the Indian National Congress, who remained Congress President twice, and...

 (1861–1931) and Swaroop Rani (1863–1954) in a Kashmiri Pandit
Kashmiri Pandit
The Kashmiri Pandits are a Hindu Brahmin community originating from Kashmir, a mountainous region in South Asia.-Background:The Hindu caste system of the region was influenced by the influx of Buddhism from the time of Asoka, around the third century BCE, and a consequence of this was that the...

 family in Allahabad
Allahabad
Allahabad , or Settled by God in Persian, is a major city of India and is one of the main holy cities of Hinduism. It was renamed by the Mughals from the ancient name of Prayaga , and is by some accounts the second-oldest city in India. It is located in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh,...

, Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh abbreviation U.P. , is a state located in the northern part of India. With a population of over 200 million people, it is India's most populous state, as well as the world's most populous sub-national entity...

. He was educated in India and Britain. In England, he attended the independent boy's school, Harrow
Harrow School
Harrow School, commonly known simply as "Harrow", is an English independent school for boys situated in the town of Harrow, in north-west London.. The school is of worldwide renown. There is some evidence that there has been a school on the site since 1243 but the Harrow School we know today was...

 and Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Trinity has more members than any other college in Cambridge or Oxford, with around 700 undergraduates, 430 graduates, and over 170 Fellows...

. During his time in Britain, Nehru was also known as Joe Nehru.

On 7 February 1916, Nehru married sixteen year old Kamala Kaul
Kamala Nehru
Kamala Kaul Nehru was the wife of Jawaharlal Nehru - leader of the Indian National Congress and first Prime Minister of India. Kamala married Nehru on 7 February 1916.-Contribution to the Indian Freedom Movement:...

. In the first year of the marriage, Kamala gave birth to their only child, Indira Priyadarshini
Indira Gandhi
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhara was an Indian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms and a fourth term . She was assassinated by Sikh extremists...

. Much modern speculation has revolved around whether, during the final days of the British in India
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

, Nehru and Edwina Mountbatten
Edwina Mountbatten, Countess Mountbatten of Burma
Edwina Cynthia Annette Mountbatten, Countess Mountbatten of Burma,, GBE, DCVO, CI, DStJ was an English heiress, socialite, relief-worker, wife of Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, and last Vicereine of India.- Lineage and wealth :Edwina Mountbatten, Countess Mountbatten of Burma...

, the wife of Louis Mountbatten
Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma
Admiral of the Fleet Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas George Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, KG, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, GCVO, DSO, PC, FRS , was a British statesman and naval officer, and an uncle of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh...

, the last Viceroy of India, were romantically involved.

Life and career


Nehru raised the flag of independent India in New Delhi on 15 August 1947, the day India gained Independence. Nehru's appreciation of the virtues of parliamentary democracy, secularism and liberalism, coupled with his concerns for the poor and underprivileged, are recognised to have guided him in formulating socialist policies that influence India to this day. They also reflect the socialist origins of his worldview. His daughter, Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhara was an Indian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms and a fourth term . She was assassinated by Sikh extremists...

, and grandson, Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Ratna Gandhi was the sixth Prime Minister of India . He took office after his mother's assassination on 31 October 1984; he himself was assassinated on 21 May 1991. He became the youngest Prime Minister of India when he took office at the age of 40.Rajiv Gandhi was the elder son of Indira...

, also served as Prime Ministers of India.

Successor to Gandhi


On 15 January 1941 Gandhi said, "Some say Pandit Nehru and I were estranged. It will require much more than difference of opinion to estrange us. We had differences from the time we became co-workers and yet I have said for some years and say so now that not Rajaji but Jawaharlal will be my successor."

Political apprenticeship



Nehru and his colleagues had been released as the British Cabinet Mission arrived to propose plans for transfer of power.

Once elected, Nehru headed an interim government, which was impaired by outbreaks of communal violence and political disorder, and the opposition of the Muslim League led by Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Muhammad Ali Jinnah was a Muslim lawyer, politician, statesman and the founder of Pakistan. He is popularly and officially known in Pakistan as Quaid-e-Azam and Baba-e-Qaum ....

, who were demanding a separate Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 state of Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

. After failed bids to form coalitions, Nehru reluctantly supported the partition of India
Partition of India
The Partition of India was the partition of British India on the basis of religious demographics that led to the creation of the sovereign states of the Dominion of Pakistan and the Union of India on 14 and 15...

, according to a plan released by the British on 3 June 1947. He took office as the Prime Minister of India
Prime Minister of India
The Prime Minister of India , as addressed to in the Constitution of India — Prime Minister for the Union, is the chief of government, head of the Council of Ministers and the leader of the majority party in parliament...

 on 15 August, and delivered his inaugural address titled "A Tryst With Destiny
Tryst with destiny
Tryst with Destiny was a speech made by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India. The speech was made to the Indian Constituent Assembly, on the eve of India's Independence, towards midnight on 14 August 1947. It focuses on the aspects that transcend India's history...

