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.
Nehru In World Politics, Education and Social Reformation
Nehru In World Politics
Nehru had censured the transgression of the Suez Canal done jointly by Britain, France, and Israel.
Due to the suspicion that Nehru aids Russia in a hidden manner, India’s relations with America did not develop.
To solve the long-drawn-out problem of the distribution of the waters of the five main rivers of Punjab, Nehru signed the ‘Indus Water Agreement’ with Ayub Khan, the military leader and President of Pakistan. The treaty was signed with the United Kingdom and the World Bank as arbitrators.
Nehru believed that the development of education is most necessary for the proper progress of India. Therefore, from the very outset he had always laid stress on the progress of primary education right from the First Five-Year plan. In 1952, primary schooling was made compulsory for children between the ages of 6 and 11 years. As soon as District rule (Panchayati Raj) and the components of social progress came into existence, primary education spread rapidly. During Nehru’s tenure there was marked progress in the standard of primary education of villages, Harijans and tribal people. Besides this, welfare of the girl child also gained precedence.
Nehru established many institutions for higher studies. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences’, The Institute of Technology’ and ‘Indian Institute of Management’ are the most important ones of these.
For adults, Nehru established Adult Education Centres’, ‘Vocational Guidance Centres’ as well as Technology Education Centres’.
Nehru commenced the process of social reformation in independent India. To get rid of racist and caste differences that undermine society, he took some decisive steps that would declare and render such things as criminal.
To remove the social inequalities and disadvantages that Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes had to face, an arrangement for reserved quota was made in government jobs and educational institutions. Nehru had upheld secularism and religious harmony. Due to all these reasons, the representation of minorities had increased in the government as well as in the legislative bodies.
Nehru As Prime Minister
Indians of all races, castes, religions and ages loved Nehru a lot. Indian citizens had complete faith in his ability and compatibility. Nehru knew exactly how to increase the enthusiasm of the loving public.
Nehru believed in a free society. His contribution to the formation of a democratic government based on adult franchise is noteworthy. He brought about an awareness of social responsibility among Indians for their fellow impoverished brethren and other downtrodden members of society. He corrected the ancient ‘Hindu Civil Code’ and gave equal rights to inheritance of property to Hindu women. He was also instrumental in getting divorced women their rights.
During his tenure as Prime Minister, Nehru considered democratic socialism as the guiding principle. He laid stress on democracy as well as socialism for India and tried to prove that socialism can be achieved through democracy.
Nehru gave stellar victory to the Congress Party during the first three general elections of the nation. In spite of this, his government had to face a lot of issues and criticism. He was exasperated with internal corruption in the party and mutual debates among the party members. When his daughter Indira Gandhi was elected as the party chief in 1959, he had to face a lot of ill-will as well as allegations for dynastic promotion. During the 1962 elections, though Nehru garnered victory for the Congress party, there was cause for concern for him due to the ever decreasing popularity and majority of the Congress in the Lok Sabha and due to the good show of the independent party Jan Sangh and the Communist party.
The Naga community that resides in the North-eastern corner of India could not mix with the other communities of India. They demanded independence shortly after India became free. Nehru visited the Naga Hills, met their leaders, had detailed discussions with them and assured them of safeguarding the cultural autonomy of the Naga community. He directed the authorities to solve their problems psychologically with compassion and understanding, not to take disciplinary steps against them, to provide facilities of dispensaries and hospitals, schools, roads, etc. and to take administrative steps according to the prevailing conditions of the region. Along with this, he developed this state also.
Nehru was an efficient and impressive orator in Parliament. He used to be totally alert while answering any question. He was very much upset during the war with China. In spite of this, while answering any questions in Parliament he was absolutely firm and immovable.
Nehru was an extremely ambitious person. He knew the Indian public inside-out and so understood their needs thoroughly. His continued attachment and need to serve the nation during his lifetime made him work until his last breath. Though he was ill, he forgot his illness due to the love and attachment he had for the country. He was so closely intertwined with the problems of the nation that he could never rest.
In one meeting he had declared, “One of my ambitions is as yet unfulfilled. I wish that India becomes a developed nation. / do not know what the people think about all that I have done, but I am satisfied with all that / have done. ”
He was a source of inspiration for all Indians. Old age had caught hold of him. He had also decided to resign from his post as Prime Minister. But people loved him so much that he had not been allowed to step down. Giving credence to the people’s wishes he had remained Prime Minister until the last days of his life. In January 1963, Nehru had gone to Bhubaneswar (Orissa/Odisha) for the All India Congress Meeting.
He was taken ill there and his left side was paralysed. Despite this, he continued his work and duties. He was brought from Bhubaneswar to Delhi. Doctors treated him and advised him to rest for a few days. He could not rest for long. He went to inspect the developmental work being carried out at the border of Nepal and India.
In spite of being unwell, he would remain present in Parliament and would also give speeches on various topics. He gave a most effective speech at the All India Congress Meet held in Mumbai.
In May 1964, on the advice and urging of his doctors and family members, he went to Dehra Dun to take a few days’ rest. Here he spent his time reading and writing and met his old friends. When he suffered from a heart attack on 26th May, 1964, he was brought back to Delhi. Indira was with him all the time during his illness. She obviously wanted that her father should recover completely as soon as possible. The news of Nehru’s condition spread like wild fire throughout the nation and everyone started praying for his speedy recovery.
