Family, Childhood And Education of Jawaharlal Nehru

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Family, Childhood And Education of Jawaharlal Nehru

Family, Childhood And Education

Jawaharlal Nehru’s ancestors were famous Kashmiri Brahmins, Motilal Nehru’s great-grandfather Pandit Raj Kaul migrated from Kashmir to Delhi in 1716.

Due to his wisdom and intelligence, Mughal Emperor Faroukhsiyar 1713 to 1719 gave him a respectable and important post in his ‘durbar and some territory. A canal had been dug out in Haryana and the water of River Yamuna flowed into the royal bath at Red Fort. A large and beautiful mansion was given to Pandit Raj Kaul on the banks of this canal for him to iive in. Due to residing in this prestigious mansion, by the side of a canal Pandit Raj Kaul earned the name of ‘Pandit Raj Nehru’. Thereafter, this family came to be recognised as the ‘Nehru Family’ in Indian history. Due to unfavourable conditions after the mutiny of 1857 the Nehru family left Delhi and moved to Agra.

Motilal Nehru was a man of amazing enthusiasm and had a most impressive personality. He was a successful advocate who handled all cases related to property and inheritance. He was a very rich man. His lifestyle was quite westernised. When the High Court was shifted from Agra to Allahabad, Motilal also shifted base to Allahabad.

Jawaharlal Nehru was born on 14th November, 1889 in Allahabad. He inherited his father’s illustriousness and patriotic fervour. He was an active member of the nationalist movement of the Indian National Congress. His mother’s name was Swarup Rani. She was extremely traditional, ethical, beautiful and religious. Jawaharlal had two younger sisters by names of Swarup Kumari (Vijayalaxmi) and Krishna. In 1900, Motilal Nehru bought a huge mansion in Allahabad and after getting it renovated he named it ‘Anand Bhavan’.

The children started growing in Allahabad at Anand Bhavan in a typically English manner. Traditional Indian customs were also ingrained according to the need of the hour. Jawaharlal has written in his autobiography that, 7 gained a ’Lot of inspiration from the construction of Anand Bhavan. Considering the intense hard work put in by the labourers hired to build this magnificent edifice, I too started working very hard from the tender age of 10 and my motto was ‘There is no substitute for hard work.”

Jawaharlal was admitted to St. Mary’s Convent for his education, but within six months he left school and had tutors at home to teach him the three R’s-(reading, writing and arithmetic), the basic subject of education. An English master named Mr Ferdinand Brookes was appointed to teach him. Jawaharlal learnt religion and science under Brookes’ tutelage. Brookes also cultivated an interest in sports in Jawaharlal.

Jawaharlal was highly influenced by the speeches given by Madam Annie Besant and at the age of 13 he became a member of the Theosophical Society.

In 1905, Jawaharlal was admitted to the famous school at Harrow in England for higher studies. While studying at Harrow, he used to take an interest in the elections of Parliament. Jawaharlal was the only student who could correctly name the English Prime Minister and his council of ministers. He was recognised as a brilliant student of the school. He was very impressed by Garibaldi’s biography that was penned by G. M. Trevelyan. In 1907, he took admission into the Trinity College at Cambridge and procured a degree in science. During his study years, he would attend the political meetings of ‘Majlis’, a group of Indian students, and listen to the political questions debated there.

He would listen attentively to the speeches given by political leaders like Bipinchandra Pal, Lala Lajpat Rai and Gopal Krishna Gokhale when they visited Cambridge. After gaining his degree from Cambridge in 1910, he entered the Inner Temple in London and went on to become a barrister in 1912. He then returned to India. Meanwhile, he had been attracted to liberal politics and the socialistic school of thought. He was interested in the ‘Sinn Fein’ movement of Ireland and the women’s suffragette movement. He had read books and poems written by great authors like Scott, Dickens, Wells and Mark Twain. He was highly impressed by the works of Bernard Shaw and Bertrand Russell.