"

"Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity."


However, this period was marked with intense communal violence. This violence swept across the Punjab region
Punjab region
The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

, Delhi
Delhi
Delhi , officially National Capital Territory of Delhi , is the largest metropolis by area and the second-largest by population in India, next to Mumbai. It is the eighth largest metropolis in the world by population with 16,753,265 inhabitants in the Territory at the 2011 Census...

, Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

 and other parts of India. Nehru conducted joint tours with Pakistani leaders to encourage peace and calm angry and disillusioned refugees. Nehru would work with Maulana Azad and other Muslim leaders to safeguard and encourage Muslims to remain in India. The violence of the time deeply affected Nehru, who called for a ceasefire and UN intervention to stop the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947
Indo-Pakistani War of 1947
The India-Pakistan War of 1947-48, sometimes known as the First Kashmir War, was fought between India and Pakistan over the princely state of Kashmir and Jammu from 1947 to 1948. It was the first of four wars fought between the two newly independent nations...

. Fearing communal reprisals, Nehru also hesitated in supporting the annexation of Hyderabad State
Hyderabad State
-After Indian independence :When India gained independence in 1947 and Pakistan came into existence in 1947, the British left the local rulers of the princely states the choice of whether to join one of the new dominions or to remain independent...

. Jaswant Singh
Jaswant Singh
- Career :He is one of the few Indian politicians to have been the Minister for Defence, Finance and External Affairs.He started the new government of Vajpayee, which lasted its full term, as the External Affairs Minister and later on switched his ministry to Finance with Yashwant Sinha...

, a senior leader of Bharatiya Janata Party
Bharatiya Janata Party
The Bharatiya Janata Party ,; translation: Indian People's Party) is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Indian National Congress. Established in 1980, it is India's second largest political party in terms of representation in the parliament...

 (BJP), viewed Nehru, not Mohammad Ali Jinnah, as causing the partition of India, mostly referring to his highly centralised policies for an independent India in 1947, which Jinnah opposed in favour of a more decentralised India. The split between the two was among the causes of partition. It is believed that personal animosity between the two leaders led to the partition of India.

In the years following independence, Nehru frequently turned to his daughter Indira to look after him and manage his personal affairs. Under his leadership, the Congress won an overwhelming majority in the elections of 1952. Indira moved into Nehru's official residence to attend to him and became his constant companion in his travels across India and the world. Indira would virtually become Nehru's chief of staff.


Economic policies


Nehru presided over the introduction of a modified, Indian version of state planning and control over the economy. Creating the Planning commission of India
Planning commission of India
The Planning Commission is an institution in the Government of India, which formulates India's Five-Year Plans, among other functions.-History:...

, Nehru drew up the first Five-Year Plan
Five-Year Plans of India
The economy of India is based in part on planning through its five-year plans, which are developed, executed and monitored by the Planning Commission. The tenth plan completed its term in March 2007 and the eleventh plan is currently underway...

 in 1951, which charted the government's investments in industries and agriculture. Increasing business and income taxes, Nehru envisaged a mixed economy
Mixed economy
Mixed economy is an economic system in which both the state and private sector direct the economy, reflecting characteristics of both market economies and planned economies. Most mixed economies can be described as market economies with strong regulatory oversight, in addition to having a variety...

 in which the government would manage strategic industries such as mining, electricity and heavy industries, serving public interest and a check to private enterprise. Nehru pursued land redistribution and launched programmes to build irrigation canals, dams and spread the use of fertilizers to increase agricultural production. He also pioneered a series of community development programs aimed at spreading diverse cottage industries and increasing efficiency into rural India. While encouraging the construction of large dams (which Nehru called the "new temples of India"), irrigation works and the generation of hydroelectricity
Hydroelectricity
Hydroelectricity is the term referring to electricity generated by hydropower; the production of electrical power through the use of the gravitational force of falling or flowing water. It is the most widely used form of renewable energy...

, Nehru also launched India's programme to harness nuclear energy
Nuclear power
Nuclear power is the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity. Nuclear power plants provide about 6% of the world's energy and 13–14% of the world's electricity, with the U.S., France, and Japan together accounting for about 50% of nuclear generated electricity...

.

