Monday, February 13, 2017

Jwahar lal Nehru Thesis Report


Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of independent India. He was a member the Congress Party that led the freedom movement against the British rule. He was the chief framer of domestic and international policies during his term as PM between 1947 and 1964. It was under Nehru's supervision that India launched its first Five-Year Plan in 1951. Nehru was one of the architects to steer the nascent nation towards the brilliance envisioned by countless revolutionaries of the Indian Freedom struggle.
A leader of the radical wing of the Congress, Nehru spent most of the period from 1930 to 1936 in jail for conducting civil disobedience campaigns. About 1939 disharmony developed between him and Gandhi. Nehru, who had been influenced by a study of Marxism, opposed Gandhi's ideal of an agrarian society and advanced a program calling for the industrialization and socialization of India. During World War II, however, Nehru and Gandhi were united in their opposition to aiding Great Britain unless India was immediately freed, and Nehru was imprisoned from Oct., 1942, to June, 1945. After his release, he participated in the negotiations that led to the creation of the two independent states of India and Pakistan in 1947.
Jawaharlal Nehru was born on 14 November 1889 in Allahabad in British India. His father, Motilal Nehru (1861–1931), a wealthy barrister who belonged to the Kashmiri Pandit community, served twice as President of the Indian National Congress during the Independence Struggle. His mother, Swaruprani Thussu (1868–1938), who came from a well-known Kashmiri Brahmin family settled in Lahore, was Motilal's second wife, the first having died in child birth. Jawaharlal was the eldest of three children, two of whom were girls. The elder sister, Vijaya Lakshmi, later became the first female president of the United Nations General Assembly. The youngest sister, Krishna Hutheesing, became a noted writer and authored several books on her brother.

Nehru described his childhood as a "sheltered and uneventful one". He grew up in an atmosphere of privilege at wealthy homes including a palatial estate called the Anand Bhawan. His father had him educated at home by private governesses and tutors. Under the influence of a tutor, Ferdinand T. Brooks, he became interested in science and theosophy. He was subsequently initiated into the Theosophical Society at age thirteen by family friend Annie Besant. However, his interest in theosophy did not prove to be enduring and he left the society shortly after Brooks departed as his tutor. He wrote: "for nearly three years [Brooks] was with me and in many ways he influenced me greatly"..
Nehru went to Trinity College, Cambridge in October 1907 and graduated with an honours degree in natural science in 1910. During this period, he also studied politics, economics, history and literature desultorily. Writings of Bernard ShawH.G WellsJ.M. KeynesBertrand RussellLowes Dickinson and Meredith Townsend moulded much of his political and economic thinking.

After completing his degree in 1910, Nehru went to London and stayed there for two years for law studies at the Inns of Court School of Law (Inner Temple). During this time, he continued to study the scholars of the Fabian Society including Beatrice Webb. He passed his bar examinations in 1912 and was admitted to the English bar.
After returning to India in August 1912, Nehru enrolled himself as an advocate of the Allahabad High Court and tried to settle down as a barrister. 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. He wrote: "Decidedly the atmosphere was not intellectually stimulating and a sense of the utter insipidity of life grew upon me." His involvement in nationalist politics would gradually replace his legal practice in the coming years.

Born                         : 14 November 1889 
Place of Birth          : Allahabad
Parents                     : Motilal Nehru (father) and Swaruprani Thussu (mother)
Spouse                      : Kamala Nehru
Children                  : Indira Gandhi
Education                : Harrow School, London; Trinity College, Cambridge;
                                  Inns of Court School of Law, London
Associations             : Indian National Congress 
Political Ideology     : Nationalism; Socialism; Democracy; Communist influences
Religious Beliefs      : Hinduism
Publications             : The Discovery of India, Glimpses of World History,
   Toward Freedom, Letters from a Father to His Daughter
Passed Away           : 27 May 1964
Memorial                 : Shantivan, New Delhi

