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Biography of Bharat Ratna “Jawaharlal Nehru” complete biography for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Jawaharlal Nehru


Jawaharlal Nehru belonged to the whole of mankind, as he belonged to the people of India.

A valiant fighter for the people of India all his life, Jawaharlal Nehru was the chief architect of modern India. His entire life was dedicated not only to the ideals of national freedom, unity and solidarity but equally to those of world peace and progress.

As one of the great Indians of all time, Jawaharlal Nehru’s multi-dimensional personality is seen through his life-long crusade for India’s independence, his gigantic efforts for building Modern India as its first Prime Minister for 17 long years championing the cause of Asian and African unity and his contribution to the growth of the non-aligned world.

Nehru loved by millions at home and abroad was a deeply human person, with multifarious interests in all facets of life.

As a man, rational and scientific in his outlook, Nehru immersed in India’s glorious past and dreaming of a still brighter future, emerges through the pages of Indian history

Nehru will live in men’s minds for a very long time. He will continue to be discussed in modern India which is the main monument to him. There is no escape from history, from what he did for seventeen years as free India’s firk Prime Minister.

Jawaharlal Nehru’s was a rich, varied and complex personality. Though born with a silver spoon in his mouth, and reared in the nurseries of the British aristocracy, he was destined to divide the best years of his life between railway trains, political meetings and prisons. Few men in history have exercised such absolute sway for so long over such enormous and widely divergent masses of men. Yet Nehru was no orator; his speeches were conversational in tone and were meant not so much to humour his audiences as to instruct them. An intellectual in politics, he had a deep strain of loneliness. Even as Prime Minister he occasionally seemed to abstract himself from his immediate surroundings in the midst of a formal banquet or state reception. He felt really relaxed in the company of children and animals. He loved beautiful paintings, sculpture and books. Mountains with their snow and solitude fascinated him and were a source of inspiration to him. In prison, he brooded on five thousand years of India’s past and sought to connect it with her present and future. As Norman Cousins put it, ‘Nehru’s intellect was rooted in the Enlightenment but his spirit was in the Vedas’.

Born at Allahabad on November 14, 1889, Jawaharlal Nehru was the son of Pandit Motilal Nehru, an eminent lawyer and one of India’s greatest patriots. At the age of 15 he went to England and after two years at Harrow, studied at Trinity College, Cambridge. He was later called to the Bar from the Inner Temple and he returned to India in 1912.

Destiny had not intended him to confine himself to the legal profession and he was drawn irresistibly towards the movement for India’s freedom. His meeting with Mahatma Gandhi in 1916 was the coming together of two great souls and was to prove to be a landmark in Jawaharlal Nehru’s life.

In the same year he was married to Kamala Kaul who stood by him throughout all the joys and tribulations of his life until her early death in 1936, leaving behind her only child and daughter Indira.

After the epocbal meeting with Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and his whole family were plunged in the mainstream of the freedom struggle. In 1918 he was elected Secretary of the Home Rule League, Allahabad, and became a member of the All India Congress Committee of which he remained a member for the rest of his life.

He was soon assisting Deshbandhu Chittaranjan Das in the inquiries into the repression that followed the Jallianwala Bagh tragedy in the Punjab and by 1920 he was in close contact with the problems and aspirations of the Indian peasantry, beginning with the Kisan agitation in Eastern U.P. In 1921 came the first of the many occasions on which he courted arrest by refusing to obey orders he considered unjust.

In 1923 he was arrested for disobeying orders to leave the then State of Nabha. Thus began his special association with the freedom struggle in the Indian States.

In 1927 began his long association with international democratic movements with his participation in the Congress of Oppressed Nationalities in Brussels as an official delegate of the Indian National Congress, which he followed up with an extensive tour of Europe and his first visit to USSR.

In 1929 he was elected President of the Lahore session of the Indian National Congress. The national struggle entered a new and significant phase when on the sacred banks of the Ra vi the Congress took the pledge on the historic day of December 31, 1929 of complete independence as its goal.

The thirties saw Jawaharlal Nehru become the acknowledged heir to Mahatma Gandhi. In between recurrent spells of incarceration and despite his pre-occupations with national problems he found time also to participate in the struggle against the onslaughts of fascism in different parts of the world. He lent courageous support to the Republican forces in Spain and visited that country during turbulent days. His was one of the resounding voices in the years preceding the holocaust of the Second World War, warning the democratic forces all over the world against its coming menace.

The failure of the then British Government to give the Indian people a meaningful opportunity to participate in the world struggle against fascism inexorably led to a conflict. The historic ‘Quit India Resolution’ was passed by the All India Congress Committee at Bombay on August 9, 1.242, and immediately thereafter Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and other leaders were imprisoned.

On their release three years later, negotiations with the British Government began and Jawaharlal Nehru took office as Vice-President of the Executive Council when the Interim Government of India was formed on September 2, 1946.

