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Jawaharlal Nehru, born on November 14, 1889, in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, is celebrated as the architect of modern India and the first Prime Minister of the nation. His birthday is commemorated as Children’s Day in India. This brief biography will shed light on his early life, family background, educational pursuits, political journey, and notable contributions.
Jawahar Lal Nehru Biography
Jawaharlal Nehru (1889–1964), India’s first Prime Minister, was born in Allahabad. A central figure in the Indian National Congress, Nehru played a pivotal role in the nation’s fight for independence. As Prime Minister from 1947, he focused on economic development, education, and non-alignment in foreign policy. Nehru’s leadership emphasized industrialization and agrarian reforms. His birthday on November 14 is celebrated as Children’s Day in India. His legacy as the “Architect of Modern India” endures, marking his significant contributions to the country’s socio-economic and political landscape.
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Jawaharlal Nehru Biography
|November 14, 1889
|Place of Birth
|Allahabad, UP, India
|Swarup Rani Nehru
|Harrow School, London; Trinity College, Cambridge; Inns of Court School of Law, London
|Barrister, Writer, Politician
|Indian National Congress
|Nationalism, Socialism, Democracy
|The Discovery of India, Glimpses of World History, Jawaharlal Nehru’s Autobiography, Letters from a Father to his Daughter, etc.
|May 27, 1964
|Place of Death
|Cause of Death
|Shantivan, New Delhi
Children’s Day 2023
Children’s Day in India, observed annually on November 14, coincides with the birthday of India’s first prime minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who ardently championed children’s rights and education. The celebration initiated as “Flower Day” on November 5, 1948, transitioned to Children’s Day in 1954, marking Nehru’s birthday. After his death in 1964, the nation officially embraced the celebration to honour his legacy. The day aims to raise awareness about children’s rights, healthcare, and education. Schools partake in festivities, with some declaring holidays, hosting entertainment shows, and treating children to snacks, emphasizing the innocence and joy of childhood.
Pandit Nehru’s Early Life and Education
Jawaharlal Nehru’s early life was marked by his birth on November 14, 1889, into a family deeply rooted in India’s political and social fabric. His father, Motilal Nehru, was a successful lawyer and a prominent figure in the Indian National Congress. Nehru’s upbringing in an affluent and politically engaged household laid the groundwork for his future involvement in national affairs.
Nehru’s formal education began in India, but his intellectual pursuits took him to England for higher studies. He attended Harrow, one of the most prestigious schools in England, and later continued his education at Trinity College, Cambridge. Nehru’s time in England exposed him to Western political thought, philosophy, and societal structures, influencing his perspective on governance and societal progress.
While in England, Nehru delved into the study of law and was called to the bar at the Inner Temple. However, his experiences in the West, coupled with his growing awareness of India’s socio-political challenges, ignited a passion for his homeland’s independence.
Returning to India, Nehru became actively involved in the nationalist movement against British colonial rule. His early engagement with the Indian National Congress and association with Mahatma Gandhi shaped his political ideology, emphasizing non-violence, civil disobedience, and the pursuit of a free and democratic India.
Nehru’s early life and education played a crucial role in shaping his worldview. His exposure to diverse ideas and cultures, both in India and abroad, contributed to his development as a statesman and a leader. These formative years laid the foundation for Nehru’s prominent role in the Indian independence movement and, ultimately, his tenure as the first Prime Minister of independent India.
Jawaharlal Nehru’s Political Journey
In 1912, Nehru actively participated as a delegate in the Bankipore Congress. His transformative encounter with Mahatma Gandhi occurred in 1916, leaving an indelible impact on his political ideology. Demonstrating early leadership, he organized the inaugural Kisan March in Pratapgarh in 1920.
Nehru’s commitment to India’s independence led to his imprisonment twice during the Non-Cooperation Movement (1920–22). His international engagements included representing the Indian National Congress at the Congress of Oppressed Nationalities in Belgium and attending the 10th-anniversary celebrations of the October Socialist Revolution in Moscow in 1927.
His resilience was evident when he faced a lathi charge in Lucknow during the Simon Commission protests in 1928. At the All-Party Congress on August 29, 1928, he played a key role by signing the Nehru Report, named after his father, Motilal Nehru.