2.      Childhood & Early Life

Jawaharlal Nehru was born on 14 November 1889, in a wealthy Kashmiri Brahmin family in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. His father, Motilal Nehru was a renowned advocate and also an influential political activist. Nehru family was elitist in most of their practices and English was spoken and encouraged. His father, Motilal Nehru appointed English and Scottish teachers to supervise his children’s education at home.
For higher education, young Nehru was sent to Harrow school, then later to Cambridge University in England to obtain a degree in natural sciences. After spending two years at the Inner Temple, London, he qualified as a barrister. During his stay in London, Nehru studied subjects like literature, politics, economics, and history. He got attracted to the ideas of liberalism, socialism and nationalism. In 1912, he returned to India and joined the Allahabad High Court Bar.
Nehru got married to Kamala Kaul on 8 February, 1916. Brought up in a traditional Hindu Brahmin family, Kamala felt an outsider amongst the progressive Nehru family but tried her best to adapt to the family ethos and values. During the Non-Cooperation movement of 1921, Kamala played a vital role by organizing groups of women and picketing shops selling foreign cloth and liquor in Allahabad. On19 November, 1917 she gave birth to a daughter, who came to be known as Indira Priyadarshini. Kamala died from tuberculosis in Switzerland on February 28, 1936, while Jawaharlal Nehru was in prison.
The influence of the moderates on Congress politics began to wane after Gokhale died in 1915. Anti-moderate leaders such as Annie Beasant and Lokmanya Tilak took the opportunity to call for a national movement for Home Rule. But, in 1915, the proposal was rejected because of the reluctance of the moderates to commit to such a radical course of action. Besant nevertheless formed a league for advocating Home Rule in 1916; and Tilak, on his release from a prison term, had in April 1916 formed his own league. Nehru joined both leagues but worked especially for the former. He remarked later: "[Besant] had a very powerful influence on me in my childhood... even later when I entered political life her influence continued." Another development which brought about a radical change in Indian politics was the espousal of Hindu-Muslim unity with the Lucknow pact at the annual meeting of the Congress in December 1916. The pact had been initiated earlier in the year at Allahabad at a meeting of the All-India Congress Committee which was held at the Nehru residence at Anand Bhawan. Nehru welcomed and encouraged the rapprochement between the two Indian communities.
When home tuition was found not enough, Motilal Nehru decided to admit young Nehru, in a public school in England. In 1905, therefore, he took his family to England when Jawaharlal was fifteen and got him admitted at Harrow. He pursued Latin at Harrow. Jawaharlal had an encyclopedic mind and as such his reading interests were wider. He did remarkably well in general knowledge. He also observed the political developments taking place in and around with avid interest. Besides politics, the early growth of aviation fascinated him, for those were the days of Wright Brothers.
While Jawaharlal was in England, freedom struggle was gaining firm ground at home in India. The news of partition of Bengal, the Swadeshi movement and the deportation of Lala Lajpat Rai and S. Ajit Singh greatly stirred his mind. He used to discuss the political developments taking place in India with visiting friends and relatives from India. He found Harrow and its intellectual ambience too narrow for interaction and articulation of his ideas— political or otherwise. So, he left Harrow after two years with his father's permission and joined Trinity College, Cambridge in the beginning of October, 1907 at the age of seventeen. It was at Cambridge that his pent-up zest for intellectual pursuit received greater stimuli. Although he offered science subjects like chemistry, geology and botany, he also studied economics, history and literature with keen interest. Among the books that influenced Jawaharlal politically at “Cambridge was Meredith Townsend's Asia and Europe”. While studies, games and amusements filled his life at Cambridge, the political upheavals spearheaded by Balgangadhar Tilak and Aurobindo Ghosh greatly agitated his mind. During those days, Jawaharial's political sympathy got more aligned with the extremists. The Majlis, a society formed by Indian students at Cambridge, provided the platform for discussions and deliberations about political developments taking place in India. He attended Majlis quite often although he seldom spoke there. This was precisely due to his natural 'shyness and diffidence'.
Like any other ambitious, educated and enlightened Youngman, Jawaharlal would have found Cambridge a springboard for joining the covetous civil services. But it seems the prospect of a cozy, comfortable and secured career under the alien rule did not lure him very much. He ultimately decided not to appear in the civil services examinations and took up law. Thus, he joined Inner Temple even before his final Tripos examinations. Law papers did not take much time and Jawaharlal got through the bar examinations one after the other, with neither glory nor ignominy', as he himself put it.
Jawaharlal also had a stint at the London School of Economics before returning to India. During this intervening period of two years before his return to India he was vaguely attracted towards the Fabian and socialist ideas. On a visit to Ireland in the summer of 1910, he was impressed by the Sinn Fein movement. "The parallel in India was, of course, obvious, and Jawaharlal's visit to Ireland and his understanding of politics seem to have strengthened his extremist sympathies"3. Jawaharlal, with a political disposition inclined towards socialism with a tinge of extremism, came to India in the summer of1912, at a time when the freedom struggle was caught between the moderates and the extremists.
On his return from England in 1912, Jawaharlal started practicing law at the Allahabad High Court as his father's junior. After having been abroad for seven years, he enjoyed the early months renewing the old contacts. However, the dry and drab demands of the profession gradually made him feel uneasy.
Fortunately, the domestic atmosphere was quite congenial. It was against this backdrop that he decided to join Congress to take part in its activities. When special occasions arose, like the agitation against the Fiji indenture system /or Indian workers, or the South African Indian question, he threw himself into it and worked with dedication and zeal. These enthusiastic involvements were flickers of his keen interest in the foreign policy and international relations which later became the sheet-anchor of Congress party's freedom struggle.
While politics and practice kept him busy, in between, he also found time for reading, outing and hunting. On 8 February, 1916, on Vasanta Panchami day which is the precursor of spring in India, Jawaharlal got married to Kamla Kaul, a young girl of seventeen belonging to a Kashmiri middle class Brahmin family. It was an arranged marriage, the bride being chosen by Motilal himself.