For most of Nehru's term as prime minister, India would continue to face serious food shortages despite progress and increases in agricultural production. Nehru's industrial policies, summarised in the Industrial Policy Resolution of 1956, encouraged the growth of diverse manufacturing and heavy industries, yet state planning, controls and regulations began to impair productivity, quality and profitability. Although the Indian economy enjoyed a steady rate of growth at 2.5% per annum (mocked by leftist economist Raj Krishna
Raj Krishna
Raj Krishna was an Indian economist who taught at the Delhi School of Economics. He is most famous for the phrase "Hindu rate of growth" which he coined for India's low rate of GDP growth between the 50s and 80s.-Further reading:...

 as a "Hindu rate of growth
Hindu rate of growth
The Hindu rate of growth is a controversial and derogatory expression used to refer to the low annual growth rate of the socialist economy of India before 1991, which stagnated around 3.5% from 1950s to 1980s, while per capita income growth averaged 1.3%....

"), chronic unemployment amidst widespread poverty continued to plague the population.

Education and social reform


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
All India Institute of Medical Sciences
All India Institute of Medical Sciences is a premier medical college and teaching hospital based in New Delhi, India. The Institute operates autonomously under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare ....

, the Indian Institutes of Technology
Indian Institutes of Technology
The Indian Institutes of Technology are a group of autonomous engineering and technology-oriented institutes of higher education. The IITs are governed by the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 which has declared them as “institutions of national importance”, and lays down their powers, duties,...

, the Indian Institutes of Management
Indian Institutes of Management
The Indian Institutes of Management , are graduate business schools in India. They were set up with the objective of providing management education and to assist the industry through research and consulting services. The IIMs award diplomas and not degrees.- Institutes :Indian Institute of...

 and the National Institutes of Technology
National Institutes of Technology
The National Institutes of Technology , are a group of higher education engineering institutes in India. Comprising thirty autonomous institutes, they are located in one each major state/territory of India. On their inception decades ago, all NITs were referred as Regional Engineering Colleges ...

. Nehru also outlined a commitment in his five-year plans to guarantee free and compulsory primary education to all of India's children. For this purpose, 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 organised for adults, especially in the rural areas.

Under Nehru, the Indian Parliament enacted many changes to Hindu law to criminalize caste discrimination and increase the legal rights and social freedoms of women

A system of reservations in government services and educational institutions was created to eradicate the social inequalities and disadvantages faced by peoples of the scheduled castes and scheduled tribes. Nehru also championed secularism and religious harmony, increasing the representation of minorities in government. D. D. Kosambi, a well-known Marxist historian, criticized Nehru in his article for the bourgeoisie
Bourgeoisie
In sociology and political science, bourgeoisie describes a range of groups across history. In the Western world, between the late 18th century and the present day, the bourgeoisie is a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture." A member of the...

 class exploitation of Nehru's socialist ideology.

National security and foreign policy


Nehru led newly independent India from 1947 to 1964, during its first years of freedom from British rule. Both the United States and the Soviet Union competed to make India an ally throughout the Cold War.

On the international scene, Nehru was a champion of pacifism
Pacifism
Pacifism is the opposition to war and violence. The term "pacifism" was coined by the French peace campaignerÉmile Arnaud and adopted by other peace activists at the tenth Universal Peace Congress inGlasgow in 1901.- Definition :...

 and a strong supporter of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

. He pioneered the policy of non-alignment
Non-Aligned Movement
The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...

 and co-founded the Non-Aligned Movement
Non-Aligned Movement
The Non-Aligned Movement is a group of states considering themselves not aligned formally with or against any major power bloc. As of 2011, the movement had 120 members and 17 observer countries...

 of nations professing neutrality between the rival blocs of nations led by the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Recognising the People's Republic of China soon after its founding (while most of the Western bloc continued relations with the Republic of China
Republic of China
The Republic of China , commonly known as Taiwan , is a unitary sovereign state located in East Asia. Originally based in mainland China, the Republic of China currently governs the island of Taiwan , which forms over 99% of its current territory, as well as Penghu, Kinmen, Matsu and other minor...

), Nehru argued for its inclusion in the United Nations and refused to brand the Chinese as the aggressors in their conflict with Korea. He sought to establish warm and friendly relations with China in 1950, and hoped to act as an intermediary to bridge the gulf and tensions between the communist states and the Western bloc.

Meanwhile, Nehru had promised in 1948 to hold a plebiscite in Kashmir under the auspices of the UN but, as Pakistan failed to pull back troops in accordance with the UN resolution and as Nehru grew increasingly wary of the UN, he declined to hold a plebiscite in 1953. He ordered the arrest of the Kashmiri politician Sheikh Abdullah, whom he had previously supported but now suspected of harbouring separatist ambitions; Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad
Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad
Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed ruled the State of Jammu and Kashmir as Prime Minister for eleven years from 1953 to 1964.Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed was educated at C.M.S Tyndale Biscoe School. He started his career as a school teacher in far flung areas of Jammu and Kashmir like Skardu and Leh and later...

 replaced him.

