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Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India .
Born: November 14, 1889
Died: May 27, 1964
Achievements: Took active part in NonCooperation Movement, elected President of the Allahabad Municipal Corporation in 1924, and served for two years as the citys chief executive, Presided over Congress annual session in Lahore in 1929 and passed a resolution demanding Indias independence, elected as Congress President in 1936, 1937, and 1946, became first Prime Minister of independent India, was one of the main architects of Non Aligned Movement.Jawaharlal Nehru, also known as Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, was one of the foremost leaders of Indian freedom struggle. He was the favourite disciple of Mahatma Gandhi and later on went on to become the first Prime Minister of India. Jawahar Lal Nehru is widely regarded as the architect of modern India. He was very fond of children and children used to affectionately call him Chacha Nehru.
Jawahar Lal Nehru was born on November 14, 1889. His father Motilal Nehru was a famous Allahabad based barrister. Jawaharlal Nehrus mothers name was Swaroop Rani. Jawaharlal Nehru was the only son of Motilal Nehru. Motilal Nehru has three daughters apart from Jawaharlal Nehru. Nehrus were Saraswat Brahmin of Kashmiri lineage.Jawaharlal Nehru received education in some of the finest schools and universities of the world. He did his schooling from Harrow and completed his Law degree from Trinity College, Cambridge. The seven years he spent in England widened his horizons and he acquired a rational and skeptical outlook and sampled Fabian socialism and Irish nationalism, which added to his own patriotic dedication.Jawaharlal Nehru returned to India in 1912 and started legal practice. He married Kamala Nehru in 1916. Jawahar Lal Nehru joined Home Rule League in 1917. His real initiation into politics came two years later when he came in contact with Mahatma Gandhi in 1919. At that time Mahatma Gandhi had launched a campaign against Rowlatt Act. Nehru was instantly attracted to Gandhis commitment for active but peaceful, civil disobedience. Gandhi himself saw promise and Indias future in the young Jawaharlal Nehru.
Nehru family changed its family according to Mahatma Gandhis teachings. Jawaharlal and Motilal Nehru abandoned western clothes and tastes for expensive possessions and pastimes. They now wore a Khadi Kurta and Gandhi cap. Jawaharlal Nehru took active part in the Non Cooperation Movement 19201922) and was arrested for the first time during the movement. He was released after few months.Jawaharlal Nehru was elected President of the Allahabad Municipal Corporation in 1924, and served for two years as the citys chief executive. This proved to be a valuable administrative experience for stood him in good stead later on when he became the prime minister of the country. He used his tenure to expand public education, health care and sanitation. He resigned in 1926 citing lack of cooperation from civil servants and obstruction from British authorities.
From 1926 to 1928, Jawaharlal served as the General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee. In 192829, the Congresss annual session under President Motilal Nehru was held. During that session Jawaharlal Nehru and Subhas Chandra Bose backed a call for full political independence, while Motilal Nehru and others wanted dominion status within the British Empire. To resolve the point, Gandhi said that the British would be given two years to grant India dominion status. If they did not, the Congress would launch a national struggle for full, political independence. Nehru and Bose reduced the time of opportunity to one year. The British did not respond.In December 1929, Congresss annual session was held in Lahore and Jawaharlal Nehru was elected as the President of the Congress Party. During that sessions a resolution demanding Indias independence was passed and on January 26, 1930 in Lahore, Jawaharlal Nehru unfurled free Indias flag. Gandhiji gave a call for Civil Disobedience Movement in 1930. The movement was a great success and forced British Government to acknowledge the need for major political reforms.
When the British promulgated the Government of India Act 1935, the Congress Party decided to contest elections. Nehru stayed out of the elections, but campaigned vigorously nationwide for the party. The Congress formed governments in almost every province, and won the largest number of seats in the Central Assembly. Nehru was elected to the Congress presidency in 1936, 1937, and 1946, and came to occupy a position in the nationalist movement second only to that of Gandhi. Jawaharlal Nehru was arrested in 1942 during Quit India Movement. Released in 1945, he took a leading part in the negotiations that culminated in the emergence of the dominions of India and Pakistan in August 1947.In 1947, he becamethe first Prime Minister of independent India. He effectively coped with the formidable challenges of those times: the disorders and mass exodus of minorities across the new border with Pakistan, the integration of 500odd princely states into the Indian Union, the framing of a new constitution, and the establishment of the political and administrative infrastructure for a parliamentary democracy.