3.1.His Role in Freedom Struggle

Although he dabbled in political affairs since his return to India, by participating in Indian National Congress’ sessions and in Besant’s Home Rule Movement, Nehru whole heartedly embraced a political career only in 1919 in the wake of the Jallianwallah bagh Massacre. He followed Gandhi’s directives and was imprisoned for participating in the first civil disobedience campaign as general secretary of the United Provinces Congress Committee in 1921. His time in jail helped him achieve a deeper understanding of the Gandhian philosophy and the nuances of the non-cooperation movement.
  He was moved by Gandhi's approach of dealing with caste and "untouchability". With time, Nehru emerged as a popular and influential nationalist leader, particularly in Northern India. He was elected as the president of the Allahabad municipal corporation in 1920. His loyalty to Congress remained unwavering in the face of the rift created in the party due to Gandhi’s decision to adjourn the Non-cooperation movement post Chauri Chaura incident. He refused to move to the Swaraj Party established by his father and Chittaranjan Das in 1922.
Jawaharlal Nehru travelled to European nations like Germany, France and the Soviet Union in 1926 with his family and sought meetings with several 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 of the Congress in 1928, Mahatma Gandhi announced that the Congress would launch a massive movement if the British did not grant dominion status to India within the 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 supported the name of 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 re-elected as the president of the Indian National Congress. Sources suggest that a heated argument between the old and young leaders took place in the Lucknow Session of the party. The young and "new-gen" leaders of the party had advocated for an ideology, based on the concepts of Socialism. 
In the 1942 Quit India Movement, Nehru vehemently rallied for ‘Purna Swaraj ‘or complete political independence for India. He was arrested on August 8 of the same year and was imprisoned till June 15, 1945. Post his release, he threw himself into a series of rigorous discussions and negotiations with the British Government that ultimately led to attainment of freedom in 1947. Nehru fought hard against the proposed partitioning of the country by the last Viceroy Lord Mountbatten. He failed to obtain enough support from Mohammed Jinnah, the leader of Muslim League and reluctantly gave in to it.