His policy of pacifism and appeasement with respect to China also came unraveled when border disputes led to the Sino-Indian war
Sino-Indian War
The Sino-Indian War , also known as the Sino-Indian Border Conflict , was a war between China and India that occurred in 1962. A disputed Himalayan border was the main pretext for war, but other issues played a role. There had been a series of violent border incidents after the 1959 Tibetan...

 in 1962.
Nehru was hailed by many for working to defuse global tensions and the threat of nuclear weapons. He commissioned the first study of the human effects of nuclear explosions, and campaigned ceaselessly for the abolition of what he called "these frightful engines of destruction." He also had pragmatic reasons for promoting de-nuclearisation, fearing that a nuclear arms race would lead to over-militarisation that would be unaffordable for developing countries such as his own.

In 1956 he had criticised the joint invasion of the Suez Canal
Suez Crisis
The Suez Crisis, also referred to as the Tripartite Aggression, Suez War was an offensive war fought by France, the United Kingdom, and Israel against Egypt beginning on 29 October 1956. Less than a day after Israel invaded Egypt, Britain and France issued a joint ultimatum to Egypt and Israel,...

 by the British, French and Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

is. Suspicion and distrust cooled relations between India and the U.S., which suspected Nehru of tacitly supporting the Soviet Union. Accepting the arbitration of the UK and World Bank, Nehru signed the Indus Water Treaty in 1960 with Pakistani ruler Ayub Khan to resolve long-standing disputes about sharing the resources of the major rivers of the Punjab region.

"We, who for generations had talked about and attempted in everything a peaceful way and practiced non-violence, should now be, in a sense, glorifying our army, navy and air force. It means a lot. Though it is odd, yet it simply reflects the oddness of life. Though life is logical, we have to face all contingencies, and unless we are prepared to face them, we will go under.
There was no greater prince of peace and apostle of non-violence than Mahatma Gandhi
Mahatma Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi , pronounced . 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was the pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement...

, the Father of the Nation, whom we have lost, but yet, he said it was better to take the sword than to surrender, fail or run away.
We cannot live carefree assuming that we are safe. Human nature is such. We cannot take the risks and risk our hard-won freedom. We have to be prepared with all modern defense methods and a well-equipped army, navy and air force."

Nuclear weapons program


Nehru envisioned the developing of nuclear weapons and established the Atomic Energy Commission of India
Atomic Energy Commission of India
The Atomic Energy Commission is a governing body functioning under the Department of Atomic Energy , Government of India. The DAE is under the direct charge of the Prime Minister.- History :...

 (AEC) in 1948. Nehru also called Dr. Homi J. Bhabha
Homi J. Bhabha
Homi Jehangir Bhabha, FRS was an Indian nuclear physicist and the chief architect of the Indian atomic energy program...

, a nuclear physicist, who was entrusted with complete authority over all nuclear related affairs and programs and answered only to Nehru himself. Indian nuclear policy was set by unwritten personal understanding between Nehru and Bhabha. Nehru famously said to Bhabha, "Professor Bhabha take care of Physics, leave international relation to me". From the outset in 1948, Nehru had high ambition to developed this program to stand against the industrialized states and the basis of this program was to establish an Indian nuclear weapons capability as part of India's regional superiority
Superpower
A superpower is a state with a dominant position in the international system which has the ability to influence events and its own interests and project power on a worldwide scale to protect those interests...

 to other South-Asian states, most particularly Pakistan.

Nehru also told Bhabha, later it was told by Bhabha to Raja Rammanna that,

Final years


Nehru had led the Congress to a major victory in the 1957 elections, but his government was facing rising problems and criticism. Disillusioned by intra-party corruption and bickering, Nehru contemplated resigning but continued to serve. The election of his daughter Indira as Congress President in 1959 aroused criticism for alleged nepotism
Nepotism
Nepotism is favoritism granted to relatives regardless of merit. The word nepotism is from the Latin word nepos, nepotis , from which modern Romanian nepot and Italian nipote, "nephew" or "grandchild" are also descended....

, although actually Nehru had disapproved of her election, partly because he considered it smacked of "dynastism"; he said, indeed it was "wholly undemocratic and an undesirable thing", and refused her a position in his cabinet. Indira herself was at loggerheads with her father over policy; most notably, she used his oft-stated personal deference to the Congress Working Committee
Congress Working Committee
Congress Working Committee is the executive committee of the Congress Party in India, it typically consisting of fifteen members elected from the All India Congress Committee or AICC, and is headed by the Working President....

 to push through the dismissal of the Communist Party of India
Communist Party of India
The Communist Party of India is a national political party in India. In the Indian communist movement, there are different views on exactly when the Indian communist party was founded. The date maintained as the foundation day by CPI is 26 December 1925...

 government in the state of Kerala
Kerala
or Keralam is an Indian state located on the Malabar coast of south-west India. It was created on 1 November 1956 by the States Reorganisation Act by combining various Malayalam speaking regions....

