The Biography of Famous Personalities of India will tell you about the controversies, the dark sides of a person that you may have never heard of.
Jawaharlal’s Decision of Complete Freedom From Civil Disobedience To Freedom
Decision of Complete Freedom
As a result of his Europe tour, Jawaharlal returned to India with a lot of thoughts and decisions about freedom. In 1927, during the Madras Conference of the Congress, there was a resolution moved by J. N., which declared in no uncertain terms that ‘Purna Swaraj’ (complete independence) was the goal of the congress party. However, Gandhiji felt the demand to be unpractical and criticized it wholeheartedly.
In 1928, when the members of the Simon Commission came to Lucknow, Jawaharlal undertook the leadership of the voluntary workers. Mounted policemen beat them up with their batons (lathis) and wounded them considerably. Gandhiji’s non-violent soldier, Jawaharlal, did not counter this attack. The whole country was angered by this incident.
In 1928, Jawaharlal became President of the local conferences held in Punjab, Malabar, Delhi and its Union territories as well as the youth and student conferences held in Bombay and Bangalore. He used to give speeches in meetings of industrial workers also. He would express his thoughts and feelings about freedom and social liberty in these speeches. He would propagate socialistic thinking in the minds of members of Congress as well as among intellectuals.
In December 1928, during the Congress meeting at Calcutta, Motilal Nehru wanted to pass the declaration of an All-Party Conference to draft a constitution. The demand for complete freedom was not mentioned in this declaration. Therefore, the modern thinkers like Jawaharlal and Subhash Chandra strictly opposed this declaration. The youth wanted to gain freedom as early as possible. On the other hand, the elders were of the opinion that India is not yet in the condition of demanding freedom. Gandhiji acted as arbitrator in this dissension and the declaration was finally accepted. It was announced that if the British government did not implement this declaration within a year, a demand for complete freedom would be made.
In December 1929, Gandhiji chose Jawaharlal over many older and experienced leaders as the President of the Lahore meeting of Congress. Gandhiji believed that Jawaharlal could attract the youth of India. Moreover, Gandhiji was of the opinion that by giving more responsibility to Jawaharlal, he would become a moderate instead of becoming an extremist.
Under the presidentship of Jawaharlal Nehru the declaration for demanding ‘Complete Freedom’ (Puma Swaraj) was passed in the Lahore meeting of Congress which was held on December 31, 1929.
Jawaharlal was elected the post of President of Congress five times-in 1929, 1936, 1937, 1946 and 1951 respectively.
From Civil Disobedience To Freedom
The British government did not consider the Congress party’s demand for ‘Complete Freedom’. As a result the Congress started the Civil Disobedience movement in order to attain freedom. To break the salt law, Gandhiji undertook a ‘padayatra’ to Dandi from Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmadabad on 12th March, 1930. He broke the salt law on reaching Dandi. The whole country joined in the Civil Disobedience Movement.
On 14th April, 1930, Jawaharlal was arrested for breaking the salt law and he was imprisoned for 6 months. He had to stay in the Naini Jail which is near Allahabad. Motilal Nehru was also arrested and imprisoned along with Jawaharlal. They were released after 6 months.
On 19th October, 1930 Jawaharlal was arrested once again and was sent to jail for a 2-year period of rigorous imprisonment for treason and breaking the salt law. A fine was also imposed and failure to pay it would add 5 months to the 2-year imprisonment sentence. Under the Gandhi-lrvin treaty many activists along with Jawaharlal were released from jail on 26th January, 1931.
In 1930, Jawaharlal and his father Motilal Nehru donated their family home Anand Bhavan’ to the Congress. It was renamed as ‘Swarajya Bhavan’.
Unfortunately, Motilal Nehru passed away on 6th February, 1931 after a short illness. Due to the untimely demise of his father, Jawaharlal was inconsolable.
Jawaharlal always had differences of opinions and struggles with the British government. He was arrested many a times and sent to jails in Allahabad, Naini, Bareilly, Dehra Dun, Almoda, Alipur and Ahmednagar.
Gandhiji and Nehru who had returned with many other national leaders after the Second Round Table Conference were arrested by the British government. Nehru was sent to jail for another two years.
In 1935, the Government of India Act was passed. According to this, elections were held in various provinces in 1937. The show of the Muslim League was not so good as compared to that of the Congress. Mohammad Ali Jinnah suggested that a joint government of the Congress and Muslim League should be formed in some provinces, but the Congress did not accept his suggestion. As a result relations between the Congress and the Muslim League became even more strained. There were communal riots in the country.
Without consulting the provincial council of ministers, the British government dragged India into the Second World War. Therefore, the council of ministers of the Congress resigned. Consequently the Muslim League got a free hand on the political front.
Gandhiji and Nehru had different points of view about the Second World War. Gandhiji felt that Britain should be given unconditional support which should be non-violent. Whereas Nehru believed that there is no place for non-violence if one wants to protect oneself from attack. India should support Britain against Nazism but as an independent nation.
In October 1940, Gandhiji started the individual Satyagraha. As the third individual Satyagrahi, Jawaharlal chanted slogans against war. He was arrested for this and sentenced to jail for 4 years. However, he was released along with other congress activists after one year. In 1942, Gandhiji declared Nehru his ‘Political Successor’.
On 8th August, the resolution of ‘Quit India’ was passed in the general meeting of the Indian National Congress at Mumbai. The very next day, Gandhiji, Nehru, Sardar Patel and all the leaders of Congress were arrested. Jawaharlal and the other leaders were released on 15th June, 1945. During 24 years, Jawaharlal had been arrested 8 times and had spent a total of 9 years in jail.
After the Second World War, the Labour Party government of England sent a ‘Cabinet Mission’ to India in 1946. Gnder the Cabinet Mission Plan, on 2nd September, 1946, the Interim government of India was formed with Jawaharlal Nehru as the Prime Minister. At that time, the Muslim League undertook the Path of Direct Action to get their demand for a separate Pakistan accepted. As a result of this, terrible communal riots were seen all over the country. During these hard times, Jawaharlal acted tactfully and calmly. He wanted that people should forget the differences of religion, region and language and think of themselves as Indians first.
On 9th December, 1946, Jawaharlal called the first meeting of the Interim government formed in accordance with the Cabinet Mission. The procedure of framing a constitution for independent India commenced. On 11th December, Dr Rajendra Prasad was elected as the President of the Constitution Committee. On 13th December, Jawaharlal passed a historic resolution based on the guiding principles of Indian politics and the Constitution Committee accepted it unanimously.
The Muslim League boycotted the Constitution Committee and the Interim government. With encouragement from the league, communal riots worsened and became even more widespread. Hundreds of people lost their lives to the continued riots and a lot of property was destroyed. Cinder such circumstances the foremost leaders of the Congress, Jawaharlal, Sardar Patel, etc. thought that immediate freedom would be possible only if Muslim League’s demand for a separate Pakistan was accepted. Thus, Jawaharlal convinced Gandhiji for the partition of the nation and it was decided to divide the country.
Jawaharlal and other leaders of the Congress strongly opposed the first draft of the Mountbatten plan that was prepared by the British government regarding the partition of India. This was because the whole of Punjab as well as the whole of Bengal had been included in Pakistan. It was suggested that Punjab and Bengal should be divided in order to be just to Hindus. Therefore, the second draft for the division of Punjab and Bengal which was prepared by V. R Menon was accepted. Consequently, on 14th August, 1947, at midnight, two nations, viz. India and Pakistan came into existence.