3.2.Nehru as Prime Minister of India

On August 15, 1947, a free India was born. Nehru was elected as the first Prime Minister of independent India. He was the first PM to hoist the national flag and make his iconic speech "Tryst with Destiny" from the ramparts of the Lal Quila (Red Fort). The time had come to implement his ideas and build a healthy nation. Nehru’s stint as PM of India is characterised by is secular and liberalist approach.
He carried out his vision to carry the young India towards the road of technological and scientific excellence with great zeal. He implemented a number of socio-economic reforms and paved the way for rapid industrialization. In the year 1949, Jawaharlal Nehru made his first visit to the United States, seeking a solution to India's urgent food shortage. In 1951, Jawaharlal Nehru launched the country's "First Five-Year Plan" emphasizing on the increase in the agricultural output. 

3.3.Nehru's Foreign Policy

Jawaharlal Nehru was supporter of the anti-imperialist policy. He extended his support for the independence of small and colonized nations of the world. He was also one of the prominent architects of the Non-Aligment Movement (NAM). Nehru's predominant role in substantiating India's role in the foundation of institutions like NAM had surprised the then stalwarts of international politics. He advocated the policy of Non-Alignment during the cold war and India, subsequently, kept itself aloof from being in the process of "global bifurcation". 

3.4.Sino-Indian War of 1962

The roots of the Sino-Indian conflict in 1962 lie in several facts of history. The Indian Government had granted asylum to Dalai Lama after his banishment following the Tibet uprising in 1959 and it irked China. In addition to that, boundary disputes over the MacMohan Line in Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin area in Ladakh, Kashmir also added to India-Sino bitterness. Nehru and his Chinese counterpart, Premiere Zhou Enlai were unable to reach a political accord on the 3,225-kilometre-long disputed border issue.
On October 20, 1962, the People’s Liberation Army attacked India simultaneously from two disputed fronts. They captured Rezang la in Chushul and Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh. A month into the armed confrontation, the Chinese declared a ceasefire on November 20, 1962 but the deep sense of mistrust strained the political relations between the two country ever since. The blame for this defeat squarely fell on Nehru and his Defence Minister V.K. Krishna Menon’s shoulders for implementing a naïve and poor strategy.


  Under his guidance India became an influential force within the so-called Nonaligned Nations. Jawaharlal Nehru is widely admired for his astute idealism and statesmanship. Endowed with a wonderful political outlook and futuristic thinking, Nehru in his lifetime went on to become a paramount leader of the Indian independence movement. In 1947, he became the first Prime Minister of independent India. He effectively coped with the formidable challenges of those times:  the framing of a new constitution, and the establishment of the political and administrative infrastructure for a parliamentary democracy.Throughout his 17-year leadership, Nehru advocated democratic socialism and secularism and encouraged India’s industrialization beginning with the implementation of the first of his five-year plans in 1951.
Which emphasized the importance of increasing agricultural production? 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 five-year plans. His policies led to a sizable growth in agricultural and industrial production.  the framing of a new constitution, and the establishment of the political and administrative infrastructure for a parliamentary democracy.                                              .
                     Endowed with a wonderful political outlook and futuristic thinking, Nehru in his lifetime went on to become a paramount leader of the Indian independence movement. In 1947, he became the first Prime Minister of independent India. He effectively coped with the formidable challenges of those times:  the framing of a new constitution, and the establishment of the political and administrative infrastructure for a parliamentary democracy.

Throughout his 17-year leadership, Nehru advocated democratic socialism and secularism and encouraged India’s industrialization beginning with the implementation of the first of his five-year plans in 1951, which emphasized the importance of increasing agricultural production. Five Year plans allowed Nehru to put together a vision for the country’s economy for the next 5 years.                                .

                     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 five-year plans. Nehru propelled India towards modern age of technological advancements and innovations.                          