The Constituent Assembly met on December 9 of the same year. Events followed in rapid succession leading to the partition of India. On August 15, 1947, India and Pakistan came into being as two separate countries.

Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of free India. On that solemn midnight when India became free Nehru declared : ‘Long years ago, we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure but very substantially. To the people of India, whose representatives we are, we make an appeal to join us with faith and confidence in this great adventure. We have to build the noble mansion of a free India where all her children may dwell.’

In these 17 years he had to bear many a grievous shock and none greater than the assassination of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, on January 30, 1948. Jawaharlal Nehru rallied the nation: ‘A great disaster is a symbol to us to remember all the big things of life and forget the small things of which we have thought too much.’ As the years passed Jawaharlal Nehru lost many a trusted lieutenant and comrade in arms; undeterred, he strove to build the India of his dreams.

His world vision remained undimmed. He convened the Asian Relations Conference in March 1947 and was its moving spirit. In 1954 he enunciated Panchsheel, the five principles of peaceful co-existence. There were other international conferences leading to the Bandung Conference in 1955. He gave the world the doctrine of non-alignment which was affirmed at the summit meeting of the non-aligned nations in Belgrade in 1961. Nehru was shocked and bewildered when China attacked India in 1962.

Jawaharlal Nehru was dedicated to the ideals of the UN and the principles of the Charter. He addressed the third General Assembly session in Paris in 1948. His last appearance at the UN was in 1960. There he moved a significant resolution stressing the need for world peace and urging the leaders of the Great Powers to renew their contacts. He was the first Head of Government to support the partial test-ban pact signed by the three Nuclear Powers in August 1963.

He strove tirelessly against war and for total disarmament. He initiated and supported action for the liberation of dependent countries. He fought against the exploitation of man by man and worked ceaselessly to bring freedom from fear and hunger not only to his own people but to the world at large. He set his face against all political and military blocs as the greatest impediments to world peace.

Not the least abiding of Jawaharlal Nehru’s contributions was his concept of a revolution in our national economy through planning within  a democratic frame- work. Even before India had attained freedom, he foresaw  the  need for  economic planning and was instrumental in setting up the National Plannin Committee under the aegis of the Indian National Congress as early as in 1936.

When freedom came, the earlier efforts bore fruit. The Planning Commission was set up and in 1951 India embarked upon her historic series of Five Year Plans. The acceptance of economic planning as a way of life by many new free nations is an eloquent tribute to his basic social and economic thinking.

Nehru was a man of scientific temper. He wanted his countrymen to participate fully in the march of science. Science, he stressed again and again, was necessary for rapid industrialisation of the country. He encouraged our scientists to set up a huge network of scientific institutes. He also patronised atomic and space research.

Jawaharlal Nehru was unremitting in his endeavour for the unity and solidarity of the Indian nation. He struggled ceaselessly to blend the different elements of our national life into an integrated social structure. He fought against all the barriers of caste, religion and language and for the uplift of the less privileged. He constantly affirmed the secular concept of our State as necessary for all sections of the people to live together in peace and harmony.

Throughout his life, he kept himself close to the people of his land and was never so happy when in the midst of an ever responsive crowd who showered their love on him. Thinking aloud, Nehru once said, “I have received so much love 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.”

His love for children has become proverbial. It was at his express desire that his birthday is celebrated as Children’s Day all over the country. He loved children and the children loved him and called him Chacha Nehru. Nehru treated his servants as members of his family and shared their joys and sorrows.

Nehru was one of the few who had conquered both hate and fear. When he was tried by a British Indian court for the first time, he refused to defend himself and said :

“Affection and loyalty are of the heart, they cannot be purchased in the market-place, much less can they be extorted at the point of the bayonet. We are fighting for the freedom of our country and faith. I shall go to jail most willingly and joyfull. Jail has, indeed, become heaven for us, a holy place of pilgrimage. I marvel at my good fortune. To serve India in the battle of freedom is honour enough. To serve her under a leader like Mahatma Gandhi is doubly fortunate. But to suffer for the dear country what greater good can befall an Indian, unless it is death for the cause or the full realisation of our glorious dream?”

Nehru was a passionate lover of books. During his imprisonment reading was his major hobby, the only other being writing. He used to read on varied subject—history, philosophy, politics, science, mathematics. In spite of his busy ife, he had time to read Kalinga Prize winner Jagjit Singh’s book on mathematics, the poems of Robert Frost and Han Suyin’s novels.