In the early hours of the morning of 27th May, 1964, Nehru breathed his last. The whole nation was drowned in a wave of sadness and loss. The very atmosphere spelled hopelessness and despair. Nearly all the nations of the world paid their homage to this great man and expressed their shock at the loss of a great leader and human being.
On 28th May, 1964, on the banks of the Yamuna, Nehru’s mortal remains were consigned to flames and he was cremated with full national honour. Representatives of many nations were present at his final rites. Today this place is known as ‘Shantivan’.
Many public establishments, institutions and memorials have been erected all over India in Nehru’s memory. The Jawaharlal Nehru University at Delhi is one of the most prestigious universities of India. The Jawaharlal Nehru Port- town located near Mumbai is the most modernistic port and dockyard. Nehru’s Delhi residence has been preserved as ‘The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library’.
In 1951, Nehru had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).
Nehru was a great writer. Even today he is famous as one of the best known English writers. He penned many books during his days of imprisonment. During the years 1931 to 1933, he had written letters to his daughter Indira for educating her about India’s glorious heritage and history as well as world history. In these letters, he has described the social and economic problems of those days very beautifully. Later on these letters went on to become famous as ‘Glimpses of World History’.
From June 1934 to February 1935, Nehru wrote his autobiography and it was published in England in 1936. He talks about his life as well as the history of those times in this book. This work Jawaharlal Nehru : An Autobiography is considered as one of the best autobiographies of the world.
During his imprisonment in the Ahmednagar Fort jail in 1942. Nehru wrote the book titled The Discovery of India’. Ancient Indian history and contemporary problems have been described in this book. India’s future has also been charted out in this book. Nehru had travelled all over India. This book has complete information about the various people living in the different regions of India. This is also one of his popular books. He had first-hand experience of the fact that even if the people of India are different in many ways they are, nevertheless, united.
Some of the other books authored by Nehru are :
- The Essential Writings of Jawaharlal Nehru: Volumes I and II.
- Before Freedom : Nehru’s Letters to his Sister
- Jammu and Kashmir 1949-64: Select Correspondence between Jawaharlal Nehru and Karan Singh’ etc.
Nehru’s oratory skills were just as good as his writing skills. His voice and words which would always hold an audience spellbound were considered to be the best. The historic speech he gave on 15th August, 1947 and his address to the nation on 30th January 1948, when Gandhiji was assassinated are both unforgettable oratory marvels.
Nehru’s Last Will And Testament
Nehru was a great nationalist and patriotic leader along with being a staunch follower of Gandhiji’s principles. His love for the nation is most apparent in these paragraphs of his last will and testament:
7 have been attached to the Ganga and the Yamuna rivers in Allahabad ever since my childhood and, as l have grown older, this attachment has also grown. I have watched their varying moods as the seasons changed, and have often thought of the history and myth and tradition and song and story that have become attached to them through the long ages and become part of the flowing waters.
The Ganga, especially, is the river of India, beloved of her people, round which are intertwined her racial memories, her hopes and fears, her songs of triumph, her victories and her defeats. She has been a symbol of India’s age long culture and civilization, ever-changing, ever-flowing and ever the same Ganga. She reminds me of the snow-covered peaks and the deep valleys of the Himalayas, which I have loved so much, and of the rich and vast plains below, where my life and work have been cast.
Smiling and dancing in the morning sunlight, and dark and gloomy and full of mystery as the evening shadows fall; a narrow, slow and graceful stream in winter, and a vast roaring thing during the monsoon, broad-bosomed almost as the sea, and with something of the sea’s power to destroy, the Ganga has been to me a symbol and a memory of the past of India, running into the present, and flowing on to the great ocean of the future.
And though I have discarded much of past tradition and custom, and am anxious that India should rid herself of all shackles that bind and constrain her and divide her people, and suppress vast numbers of them, and prevent the free development of the body and the spirit; though I seek all this, yet I do not wish to cut myself off from that past completely.
I have received so much love and affection from the Indian people that nothing that I can do can repay even a small fraction of it, and indeed there can be no repayment of so precious a thing as affection.
The affection of all classes of the Indian people has come to me in such abundant measure that I have been overwhelmed by it. I can only express the hope that in the remaining years I may live, I shall not be unworthy of my people and their affection.
To my innumerable comrades and colleagues, I owe an even deeper debt of gratitude. We have been joint partners in great undertakings and have shared the triumphs and sorrows which inevitably accompany them.
I wish to declare with all earnestness that l do not want any religious ceremonies performed for me after my death. I do not believe in any such ceremonies and to submit to them, even as a matter of form would be hypocrisy and an attempt to delude ourselves and others.
When I die, I should like my body to be cremated. A small handful of these ashes should be thrown in the Ganga and the major portion of my ashes should, however, be disposed of otherwise. I want these to be carried high up into the air in an aeroplane and scattered from that height over the fields where the peasants of India toil, so that they might mingle with the dust and soil of India and become an indistinguishable part of India.”