, over his own objections. Nehru began to be frequently embarrassed by her ruthlessness and disregard for parliamentary tradition, and was "hurt" by what he saw as an assertiveness with no purpose other than to stake out an identity independent of her father.

Although the Pancha Sila (Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence) was the basis of the 1954 Sino-Indian border treaty, in later years, Nehru's foreign policy suffered through increasing Chinese assertiveness over border disputes and Nehru's decision to grant political asylum to the 14th Dalai Lama
14th Dalai Lama
The 14th Dalai Lama is the 14th and current Dalai Lama. Dalai Lamas are the most influential figures in the Gelugpa lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, although the 14th has consolidated control over the other lineages in recent years...

. After years of failed negotiations, Nehru authorized the Indian Army
Indian Army
The Indian Army is the land based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. With about 1,100,000 soldiers in active service and about 1,150,000 reserve troops, the Indian Army is the world's largest standing volunteer army...

 to liberate Goa
Invasion of Goa
The 1961 Indian annexation of Goa , was an action by India's armed forces that ended Portuguese rule in its Indian enclaves in 1961...

 in 1961 from Portuguese occupation, and then he formally annexed it to India. It increased his popularity, but he was criticized for the use of military force.

In the 1962 elections, Nehru led the Congress to victory yet with a diminished majority. Opposition parties ranging from the right-wing Bharatiya Jana Sangh
Bharatiya Jana Sangh
The Bharatiya Jana Sangh existed from 1951 to 1980, whereupon it was succeeded by the Bharatiya Janata Party, one of India's largest political parties...

 and Swatantra Party
Swatantra Party
The Swatantra Party was a classical liberal political party in India founded by Chakravarti Rajagopalachari and N. G. Ranga in August 1959. The party opposed the Nehruvian socialist outlook of the Congress Party by advocating free enterprise and free trade, and opposing the licence-permit Raj...

, socialists and the Communist Party of India
Communist Party of India
The Communist Party of India is a national political party in India. In the Indian communist movement, there are different views on exactly when the Indian communist party was founded. The date maintained as the foundation day by CPI is 26 December 1925...

 performed well.

From 1959, in a process that accelerated in 1961, Nehru adopted the "Forward Policy" of setting up military outposts in disputed areas of the Sino-Indian border, including in 43 outposts in territory not previously controlled by India. China attacked some of these outposts, and thus the Sino-Indian War
Sino-Indian War
The Sino-Indian War , also known as the Sino-Indian Border Conflict , was a war between China and India that occurred in 1962. A disputed Himalayan border was the main pretext for war, but other issues played a role. There had been a series of violent border incidents after the 1959 Tibetan...

 began, which India technically lost, but China gained no territory as it withdrew to pre-war lines. The war exposed the weaknesses of India's military, and Nehru was widely criticised for his government's insufficient attention to defence. In response, Nehru sacked the defence minister Krishna Menon
Krishna Menon
Vengalil Krishnan Krishna Menon , commonly referred to as Krishna Menon, was an Indian nationalist, diplomat and statesman, described as the second most powerful man in India by Time Magazine and others, after his ally and intimate friend, Jawaharlal Nehru.Described as "vitriolic,...

 and sought U.S. military aid, but Nehru's health began declining steadily, and he spent months recuperating in Kashmir through 1963. Some historians attribute this dramatic decline to his surprise and chagrin over the Sino-Indian War, which he perceived as a betrayal of trust. Upon his return from Kashmir in May 1964, Nehru suffered a stroke and later a heart attack
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

. He was "taken ill in early hours" of 27 May 1964 and died in "early afternoon" on same day, and his death was announced to Lok Sabha at 1400 local time; cause of death is believed to be heart attack. Nehru was cremated in accordance with Hindu rites at the Shantivana
Raj Ghat and associated memorials
Raj Ghat is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi. Originally it was the name of a historic ghat of Old Delhi on the banks of Yamuna river. Close to it, and east of Daryaganj was “Raj Ghat Gate” of the walled city, opening at Raj Ghat on Yamuna River. Later the memorial area was also called Raj ghat...

 on the banks of the Yamuna River, witnessed by hundreds of thousands of mourners who had flocked into the streets of Delhi and the cremation grounds.