                      Nehru, during his term as the Prime Minister, brought forward radical changes in domestic, international, economic, agricultural and social policies. Under his administration, he established numerous basic and heavy industries, which he believed were fundamental for Indian economy to take a step forward towards development and modernization. He advocated for a mixed economy where government controlled public sector co-existed peacefully with the private sector.                                .

                      A passionate advocate of education, Nehru believed that educating the young India was imperative for the country’s future growth. For the same, he established numerous institutions of higher learning, including All India Institute of Medical Sciences, the Indian Institutes of Technology, the Indian Institutes of Management and the National Institutes of Technology. He even included free and compulsory primary education to all children in his five-year plan.                                .
Furthermore, it was Nehru who laid the stepping stone for the foundation of the National Defense Academy of India and the Atomic Energy Commission of India (AEC). Despite being a follower of peace and non-violence, he realized the importance of defense and tried to equip the country with the best modern equipment and defense methods to          safeguard the freedom of the nation.                                                                       .       

              He believed in non-alignment as a guiding principle of India's foreign policy so that India is assured of having the freedom of choice in making decisions responsive to its national interests without being subject to external influences. Under his guidance India became an influential force within the so-called Nonaligned Nations. Nehru initiated the non-aligned movement (NAM) professing neutrality. The NAM was aimed at being neutral and not joining any of the two power blocks in that era - the US and the USSR.
           Nehru strongly supported the inclusion of People’s Republic of China in the United Nations to establish warm and friendly relations with the neighboring country. The pacifist policies of Nehru towards China paid no result as the border disputes led to the Sino-Indian war in 1962, which ended when China declared a ceasefire on November 20, 1962 and announced its withdrawal from the disputed area in the Himalayas.
As a great believer in pluralism, socialism and democracy, Nehru developed India as a secular nation true to its thousand years old cultural heritage. He had immense love for children and his birthday, November 14, is celebrated as Children’s day in India. He paved way for India’s educational exaltation by envisioning the country’s top tier institutions like Indian Institute of Technology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences and India’s first space program. He served as the primary political inspiration to his daughter Indira Gandhi who became the PM of India after his death.

3.6.Entering Politics
In 1919, while traveling on a train, Nehru overheard British Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer gloating over the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. The massacre, also known as the Massacre of Amritsar, was an incident in which 379 people were killed and at least 1,200 wounded when the British military stationed there continuously fired for ten minutes on a crowd of unarmed Indians. Upon hearing Dyer’s words, Nehru vowed to fight the British. The incident changed the course of his life.
This period in Indian history was marked by a wave of nationalist activity and governmental repression. Nehru joined the Indian National Congress, one of India's two major political parties. Nehru was deeply influenced by the party's leader, Mahatma Gandhi. It was Gandhi's insistence on action to bring about change and greater autonomy from the British that sparked Nehru's interest the most.
The British didn't give in easily to Indian demands for freedom, and in late 1921, the Congress Party's central leaders and workers were banned from operating in some provinces. Nehru went to prison for the first time as the ban took effect; over the next 24 years he was to serve a total of nine sentences, adding up to more than nine years in jail. Always leaning to the left politically, Nehru studied Marxism while imprisoned. Though he found himself interested in the philosophy but repelled by some of its methods, from then on the backdrop of Nehru's economic thinking was Marxist, adjusted as necessary to Indian conditions.

