Jawaharlal Nehru

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Jawaharlal Nehru

If the first half of the 20th century in the history of India belonged to Mahatma Gandhi, the other half belonged to Jawaharlal Nehru, though he ruled over the newly independent India as its elected prime minister only for about 20 years from 1947 through 1964. It was on the democratic and secular pedestal that Nehru and his team built up, that India worked on to prove that it is a strong and prosperous presence among the comity of nations. Professor Percival Spear, famous indologist, assesses: By about 1950 it may be said that India had closed a chapter in her long history and opened another. The British had gone, the new regime had been successfully established, and outstanding questions left over from the past had been dealt with. The Congress (party) had, with the exception of the loss of Pakistan, completed its program, and the way was clear for India to chart a new course into the future.

Nehru was the central figure of this new India. So powerful was his personality and its hold on the people of his country and even abroad, that he was almost unquestioned as the top-most leader of India, and its prime minister. As the son of an equally brilliant father, as the disciple, favored son, and successor to India’s moral and ethical leader Mahatma Gandhi, as a modernist, socialist, and humanist, as the second-in-command to Gandhi in India’s freedom movement, the most popular leader of the Indian National Congress party, a first-rate author, orator and organizer, Jawaharlal Nehru was the political role model and cultural icon, especially for the youth of India.

Jawaharlal, born in 1889, was the only son of the three kids of the famous lawyer of Allahabad, Motilal Nehru and Swarupa Rani. Young Jawahar was trained in English and the western ways of life. European governesses and tutors coached him up in languages and the sciences. In 1905 he was taken to England to learn at the famous Harrow School and later at the Cambridge, opting...
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