Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru is a remarkable figure in Indian history not just because of his modern vision but also for his versatile personality. Besides being a freedom fighter, leader, and politician, he is also known for being a very loving, encouraging and influential father to his only daughter, Indira. Every year, his birthday is celebrated as Children’s Day, the aim of which is to emphasize the importance of happiness of children in the progress of nation.
Jawaharlal Nehru was born on 14th November, 1889 in Allahabad (India) to Motilal Nehru and Swaruprani Thussu. Motilal Nehru was a reputed barrister and belonged to a wealthy Kashmiri Pandit family. Panditji received home education by a series of tutors and governesses until the age of 16. His interest in theosophy and science grew due to the encouragement of Ferdinand Brooks, one of the tutors.
In 1905, he went to Harrow, a school in England, to start his formal education. He was an avid reader, who spent a huge amount of time learning about literature, politics, history, and economics. In 1907, he joined Trinity College, Cambridge and earned a degree in natural science in 1910. He studied law in Inns of Court school of Law and became a barrister in 1912. He came back to India and started his practice in Allahabad high court.
Despite being trained as a lawyer, Jawaharlal Nehru did not find the vocation stimulating. He was more inclined towards joining politics but did not have a concrete plan. He attended the meeting of Indian National Congress (INC) but was disappointed to see the passive attitude of its members. In 1916, he had the opportunity of meeting Mahatma Gandhi whose political views impressed him a lot. In 1921, when the British government declared some of the INC members as outlaws, Panditji went to prison for the first time.
In 1929, Panditji became the president of the INC and led the significant Lahore session. His modern viewpoints that stressed highly on political action drew an increasing number of youth to the struggle of independence.
Prime Minister of independent India
Jawaharlal Nehru became the first prime minister of India in 1952 and held this position until his death in 1964. His government brought about several agricultural reforms and industrial policies to put India on the fast track to growth and prosperity. He was a fervent supporter of education of the masses especially of the children. Being a champion of secularism, he favored more participation of the minorities in the mainstream politics.
Not just a statesman, Jawaharlal Nehru was an accomplished writer too, who wrote in captivating English. Apart from the, drafts, speeches and resolutions for the Congress party, he also has various books to his credit.
The letters that he wrote to his 10-year old daughter, Indira appeared in the collection called Letters from a father to his Daughter. His autobiography, Toward Freedom, was written when he was in prison. His profound interest in understanding history is evident in his books like Glimpses of World History and Discovery of India.