The name of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru is a household word in India. His name is also known all over the world as a great statesman and lover of peace. Indeed he was one of the greatest men of his age in the world.
Birth, parentage and education—Jawaharlal Nehru was born on 14th November, 1891 in Allahabad. He was the only son of his illustrious father, Pandit Motilal Nehru, a leading lawyer of Allahabad High Court. The name of Jawaharlal’s mother was Swaruprani Nehru. Jawaharlal came of an aristocratic family. He received his early education at home. In 1905, he was admitted to a famous public school at Harrow in England. Afterwards he entered Cambridge University. He was called to the bar in 1912. Then he returned to India and joined the bar at Allahabad High Court.
Though Jawaharlal joined the bar, his chief interest lay in politics. In 1916, he married Kamala. She was a true helpmate to him in the struggle for freedom. In 1920, he joined the Non-Co-operation Movement of Mahatma Gandhi. He was greatly influenced by the Mahatma and became his ardent follower. In connection with the national movement Jawaharlal suffered imprisonment for the first time in 1921. Gradually he became a prominent figure among the national leaders of India. In 1923, he became the General Secretary of the India National Congress. In 1929, he was elected President of the Indian National Congress at Lahore. This was the highest honour of a national leader of our country during the British rule. In this historic session of the Congress it was declared for the first time that complete independence was the goal of the Indians.
In 1930 Gandhiji started his Civil Disobedience Movement. Jawaharlal joined this movement. As a result he was imorispned once in!930 and again in 1932. In 1935 he was released from Jail, because his wife was seriously ill. She was then in Switzerland for treatment. Jawaharlal went there, but she died there in 1936. Jawaharlal toured in Europe. In the course of his tour he gained much experience in international affairs. That year again for the second time Jawaharlal was elected President of the Congress. His popularity grew so much that he became President of the Congress in the next session also.
The Second World War broke out in 1939. Gandhiji, Jawaharlal and other leaders of the Congress did not accept the proposal of the British Government to help the British as they could not meet the Congress demands. In August, 1942, Mahatma Gandhi started the ‘Quit India Movement’ asking the British Government to quit India. As a result, Jawaharlal was arrested with Mahatma Gandhi and many other leaders. He was released in 1945.
The British Government now tried to come to a settlement with the leaders. After much discussion for several times the British Government transferred power to the Indians on August 15,1947. But the country was divided into two States. One was the Indian Union and the other was Pakistan. Jawaharlal became the Prime Minister of the Indian Union. He was Prime Minister till his death on the 27th May, 1964.
Under the able leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru, free India occupied a position of honour in the world. He did his level best to improve the condition of India in all respects. He earned great fame as one of the greatest statesmen of the world of his time. He tried his best to avoid war and establish peace in the world. He wanted to live in peace with all the countries of the world. It was his policy not to join either of the two power blocs of the world. He wanted the friendship of all. He creatd a third bloc. The members of this bloc are neutral. Many countries have won independence after India. Most of them have joined this bloc, because they have realised the utility of Pandit Nehru’s policy. His name will be remembered as a great lover of peace.
Jawaharlal Nehru was a learned man. He wrote several books. These are read with interest throughout the whole world. The memory of Jawaharlal will be cherished by the Indians with love and respect.