Jawahar Lal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India, serving from 1947 until he died in 1964. He was a leader of the Indian independence movement and is considered modern India’s architect. Born in Allahabad, Nehru was educated at home by private tutors before attending the prestigious Indian Public Schools Society in Harrow, England. He later studied at Trinity College, Cambridge, before returning to India to join the struggle for independence. Nehru was jailed by the British several times during the struggle and became a close confidante of Mahatma Gandhi. After India achieved independence in 1947, Nehru became its first Prime Minister. He is credited with leading India through its early years as an independent nation, keeping it together during communal violence and military conflicts. Nehru also played a key role in the establishment of the Non-Aligned Movement. He remains an iconic figure in India and is fondly remembered as “Pandit Ji”.
Birth and background:
Jawahar Lal Nehru was born on November 14, 1889, in Allahabad, India. His father, Motilal Nehru, was a wealthy lawyer and leader of the Indian National Congress. His mother, Swaroop Rani, was a devoted homemaker. As a young boy, Nehru was home-schooled by tutors and governesses. He later attended private schools in Allahabad and Shimla. In 1905, he went to England to study at Trinity College, Cambridge. Nehru returned to India in 1912 and soon became involved in the country’s struggle for independence from British rule. He joined the Indian National Congress and became close friends with Mahatma Gandhi. In 1929, he was jailed for participating in the Salt March, a peaceful protest against the British-imposed salt tax. Nehru spent many years in jail for his political beliefs.
After India gained independence in 1947, Nehru became the country’s first prime minister. He is credited with helping to build a strong, modern nation. He also played a key role in establishing India’s leadership position in the developing world
In 1916, He married Kamla Kaula. His only daughter Indra was born in 1917. He had a son in November 1924, but he could not be survived and died after a week.
Role in independence:
He played a leading role in the independence struggle of India. He found foreign allies and forged links with independence movements and democracy. His efforts paid off, and in 1927, the congress was invited to the congress of oppressed nationalities in Belgium. He represented India and was elected to the Executive Council of the League against Imperialism.
Declaration of Independence:
He drafted the Indian declaration of independence.
“We believe that it is the inalienable right of the Indian people, as any other people, to have freedom and enjoy the fruit of their toil and the necessities of life. So that they may have full opportunities for growth. We also believe that if any government deprives a people of these rights and oppresses them, they have a further right to alter or abolish it. The British government in India has not only deprived the people of India from their freedom but also based itself on the exploitation of the masses and ruined India economically, politically, culturally, and spiritually. We believe, therefore, that India must serve the British connection and attain purna Swaraj or complete independence.”
Address on Gandhi’s assassination:
Gandhi was shot on 30 January 1948, and the assassin named Nathuram Godse held Gandhi responsible for weakening India. Nehru addressed the nation on Radio.
“Friends and comrades, the light has gone out of our lives, and there is darkness everywhere, and I do not quite know what to tell you or how to say it. As we called him, our beloved leader, Bapu, the nation’s father, is no more. Perhaps I am wrong to say that; nevertheless, we will not see him again, as we have seen him for these many years, we will not run to him for advice or seek solace from him, and that is a terrible blow, not only for me but for millions and millions in this country.”
First term as Prime Minister: 1952-1957
Several significant achievements marked Jawahar Lal Nehru’s first term as Prime Minister of India. One of his most important early successes was integrating the princely states into the Indian Union. This was a complex and difficult process, but Nehru’s deft handling of the situation earned him the respect of the Indian people and the world. In addition to his work on the domestic front, Nehru also played a key role in the establishment of the Non-Aligned Movement. This was a crucial development in the post-colonial world, and Nehru’s leadership helped ensure that India remained a key player in international affairs. Overall, Nehru’s first term as Prime Minister was a period of great accomplishment, both at home and abroad. His vision and statesmanship laid the foundation for India’s continued development in the years to come.
Subsequent elections: 1957 – 1962
Under Nehru’s leadership, congress won a second term in power, taking 371 seats out of 494. He is considered the most famous prime minister who won three consecutive elections. Winston Churchill, 1955, the British Prime minister, called him “The Light of Asia.”
Nehru’s assassination attempts:
In June of 1948, an assassination attempt was made on the life of Jawahar Lal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India. The would-be assassin, Ram Singh, was a member of the Hindu.
Mahasabha is a right-wing political party opposed to Nehru’s secular policies. Singh approached Nehru while he was giving a speech in New Delhi and fired three shots at him from a pistol. Nehru was unharmed, but Singh was arrested and later hanged for his crime. The attempt on Nehru’s life was shocking for the Indian people, who had only recently gained independence from British rule. It was a reminder of the violence and hatred that still existed in the country, and it showed that even the most respected and beloved leaders were not safe from harm. Nehru would serve as Prime Minister for 17 years until his death in 1964.
Jawahar Lal Nehru died on May 27, 1964, at 74. Nehru had been in poor health for several years, and his death was not unexpected. However, it was a shock to the nation, which was still reeling from the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi just six months earlier. Nehru was cremated with full state honors, and leaders from all over the world attended his funeral. In India, Nehru is still revered as the architect of modern India. His death was a huge blow to the nation, and it took many years for India to recover from it.
Jawahar Lal Nehru was one of the most prominent leaders of the Indian independence movement and was India’s first Prime Minister. Nehru was born into a wealthy and influential family in Uttar Pradesh and was educated in England, where he studied law. Upon returning to India, he joined the Indian National Congress and became actively involved in the independence movement. Nehru was a key figure in the negotiations that led to India’s independence in 1947, and he was also instrumental in the country’s transition to a republic in 1950. As Prime Minister, Nehru oversaw the country’s transformation into a modern and industrial nation. He also played a pivotal role in shaping the Non-Aligned Movement and establishing India as a leading voice in the global south. Nehru passed away in 1964, leaving a legacy that continues to shape India today.