3.7.Marching Toward Indian Independence
In 1928, after years of struggle on behalf of Indian emancipation, Jawaharlal Nehru was named president of the Indian National Congress. (In fact, hoping that Nehru would attract India's youth to the party, Mahatma Gandhi had engineered Nehru's rise.) The next year, Nehru led the historic session at Lahore that proclaimed complete independence as India's political goal. November 1930 saw the start of the Round Table Conferences, which convened in London and hosted British and Indian officials working toward a plan of eventual independence. After his father's death in 1931, Nehru became more embedded in the workings of the Congress Party and became closer to Gandhi, attending the signing of the Gandhi-Irwin pact. Signed in March 1931 by Gandhi and the British viceroy Lord Irwin, the pact declared a truce between the British and India's independence movement. The British agreed to free all political prisoners and Gandhi agreed to end the civil disobedience movement he had been coordinating for years.
Unfortunately, the pact did not instantly usher in a peaceful climate in British-controlled India, and both Nehru and Gandhi were jailed in early 1932 on charges of attempting to mount another civil disobedience movement. Neither man attended the third Round Table Conference. The third and final conference did, however, result in the Government of India Act of 1935, giving the Indian provinces a system of autonomous government in which elections would be held to name provincial leaders. By the time the 1935 act was signed into law, Indians began to see Nehru as natural heir to Gandhi, who didn’t designate Nehru as his political successor until the early 1940s. Gandhi said in January 1941, "[Jawaharlal Nehru and I] had differences from the time we became co-workers and yet I have said for some years and say so now that ... Jawaharlal will be my successor."

In 1964, Jawaharlal Nehru suffered a stroke and a heart attack. On 27 May 1964, Nehru passed away. Nehru was cremated at the Shantivana on the banks of the Yamuna River, Delhi.

4.      Struggle for Indian Independence (1912–47)

Nehru had developed an interest in Indian politics during his time in Britain.[15] Within months of his return to India in 1912 he had attended an annual session of the Indian National Congress in Patna. He was disconcerted with what he saw as a "very much an English-knowing upper class affair".The Congress in 1912 had been the party of moderates and elites. Nehru harboured doubts regarding the ineffectualness of the Congress but agreed to work for the party in support of the Indian civil rights movement in South Africa. He collected funds for the civil rights campaigners led by Mohandas Gandhi in 1913. Later, he campaigned against the indentured labour and other such discriminations faced by Indians in the British colonies.
When the First World War broke out in August 1914, sympathy in India was divided. Although educated Indians "by and large took a vicarious pleasure" in seeing the British rulers humbled, the ruling upper classes sided with the Allies. Nehru confessed that he viewed the war with mixed feelings. Frank Moraes wrote: "If [Nehru's] sympathy was with any country it was with France, whose culture he greatly admired." During the war, Nehru volunteered for the St John Ambulance and worked as one of the provincial secretaries of the organisation in Allahabad. He also spoke out against the censorship acts passed by the British government in India.

Nehru emerged from the war years as a leader whose political views were considered radical. Although the political discourse had been dominated at this time by Gopal Krishna Gokhale, a moderate who said that it was "madness to think of independence",Nehru had spoken "openly of the politics of non-cooperation, of the need of resigning from honorary positions under the government and of not continuing the futile politics of representation".He ridiculed the Indian Civil Service (ICS) for its support of British policies. He noted that someone had once defined the Indian Civil Service, "with which we are unfortunately still afflicted in this country, as neither Indian, nor civil, nor a service". Motilal Nehru, a prominent moderate leader, acknowledged the limits of constitutional agitation, but counselled his son that there was no other "practical alternative" to it. Nehru, however, was not satisfied with the pace of the national movement. He became involved with aggressive nationalists leaders who were demanding Home Rule for Indians.

5.      WORKS

2.      The Discovery of India
3.      Military alliances
5.      India on the march
6.      India's spokesman
7.      Before freedom
8.      Wit and wisdom