In 1928, Nehru founded the “Independence for India League” and served as its General Secretary. The pivotal Lahore session of the Indian National Congress in 1929, which he presided over, marked the adoption of the comprehensive agenda for India’s independence.
From 1930 to 1935, Nehru faced multiple imprisonments due to his active involvement in movements such as the Salt Satyagraha. While incarcerated at Almora Prison in 1935, he completed writing his autobiography. After his release, he visited his unwell wife in Switzerland.
In opposition to India’s forced participation in World War II, Nehru was again arrested on October 31, 1940. His longest imprisonment occurred from August 8, 1942, when he proposed the “Quit India” decision in Bombay, to his release in January 1945.
Post-liberation, Nehru focused on organizing a legal defense for officials and members of the Indian National Army (INA) accused of treason. He went on to serve as the President of the Congress four times, from July 1946, and later for three more terms from 1951 to 1954.
Nehru’s relentless efforts and leadership culminated in his becoming India’s first Prime Minister. On this historic occasion, he hoisted the national flag and delivered the iconic speech “Tryst with Destiny” from the ramparts of the Red Fort.
Jawaharlal Nehru as Prime Minister of India
Jawaharlal Nehru served as the Prime Minister of India from August 15, 1947, when India gained independence, until his death on May 27, 1964. Here are some key aspects of Nehru’s tenure as Prime Minister:
Nation-Building and Development
- Nehru played a crucial role in shaping the early years of independent India, focusing on nation-building and economic development.
- He emphasized the need for a planned economy to address poverty, unemployment, and social inequality.
- The first Five-Year Plan was launched in 1951 under his leadership, focusing on agriculture, industry, and social services.
- Nehru was a strong advocate of democracy and worked to establish democratic institutions in the country.
- The Indian Constitution, adopted in 1950, provided the framework for a democratic and secular state.
- Nehru was instrumental in shaping India’s foreign policy, emphasizing non-alignment during the Cold War.
- He played a key role in the Bandung Conference in 1955, which marked the beginning of the Non-Aligned Movement.
- Nehru was a proponent of peaceful coexistence and sought to maintain India’s independence from the power blocs of the time.
The Panchsheel Agreement
- Nehru championed the Panchsheel Agreement, a set of principles governing relations between independent states, which became the foundation of India’s foreign policy.
- Nehru faced challenges on the military front, notably the Indo-Pakistani wars of 1947-48, 1962 (against China), and 1965 (against Pakistan).
- The border conflict with China in 1962, which resulted in a military defeat for India, was a significant setback for Nehru.
- Nehru’s domestic policies included the promotion of scientific research and education through institutions like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).
- The policy of land reforms aimed at addressing rural poverty and redistributing land to the landless was also initiated during his tenure.
- Nehru advocated for social reforms and women’s rights. He introduced the Hindu Code Bill, which aimed at reforming and codifying Hindu personal laws.
- His government took steps to promote social justice and equality, focusing on marginalized communities.
Jawaharlal Nehru Death
Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister, passed away on May 27, 1964. His death marked the end of an era, leaving a void in the leadership of the nation. Nehru’s demise came at a critical juncture, with India grappling with various challenges. His death profoundly impacted the political landscape, leading to a transition in leadership.
Nehru’s legacy as a visionary leader, advocate for democracy, and architect of modern India endured beyond his lifetime, influencing subsequent generations. His contributions to the country’s development and commitment to social justice continue to be remembered, shaping the ongoing narrative of India’s history and progress.
Jawaharlal Nehru Legacy
Jawaharlal Nehru’s legacy is profound and enduring. As India’s first Prime Minister, he played a pivotal role in the country’s struggle for independence, emphasizing democratic values, secularism, and social justice. Nehru’s vision for a modern nation is evident in his promotion of scientific research, educational institutions like the IITs and IIMs, and land reforms. Internationally, he championed non-alignment and the Panchsheel Agreement, shaping India’s foreign policy. Despite challenges, his leadership laid the foundation for a democratic, diverse, and inclusive India, leaving an indelible mark on the nation’s political, social, and economic trajectory.