Legacy



As India's first Prime minister and external affairs minister, Jawaharlal Nehru played a major role in shaping modern India's government and political culture along with sound foreign policy. He is praised for creating a system providing universal primary education
Primary education
A primary school is an institution in which children receive the first stage of compulsory education known as primary or elementary education. Primary school is the preferred term in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth Nations, and in most publications of the United Nations Educational,...

, reaching children in the farthest corners of rural India. Nehru's education policy is also credited for the development of world-class educational institutions such as the All India Institute of Medical Sciences
All India Institute of Medical Sciences
All India Institute of Medical Sciences is a premier medical college and teaching hospital based in New Delhi, India. The Institute operates autonomously under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare ....

, Indian Institutes of Technology
Indian Institutes of Technology
The Indian Institutes of Technology are a group of autonomous engineering and technology-oriented institutes of higher education. The IITs are governed by the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 which has declared them as “institutions of national importance”, and lays down their powers, duties,...

, and the Indian Institutes of Management
Indian Institutes of Management
The Indian Institutes of Management , are graduate business schools in India. They were set up with the objective of providing management education and to assist the industry through research and consulting services. The IIMs award diplomas and not degrees.- Institutes :Indian Institute of...

.
"Nehru was a great man... Nehru gave to Indians an image of themselves that I don't think others might have succeeded in doing." – Sir Isaiah Berlin
Isaiah Berlin
Sir Isaiah Berlin OM, FBA was a British social and political theorist, philosopher and historian of ideas of Russian-Jewish origin, regarded as one of the leading thinkers of the twentieth century and a dominant liberal scholar of his generation...



In addition, Nehru's stance as an unfailing nationalist led him to also implement policies which stressed commonality among Indians while still appreciating regional diversities. This proved particularly important as post-Independence differences surfaced since British withdrawal from the subcontinent prompted regional leaders to no longer relate to one another as allies against a common adversary. While differences of culture and, especially, language threatened the unity of the new nation, Nehru established programs such as the National Book Trust and the National Literary Academy which promoted the translation of regional literatures between languages and also organized the transfer of materials between regions. In pursuit of a single, unified India, Nehru warned, "Integrate or perish."

Commemoration




In his lifetime, Jawaharlal Nehru enjoyed an iconic status in India and was widely admired across the world for his idealism and statesmanship. His birthday, 14 November, is celebrated in India as Baal Divas ("Children's Day") in recognition of his lifelong passion and work for the welfare, education and development of children and young people. Children across India remember him as Chacha Nehru (Uncle Nehru). Nehru remains a popular symbol of the Congress Party
Indian National Congress
The Indian National Congress is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is the largest and one of the oldest democratic political parties in the world. The party's modern liberal platform is largely considered center-left in the Indian...

 which frequently celebrates his memory. Congress leaders and activists often emulate his style of clothing, especially the Gandhi cap
Gandhi cap
The Gandhi cap is a white coloured cap, pointed in front and back and having a wide band. It is made out of khadi. It takes its name after the Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, who first popularised its use during the Indian independence movement...

, and his mannerisms. Nehru's ideals and policies continue to shape the Congress Party
Indian National Congress
The Indian National Congress is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is the largest and one of the oldest democratic political parties in the world. The party's modern liberal platform is largely considered center-left in the Indian...

's manifesto
Manifesto
A manifesto is a public declaration of principles and intentions, often political in nature. Manifestos relating to religious belief are generally referred to as creeds. Manifestos may also be life stance-related.-Etymology:...

 and core political philosophy. An emotional attachment to his legacy was instrumental in the rise of his daughter Indira to leadership of the Congress Party
Indian National Congress
The Indian National Congress is one of the two major political parties in India, the other being the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is the largest and one of the oldest democratic political parties in the world. The party's modern liberal platform is largely considered center-left in the Indian...

 and the national government.

Nehru's personal preference for the sherwani
Sherwani
Sherwani is a long coat-like garment worn in South Asia, very similar to an Achkan or doublet, and is traditionally associated with the Muslim aristocracy of the northern Indian subcontinent....

 ensured that it continues to be considered formal wear in North India today; aside from lending his name to a kind of cap, the Nehru jacket
Nehru jacket
The Nehru jacket is a hip-length tailored coat for men or women, created in India in the 1940s. The jacket essentially blends the collar of the achkan, historically the royal court dress of Indian nobles, with the Western suit jacket...

 is named in his honour due to his preference for that style.