Nehru was a writer of distinction. Had Jawaharlal not been a statesman, he might have been the greatest international writer. The international repute of his  Glimpses of World History, The Discovery of  India, Autobiography, Letters from a  of Old Letters, and other books include him in the galaxy of the distinguished thinkers and writers of the twentieth century. The British played cat and mouse tactics with his life all through his youth, putting him into prison, letting him out, throwing him in and free in him out and thereby forcing him to spend nine years less gird only twenty three days in jails. Ironically he utilised each day of prison in writing books which later found a permanent place in literature. Nehru the writer is equally important to India and the world. He has been aptly described as one of the seven most able contemporary writers in the English language. The secret of Nehru’s success as, a writer lies in the fact that he wrote with absolute candour. “Whatever you might write”, he advised his colleagues, “never write out of fear”. This fearlessness gave his writings an everlasting vigour. The poet Rabindranath Tagore summed it up beautifully when he said in 1936 that Nehru was the Rituraj, the Spirit of Spring, which is the spirit of eternal youth. Nehru, a great literary artist belongs to that select band of great Indians who have imbibed the spirit of English literature and been inspired by it, set down their ideas in language fit to rank with the best among the masters of English prose. He belongs most befittingly to the tradition of Edmund Burke, John Morely and Augustine Birrell whom A.G. Gardiner calls “double firsts” for having achieved distinction both in the field of politics and letters.

Nehru was a cultured man—polished and polite—totally free from cant or prejudice and full of wit and vitality. He was sincere to his friends, devoted to his wife, affectionate to his daughter and an ideal brother. He had a keen sense of humour which was spontaneous and refreshingly original. He never allowed it to dim or diminish or rust. He looked almost angelic when in humour. He had a keen sense of duty and believed in the dignity of labour. He worked very hard and his last words, “I have disposed of all my files”, sum up his sense of duty. The essential dynamism of his personality is expressed in the following lines from Robert Frost:

The woods are lovely dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

Nehru was a man of the future. He always looked ahead. Once he said, “If man was meant to go back or always look back he would have had his eyes at the back of his head.” His contempt for the static was best brought out when he said, “India must break with much of her past and not allow it to dominate the present. Our lives are encumbered with the dead wood of this past; all that is dead and has served its purpose has to go”.

Nehru was deeply interested in his country and was proud of his people. In his endeavour to boost the image of his country and better the lot of his people he overstrained himself. Even when he fell ill he took no rest. He said, “There is one ambition left in  me  that in the few years left to me, I should how myself with all the strength and energy  left in me, into the work of building up India. I want to do it to the utmost, till I am exhausted and thrown away as on the scrap-heap. I am not interested—in what you or anybody thinks of me afterwards.  It is enough for me exhausted myself, my strength and energy in India’s task.”

Jawaharlal Nehru passed away on May 27, 1964, in New Delhi, after a sudden heart attack. Nehru had returned from a short holiday in Dehru Dun the previous evening looking quite normal and cheerful. After a quiet dinner, he went to bed at 11 p.m. He was stricken by the heart attack next morning at 6.20. The end came a few minutes before 2 p.m. He died of internal haemorrhage and shock. He was unconscious throughout. The whole country was stunned. State mourning was observed for 12 days.

On May 28, more than a million people witnessed the cremation of Nehru’s body on the banks of the Yamuna, about 200 yards from Mahatma Gandhi’s sarnadhi at Rajghat known as Shanli Vana. The vast congregation stood in silence for a moment when the “last post” sounded and three volleys were fired before Nehru’s grandson Rajiv lit the sandalwood pyre at 4.30 p.m. amidst the chanting of Vedic hymns by priests. Nehru’s ashes were immersed at the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna at Allahabad and at a number of holy rivers throughout India. Part of the ashes were also scattered from the air, according to his wish.

On May 29, Indian Parliament paid its homage to Nehru. Both Houses expressed their profound anguish and grief over his death , and “firmly resolved to strive for the ideals of world peace and progress and national unity, so firmly and prosperity to which the departed leader had dedicated himself.” Tributes from world leaders to him poured in on May 29 and 30.

The sterling traits of Jawaharlal Nehru as a devotee of world peace and progress, national unity and solidarity, his undying faith in democracy and equality of all men, and his humanism were recorded in an obituary notification in a special black-bordered Gazette of India published on May 30:

“The passing away of India’s beloved leader and Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, on May 27, 1964 has plunged the whole nation into the profoundest grief. The country has suffered its greatest loss since the death of the Father of the Nation,” the notification added.

There could be no finer epitaph for Jawaharlal Nehru than that which he himself suggested in a pensive mood, with characteristic humility. ‘If any people  choose to think of linemen, I should like, them to say: This  was a man who with all his mind and heart loved India and the Indian people. And they, in turn, were indulgent, to  him gave of their love most abundantly and extravagantly.

That loving memory the Indian people, and indeed the peoples of the world, will always cherish for Jawaharlal. For, as Rabindranath Tagore said, he had never fought shy of truth when it was dangerous, nor made alliance with falsehood when it would be convenient.

Such was the man who led his country for so many decades and administered it so wisely for 17 years—an upholder of the noble values of human life and the dignity of man.

As a mark of esteem in which Jawaharlal Nehru was held by hundreds of millions of his countrymen, the nation conferred its highest honour Bharat Ratna on him in 1955.


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