Jawahar Lal Nehru-1
14 November 1889 - 27 May 1964
Read also Jawahar Lal Nehru-2
Jawahar Lal Nehru,
born in 1889 was the first and longest serving prime minister of India -
1947-1964, 17 years.
He was the son of a
well-known lawyer of those times Motee Laal Nehru (1861-1931) and his wife
Swaroop Rani in a Kashmeeree Pandit family in Ilaahaabaad, UP. He was educated
in India and Britain. In England, he attended the independent boy's school,
Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge. During his time in Britain, Nehru was
also known as Joe Nehru. He became a lawyer in 1912 - at the age of 23 years.
He was imprisoned nine times between 1921 and 1945 for his political
On 15 January 1941.
Gandhi said about Nehru, "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." So Nehru raised
the flag of independent India in New Delhi on 15 August 1947, the day India gained
Works for Independent India
Nehru did a lot of work for India after being Prime Minister.
Education - As he was a passionate advocate of education for India's children
and youth, he believed it as 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 (AIIMS), the Indian
Institute of Technology (IITs) , the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and
the National Institute of Technology (NITs). Nehru also outlined a commitment
in his five-year plans(Panch Varsheeya Yojanaa) to guarantee free and
compulsory primary education to all of India's children.
He developed a system of
reservations in government services and educational institutions to eradicate
the social inequalities and disadvantages faced by peoples of the scheduled
castes and scheduled tribes.
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
His daughter, Indira
Gandhi, became the next Prime Minister of India two years after his death. And
Rajiv Gandhi became the Prime Minister of India after 2 days after his mother's
assassination and remained there for 7 years - 1984-1991. Unfortunately both
Nehru in Popular Culture
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 Chaachaa Nehru
(Uncle Nehru - since Gandhi Ji was called Baapu, so Nehru was known as Chaachaa
- his younger brother).
Congress leaders and
activists often emulate his style of clothing, especially the Gandhi cap, and
his mannerisms. An emotional attachment to his legacy was instrumental in the
rise of his daughter Indira to leadership of the Congress Party and the
national government. Nehru's personal preference for the Sheravaanee 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 is named in his honor due
to his preference for that style. A single Red rose in his Sheravaanee button
hole was his special identity.
about Nehru's life have been produced. He has also been portrayed in films too.
The canonical performance is probably that of Roshan Seth, who played him three
times : in Richard Attenborough's 1982 film "Gandhi", Shyam Benegal's
1988 television series "Bharat Ek Khoj" - based on Nehru's "The
Discovery of India", and in a 2007 TV film entitled "The Last Days of
the Raj". In Ketan Mehta's film "Sardar", Nehru was portrayed by
Benjamin Gilani. Girish Karnad's historical play, "Tughlaq" (1962) is
an allegory about the Nehru's era. It was staged by Ebrahim Alkazi with National
School of Drama Repertory at Purana Qila, Dehlee in 1970s and later at the Festival
of India, London in 1982.
Writings of Nehru
Nehru was a prolific writer in English and wrote a number of books, such as
"The Discovery of India" - this is his most famous book
"Glimpses of World History",
"Toward Freedom" - his autobiography
"Letters from a Father to His Daughter" (to Indira Gandhi).