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Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India was born at Allahabad on 14 November 1889. He was the only son of Motilal Nehru and Swarup Rani. From the age of 15 to 23 Jawaharlal studied in England at Harrow, Cambridge and the Inner Temple returning to India in 1912.

Even though he had a brilliant academic record, the legal profession did not attract him. Instead, he wanted to join the freedom struggle under the influence of Gandhiji. For a while he was the Chairman of the Allahabad Municipal Committee as a member of the Congress and then he joined the Home Rule League established by Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Annie Besant.

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During the freedom struggle, he courted arrest many a times, and had been jailed 14 years in all. He was elected Congress President 5 times, and it was under his influence in Lahore, that the Congress adopted complete freedom as its goal. In 1947, after India gained its independence, he was automatically elected first Prime Minister.

Jawaharlal Nehru remained the Prime Minister of India for 17 long years and can rightly be called the architect of modern India. He set India on the path of democracy and nurtured its institution-Parliament, multi-party system, independent judiciary and free press. He encouraged Panjayati Raj institutions.

With the foresight of a statesman he created institutions like Planning Commission, National Science Laboratories and laid the foundation of a vast public sector for developing infrastructure for industrial growth. Besides, developing the public sector, Nehru also wanted to encourage the private sector to establish a social order based on social justice he emphasised the need of planned development. Nehru gave a clear direction to India’s role in the comity of nations with the policy of non alignment and the principle of Panchsheel, the five principles of peaceful coexistence at a time when the rivalries of cold-war were driving the humanity to its doom. His vision was that of extensive application of science and technology and industrialisation for better living and liberation from the clutches of poverty, superstition and ignorance. Education to him was very important for internal freedom and fearlessness. It was Nehru who insisted if the world was to exist at all; it must exist as one. He was generous and gracious. Emotional sensitivity and intellectual passion infused his writings, giving them unusual appeal and topicality even today. He was awarded Bharat Ratna in 1955. He never forgot India's great cultural heritage and liked to combine tradition with modernity.

Jawaharlal was a prolific writer in English and wrote a number of books like ‘The Discovery of India’, ‘Glimpses of World History’, his autobiography, ‘towards Freedom' (1936) ran nine editions in the first year alone. Emotional sensitivity and intellectual passion infused his writings, giving them unusual appeal & topicality even today. He was awarded Bharat Ratna in 1955.

Nehru as a Personality

Not only was he a brilliant orator, a charming, warm and noble thinker and philosopher, but also a fantastic writer. He has written a few wonderful books 'Discovery of India', 'Glimpses of World History' and ' Letters from a father to a daughter''.

On May 27, 1964, India lost a great influence. In the words of Dr. Radhakrishnan "As a fighter for freedom he was illustrious as a maker of a modern India, his services were unparalleled. His life and works have had a profound influence on our mental make-up, social structure and intellectual development."

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