Jawaharlal Nehru is a well-known figure as a great statesman and lover of peace all over the world, He was born on 14 November 1889 at Allahabad in India. He was the only son of his illustrious father Pandit Motilal Nehru, a leading lawyer of Allahabad High Court. Jawaharlal’s mother Swaruprani was a spirited woman.
After his early education at home by learned private tutors, he was sent to Harrow in England in 1905. Afterwards, he came out of Cambridge University with a Tripos in Natural Sciences in 1910. He then went through a two-year course in Law in London and was duly called to the Middle Temple Bar, London, in 1912. He, however, returned to India and joined the Bar at Allahabad High Court.
Though he joined the Bar, his chief interest lay in politics. In 1916, he married Kamala who was a true helpmate to him in India’s struggle for freedom. Nehru was greatly influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and became his ardent follower. In 1920, he joined the Non-Cooperation Movement launched by Gandhiji. In connection with the national movement, he 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 and, in 1929, he was elected President of the Indian National Congress. In this historic session of the Congress, it was declared for the first time that complete independence’ was the goal of India. In 1930, Gandhiji started the Civil Disobedience Movement, and Nehru was actively involved in it. As a result, he was imprisoned once in 1930 and again in 1932. In 1935 he was released from jail because his wife Kamala was seriously ill. She was then in Switzerland for treatment. Jawaharlal went there, but his wife died there in 1936. After that, he toured around Europe and gained much experience in international affairs. That year he came back to India and again for the second time he was elected President of the National Congress, and even in the next session too.
The Second World War broke out in 1939, and Gandhiji launched the Quit India Movement in August 1942. As a result, Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru were arrested with many other leaders. However, Nehru was released in 1945. In the meantime, another heroic fight under the leadership of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose began outside the borders of India that hastened the march of history.
The British Government could now read the writing on the wall. After much discussion for several times, the British Government divided the country into two states—Indian Union and Pakistan—and transferred power to the Congress in India and to the Muslim League in Pakistan. On 15 August 1947, Nehru became the Prime Minister of India and remained so till his death on 27 May 1964. His passing away was mourned by the whole nation.
The achievements of Nehru as the Prime Minister of India, the role played by him in the Commonwealth of Nations, and as a world leader in bringing peace and understanding among the nations of the world under the banner of ‘Panchashil’ are now facts of history. His birthday is now treated as the ‘Children’s Day’ in India, as he loved and talked and played with them. He was a great thinker and writer too, and his books ‘Autobiography’, ‘The Discovery of India’, ‘Glimpses of World History’ is read all over the world.