Jawaharlal Nehru played a key role in building modern India. He set up a Planning Commission, encouraged development of science and technology, and launched three successive fiveyear plans. His policies led to a sizable growth in agricultural and industrial production. Nehru also played a major role in developing independent Indias foreign policy. He called for liquidation of colonialism in Asia and Africa and along with Tito and Nasser, was one of the chief architects of the nonaligned movement. He played a constructive, mediatory role in bringing the Korean War to an end and in resolving other international crises, such as those over the Suez Canal and the Congo, offering Indias services for conciliation and international policing. He contributed behind the scenes toward the solution of several other explosive issues, such as those of West Berlin, Austria, and Laos.But Jawahar Lal Nehru couldnt improve Indias relations with Pakistan and China. The Kashmir issue proved a stumbling block in reaching an accord with Pakistan, and the border dispute prevented a resolution with China. The Chinese invasion in 1962, which Nehru failed to anticipate, came as a great blow to him and probably hastened his death. Jawaharlal Nehru died of a heart attack on May 27, 1964.
2. Early years
Jawaharlal Nehru was born on 14 November 1889, to a wealthy Kashmiri Brahmin family in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. His father Motilal Nehru was a renowned advocate and also an influential politician.The atmosphere in the Nehru family was different from that of other prominent families of that society. English was spoken and encouraged. His father, Motilal Nehru had appointed some English and Scottish teachers at home.For higher education, young Nehru was sent to Harrow school and then later to Cambridge University in England. After spending two years at the Inner Temple, London, he qualified as a barrister. During his stay in London, Nehru was attracted by the ideas of liberalism, socialism and nationalism. In 1912, he had returned to India and joined the Allahabad High Court Bar.Nehru was born to a family of Kashmiri Brahmans, noted for their administrative aptitude and scholarship, who had migrated to Delhi early in the 18th century. He was a son of Motilal Nehru, a renowned lawyer and one of Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhis prominent lieutenants. Jawaharlal was the eldest of four children, two of whom were girls. A sister, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, later became the first woman president of the United Nations General Assembly.Until the age of 16, Nehru was educated at home by a series of English governesses and tutors. Only one of these, a partIrish, partBelgian theosophist, Ferdinand Brooks, appears to have made any impression on him. Jawaharlal also had a venerable Indian tutor who taught him Hindi and Sanskrit. In 1905 he went to Harrow, a leading English school, where he stayed for two years. Nehrus academic career was in no way outstanding. From Harrow he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he spent three years earning an honours degree in natural science. On leaving Cambridge he qualified as a barrister after two years at the Inner Temple, London, where in his own words he passed his examinations with neither glory nor ignominy.Four years after his return to India, in March 1916, Nehru married Kamala Kaul, who came from a Kashmiri family settled in Delhi. Their only child, Indira Priyadarshini, was born in 1917, she would later (under her married name of Indira Gandhi) also serve as prime minister of India.
At the age of 16, Nehru went to England to study at the prestigious Harrow School (Winston Churchills alma mater). Two years later, in 1907, he entered Trinity College, Cambridge, where in 1910 he took an honors degree in natural sciences botany, chemistry and geology. The young Indian nationalist also dabbled in history, literature and politics, as well as Keynesian economics, during his university days.In October of 1910, Nehru joined the Inner Temple in London to study law, at the insistence of his father. Jawaharlal Nehru was admitted to the bar in 1912, he was determined to take the Indian Civil Service exam, and use his education to fight against discriminatory British colonial laws and policies.By the time he returned to India, he had also been exposed to socialist ideas, which were popular amongst the intellectual class in Britain at the time. Socialism would become one of the foundation stones of modern India under Nehru.
4. Kamala his wife
Upon his return to India, Nehrus marriage was arranged with Kamala on 8 February, 1916. Brought up in a traditional Hindu Brahmin family, Kamala felt alienated amongst the progressive Nehrus. During the Non Cooperation movement of 1921, Kamala played a vital role. In Allahabad, she organized groups of women and picketed shops selling foreign cloth and liquor. On19 November, 1917 she gave birth to Indira Priyadarshini, popularly known as Indira Gandhi. Kamala died from tuberculosis in Switzerland while Jawaharlal Nehru was languishing in Indian prison.
5. Freedom Struggle
In 1916, Nehru participated in the Lucknow Session of the Congress. There, after a very long time, member of both the extremist and moderate factions of the Congress party had come. All the members equivocally agreed to the demand for swaraj (self rule). Although the means of the two sections were different, the motive was common freedom.In 1921 Nehru was imprisoned for participating in the first civil disobedience campaign as general secretary of the United Provinces Congress Committee. The life in the jail helped him in understanding the philosophy followed by Gandhi and others associated with the movement. He was moved by Gandhis approach of dealing with caste and untouchablity. With the passing of every minute, Nehru was emerging as a popular leader, particularly in Northern India.In 1922, some of the prominent members including his father Motilal Nehru had left the congress and launched the Swaraj Party. The decision, no doubt upset Jawahar but he rejected the possibility of leaving the Congress party. He was also elected as the president of the Allahabad municipal corporation in 1920.