Numerous public institutions and memorials across India are dedicated to Nehru's memory. The Jawaharlal Nehru University
Jawaharlal Nehru University
Jawaharlal Nehru University, also known as JNU, is located in New Delhi, the capital of India. It is mainly a research oriented postgraduate University with approximately 5,500 students and a faculty strength of around 550.-History:...

 in Delhi is among the most prestigious universities in India. The Jawaharlal Nehru Port near the city of Mumbai is a modern port
Port
A port is a location on a coast or shore containing one or more harbors where ships can dock and transfer people or cargo to or from land....

 and dock
Dock (maritime)
A dock is a human-made structure or group of structures involved in the handling of boats or ships, usually on or close to a shore.However, the exact meaning varies among different variants of the English language...

 designed to handle a huge cargo and traffic load. Nehru's residence in Delhi is preserved as the Teen Murti House now has Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, and one of five Nehru Planetarium
Nehru Planetarium
There are five planetariums in India named after India's first Prime Minister, [Jawaharlal Nehru]. Nehru Plantariums are located in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore and there is a Jawahar Planetarium in Allahabad. Nehru Planetarium in Pune was the first one in Asia, established in 1954...

s that were set in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Allahabad and Pune. The complex also houses the offices of the 'Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund', established in 1964 under the Chairmanship of Dr S. Radhakrishnan, then President of India. The foundation also gives away the prestigious 'Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fellowship', established in 1968. The Nehru family homes at Anand Bhavan
Anand Bhavan
Anand Bhavan is a large mansion located in Allahabad, India. It was owned by Indian political leader Motilal Nehru in the 19th century, it has served as the ancestral home of the Nehru-Gandhi Family — future Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi was born there...

 and Swaraj Bhavan
Swaraj Bhavan
The Swaraj Bhavan is a large bungalow in Allahabad, India. It was constructed by Indian political leader Motilal Nehru in the 1920s to serve as the residence of the Nehru family when the original mansion Anand Bhavan was transformed into the local headquarters of the Indian National Congress....

 are also preserved to commemorate Nehru and his family's legacy.

In popular culture


Many documentaries
Documentary film
Documentary films constitute a broad category of nonfictional motion pictures intended to document some aspect of reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction or maintaining a historical record...

 about Nehru's life have been produced. He has also been portrayed in fictionalised films. The canonical performance is probably that of Roshan Seth
Roshan Seth
Roshan Seth is an Indian-born British actor, who appears mainly in British and American films. He is known for his critically acclaimed performances in the films Gandhi, Mississippi Masala, Not Without My Daughter, My Beautiful Laundrette, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Such a Long...

, who played him three times: in Richard Attenborough
Richard Attenborough
Richard Samuel Attenborough, Baron Attenborough , CBE is a British actor, director, producer and entrepreneur. As director and producer he won two Academy Awards for the 1982 film Gandhi...

's 1982 film Gandhi
Gandhi (film)
Gandhi is a 1982 biographical film based on the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who led the nonviolent resistance movement against British colonial rule in India during the first half of the 20th century. The film was directed by Richard Attenborough and stars Ben Kingsley as Gandhi. They both...

, Shyam Benegal
Shyam Benegal
Shyam Benegal is a prolific Indian director and screenwriter. With his first four feature films Ankur , Nishant Manthan and Bhumika he created a new genre, which has now come to be called the "middle cinema" in India although he himself has expressed dislike in the term preferring his work to...

's 1988 television series Bharat Ek Khoj
Bharat Ek Khoj
Bharat Ek Khoj is a 53-episode television series that dramatically unfolds the 5000 year history of India from its beginnings to the coming of independence in 1947...

, based on Nehru's The Discovery of India
The Discovery of India
The Discovery of India was written by India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru during his imprisonment in 1942-1946 at Ahmednagar in the Ahmednagar Fort....

, and in a 2007 TV film entitled The Last Days of the Raj. In Ketan Mehta
Ketan Mehta
Ketan Mehta is an Indian film director, who has also directed documentaries and television serials.-Early life and education:Born in Navsari in Gujarat, Ketan Mehta did his schooling from Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, Delhi and later graduated in film direction from Film and Television Institute of...

's film Sardar
Sardar (film)
Sardar is a 1993 Indian biopic on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, one of India's greatest freedom fighters, directed by Ketan Mehta and written by noted playwright Vijay Tendulkar.-Plot synopsis:...

, Nehru was portrayed by Benjamin Gilani
Benjamin Gilani
Benjamin Gilani is an Indian actor of film, television and theatre. He portrayed Jawaharlal Nehru in the 1993 film Sardar. He also acted in the movie "Hum Dum"....

. Girish Karnad
Girish Karnad
Girish Raghunath Karnad is a contemporary writer, playwright, screenwriter, actor and movie director in Kannada language...

's historical play, Tughlaq (1962) is an allegory about the Nehruvian era. It was staged by Ebrahim Alkazi
Ebrahim Alkazi
Ebrahim Alkazi is one of the most influential Indian theatre directors and Drama teachers in 20th century Indian theatre. He also remained the Director of National School of Drama, New Delhi He has also been a noted art connoisseur, collector and gallery owner, and found Art Heritage Gallery in...

 with National School of Drama Repertory at Purana Qila, Delhi in 1970s and later at the Festival of India, London in 1982.

Writings


Nehru was a prolific writer in English and wrote a number of books, such as The Discovery of India
The Discovery of India
The Discovery of India was written by India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru during his imprisonment in 1942-1946 at Ahmednagar in the Ahmednagar Fort....

,
Glimpses of World History
Glimpses of World History
Glimpses of World History, a book written by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1934, is a panoramic sweep of the history of humankind. It is a collection of 196 letters on world history written from various prisons in British India between 1930–1933...

,
and his autobiography, Toward Freedom
An Autobiography (Nehru)
An Autobiography also known as Toward Freedom, is an autobiographical book written by the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru while he was in prison. It ran nine editions in the first year alone...

.

See also

  • Glimpses of World History
    Glimpses of World History
    Glimpses of World History, a book written by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1934, is a panoramic sweep of the history of humankind. It is a collection of 196 letters on world history written from various prisons in British India between 1930–1933...

     written by Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission
    Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission
    The Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission is a major initiative of the Government of India and State Governments to promote ecologically sustainable growth while addressing India’s energy security challenges. It will also constitute a major contribution by India to the global effort to meet the...

  • Letters from a Father to His Daughter
    Letters from a Father to His Daughter
    Letters from a Father to His Daughter is a collection of 30 letters written by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1928 to his daughter Indira Gandhi when she was 10 years old, teaching about natural history and the story of civilisations....

     a collection of letters written by Jawaharlal Nehru to his daughter Indira
    Indira Gandhi
    Indira Priyadarshini Gandhara was an Indian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms and a fourth term . She was assassinated by Sikh extremists...

    .
  • List of political families
  • Nehru jacket
    Nehru jacket
    The Nehru jacket is a hip-length tailored coat for men or women, created in India in the 1940s. The jacket essentially blends the collar of the achkan, historically the royal court dress of Indian nobles, with the Western suit jacket...

  • The Discovery of India
    The Discovery of India
    The Discovery of India was written by India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru during his imprisonment in 1942-1946 at Ahmednagar in the Ahmednagar Fort....

     written by Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Tryst with destiny
    Tryst with destiny
    Tryst with Destiny was a speech made by Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India. The speech was made to the Indian Constituent Assembly, on the eve of India's Independence, towards midnight on 14 August 1947. It focuses on the aspects that transcend India's history...

     the historic speech made by Jawaharlal Nehru, considered in modern India to be a landmark oration that captures the essence of the triumphant culmination of the hundred-year Indian freedom struggle against the British Empire in India.

Further reading


  • A Tryst With Destiny historic speech made by Jawaharlal Nehru on 14 August 1947
  • Nehru: The Invention of India by Shashi Tharoor (November 2003) Arcade Books ISBN 1-55970-697-X
  • Jawaharlal Nehru (Edited by S. Gopal and Uma Iyengar) (July 2003) The Essential Writings of Jawaharlal Nehru Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

     ISBN 0-19-565324-6
  • Autobiography:Toward freedom, Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press
    Oxford University Press is the largest university press in the world. It is a department of the University of Oxford and is governed by a group of 15 academics appointed by the Vice-Chancellor known as the Delegates of the Press. They are headed by the Secretary to the Delegates, who serves as...

  • Jawaharlal Nehru: Life and work by M. Chalapathi Rau, National Book Club (1 January 1966)
  • Jawaharlal Nehru by M. Chalapathi Rau. [New Delhi] Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India [1973]
  • Letters from a father to his daughter by Jawaharlal Nehru, Children's Book Trust
  • Nehru: A Political Biography by Michael Brecher (1959). London:Oxford University Press.
  • After Nehru, Who by Welles Hangen (1963). London: Rupert Hart-Davis.
  • Nehru: The Years of Power by Geoffrey Tyson (1966). London: Pall Mall Press.
  • Independence and After: A collection of the more important speeches of Jawaharlal Nehru from September 1946 to May 1949 (1949). Delhi: The Publications Division, Government of India.
  • "The Challenge to Indian Nationalism." by Selig S. Harrison Foreign Affairs vol. 34, no. 2 (1956): 620–636.
  • “Nehru, Jawaharlal.” by Ainslie T. Embree, ed., and the Asia Society. Encyclopedia of Asian History. Vol. 3. Charles Scribner’s Sons. New York. (1988): 98–100.
  • “Nehru: The Great Awakening.” by Robert Sherrod. Saturday Evening Post vol. 236, no. 2 (19 January 1963): 60–67.

External links



|-

|-

|-
|-
|-
|-
|-