6. European Tour
In 1926, he along with his wife Kamala and daughter India, traveled to the flourished European nations like Germany, France and the Soviet Union. Here, Nehru got an opportunity to meet various Communists, Socialists, and radical leaders from Asia and Africa. Nehru was also impressed with the economic system of the communist Soviet Union and wished to apply the same in his own country. In 1927, he became a member of the League against Imperialism created in Brussels, the capital city of Belgium.During the Guwahati Session in 1928, Mahatma Gandhi announced that the Congress would launch a massive movement if the British authority did not grant dominion status of India within next two years. It was believed that under the pressure of Nehru and Subhash Chandra Bose, the deadline was reduced to one year. Jawaharlal Nehru criticized the famous Nehru Report prepared by his father Motilal Nehru in 1928 that favored the concept of a dominion status for India within the British rule.In 1930 Mahatma Gandhi advocated Nehru as the next president of the Congress. The decision was also an attempt to abate the intensity of communism in the Congress. The same year, Nehru was arrested for the violation of the Salt Law.In 1936, Nehru was reelected as the president of the Indian National Congress. Sources suggest that a heated argument between the classical and young leaders had taken place in the Lucknow Session of the party. The young and newgen leaders of the party had advocated for an ideology, based on the concepts of Socialism.
7. Nehru as PM
Fifteen years after the Guwahati Session, on 15 August, 1947, the congress succeeded to overthrow the influential British Empire. Nehru was recognized as the first Prime Minister of independent India. He was the first PM to hoist the national flag and make a speech from the ramparts of Lal Quila (Red Fort). The time had come to implement his ideas and construct a healthy nation.Following Gandhis assassination in 1948, Jawaharlal Nehru felt very much alone. All the time he would contemplate over the issues pertaining to the economic sector of the country. In the year 1949, Jawaharlal Nehru made his first visit to the United States, seeking a solution to Indias urgent food shortage. In 1951, Jawaharlal Nehru launched the countrys First FiveYear Plan emphasizing on the increase in the agricultural output.
8. Nehrus Foreign Policy
Jawaharlal Nehru was supporter of the antiimperialist policy. He extended his support for the liberation of small and colonized nations of the world. He was also one of the prominent architects of the NonAligment Movement. Following the policies of NAM, India decided stay away from being a part of the global bifurcation.
In 1957, despite of the major victory attained the elections, the Nehru led central government faced rising problems and criticism. The election of his daughter Indira as Congress President in 1959 was viewed by many, as Nepotism.
10. Political apprenticeship
On his return to India, Nehru at first tried to settle down as a lawyer. But, unlike his father, he had only a desultory interest in his profession and did not relish either the practice of law or the company of lawyers. At this time he might be described, like many of his generation, as an instinctive nationalist who yearned for his countrys freedom, but, like most of his contemporaries, he had not formulated any precise ideas on how it could be achieved.Nehrus autobiography discloses his lively interest in Indian politics. His letters to his father over the same period reveal their common interest in Indias freedom. But not until father and son met Mahatma Gandhi and were persuaded to follow in his political footsteps did either of them develop any definite ideas on how freedom was to be attained. The quality in Gandhi that impressed the two Nehrus was his insistence on action. A wrong, Gandhi argued, should not only be condemned, it should be resisted. Earlier, Nehru and his father had been contemptuous of the run of contemporary Indian politicians, whose nationalism, with a few notable exceptions, consisted of interminable speeches and longwinded resolutions. Jawaharlal was also attracted by Gandhis insistence on fighting Great Britain without fear or hate.
Nehru met Gandhi for the first time in 1916 at the annual meeting of the Indian National Congress (Congress Party) in Lucknow. Gandhi was 20 years his senior. Neither seems to have made any initially strong impression on the other. Nehru did not assume a leadership role in Indian politics, however, until his election as Congress president in 1929, when he presided over the historic session at Lahore (now in Pakistan) that proclaimed complete independence as Indias political goal. Until then the objective had been dominion status.Nehrus close association with the Congress Party dates from 1919 in the immediate aftermath of World War I. This period saw a wave of nationalist activity and governmental repression culminating in the Massacre of Amritsar in April 1919, 379 persons were reported killed and at least 1,200 wounded when the local British military commander ordered his troops to fire on a crowd of unarmed Indians assembled for a meeting.When, late in 1921, the prominent leaders and workers of the Congress Party were outlawed in some provinces, Nehru went to prison for the first time. Over the next 24 years he was to serve another eight periods of detention, the last and longest ending in June 1945, after an imprisonment of almost three years. In all, Nehru spent more than nine years in jail. Characteristically, he described his terms of incarceration as normal interludes in a life of abnormal political activity.
His political apprenticeship with the Congress lasted from 1919 to 1929. In 1923 he became general secretary of the party for two years and again, in 1927, for another two years. His interests and duties took him on journeys over wide areas of India, particularly in his native United Provinces, where his first exposure to the overwhelming poverty and degradation of the peasantry had a profound influence on his basic ideas for solving these vital problems. Though vaguely inclined toward socialism, Nehrus radicalism had set in no definite mold. The watershed in his political and economic thinking was his tour of Europe and the Soviet Union during 1926
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