Glimpses of World History, a book published by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1934, is a panoramic sweep of the history of humankind. It is a collection of 196 letters on world history written from various prisons in British India between 1930–1933. The letters were written to his young daughter Indira, and were meant to introduce her to world history.
The letters start off with one he sends to his daughter on her birthday. He says he is sad about not being able to send her any "material" gift from prison, so he would try to give her something he can "afford", a series of letters from his heart.
Written from prison, where he had no recourse to reference books or a library but his personal notes, Glimpses of World History contains the history of humankind from 6000 BC to the time of writing of the book. It covers the rise and fall of great empires and civilizations from Greece and Rome to China and West Asia; great figures such as Ashoka and Genghis Khan, Mohandas K. Gandhi and Vladimir Lenin; wars and revolutions, democracies and dictatorships.
He wrote about many cultures throughout the globe in detail because, as he himself said, he didn't like the way history was taught in schools where it was confined to the history of a single country and that too narrow, and he wanted his daughter Indira to know why people did what they did. It was possible only through knowing the history of the whole world.
The letters are written in informal language, with the contemporary and personal events too mentioned. They reflect the world view of Nehru, and his grasp of history. It could be considered as one of the first attempts at historiography from a non-Eurocentric angle - a statement that is itself subject to the charge of Eurocentrism, given the long history of historical writing outside of Europe, for instance in China (from The Classic of History, c. 550 BC) or the Islamic world (from Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari in the 9th century AD to Biruni and Ibn Khaldun).
Nehru stated in his preface that The Outline of History by H. G. Wells was a major influence on the work. The New York Times described it as: "... one of the most remarkable books ever written.... Nehru makes even H.G. Wells seem singularly insular..... One is awed by the breadth of Nehru's culture."
In particular, his chapter on Genghis Khan and the Mongol invasion runs counter to dominant European views of the time. Prefacing his introduction to the Mongol empire, which was larger than the British empire and lasted as long, he said: "It would be foolish not to recognize the greatness of Europe. But it would be equally foolish to forget the greatness of Asia." And he goes on to state: "Genghis is, without doubt, the greatest military genius and leader in history.... Alexander and Caesar seem petty before him." According to Jack Weatherford, this was possibly the first re-evaluation of the Mongol empire since the 18th century.
Nehru's interpretation of the Sepoy Mutiny—sparked by the order for the Sepoys to bite off the paper cartridges for their rifles which were greased with animal fat, namely beef and pork—is that "the Revolt of 1857-58 was the last flicker of feudal India."


Nehru’s love for this Indian legacy shines through the book’s curious mix of personal essays and reflections, philosophical surmises, and deep prose scattered among historical facts. It is not a book of historical evidence by its very nature, rather, it is the keen observations of a severely intelligent mortal that delves into the philosophical and altruistic aspect of a nation’s history and the groundwork it presents to build a strong future foothold.
The Discovery of India is the realization of a silver lining. At the peak of the nation’s fight against the colonial rule through the “Quit India Movement”, Jawaharlal Nehru was imprisoned at the Ahmednagar Fort from 1942 to 1946, to keep him away from the political limelight. Forced to this dreary lonesomeness, Nehru discovered time to re-live his creative passions. He rediscovered his love for gardening, prose, poetry, and badminton. Encouraged by this vastly stimulating environment and by his fellow inmates, Jawaharlal Nehru decided to pen down his thoughts and experiences living in the country he fiercely loved. He dedicated the book to the prisoners of jail.
The journey in The Discovery of India begins from ancient history, leading up to the last years of the British Raj. He uses his knowledge of the Upanishads, Vedas, and textbooks on ancient history to introduce to the reader the development of India from the Indus Valley Civilization, through the changes in socio-political scenario every foreign invader brought, to the present day conditions. True to his multifaceted interests, the book is ripe with philosophy, art, social movements, economics, science, and religion.This journey of discovery of his beloved nation became the nation’s most magnificent historical treatise ever written. It was adapted into the Indian television series titled Bharat Ek Khoj, released in 1988 by director Shyam Benegal.
Nehru was jailed for his participation in the Quit India movement along with other Indian leaders, and he used this time to write down his thoughts and knowledge about India's history. The book is widely regarded as a classic in India since its first publication in 1946, and provides a broad view of Indian history, philosophy and culture, as viewed from the eyes of a liberal Indian fighting for the independence of his country.
In The Discovery of India, Nehru argued that India was a historic nation with a right to sovereignty.This book also analyses in depth the philosophy of Indian life.


Letters from a Father to His Daughter is a collection of 30 letters written by Jawaharlal Nehru in 1928 to his daughter Indira Gandhi when she was 10 years old, teaching about natural history and the story of civilisations. At the time of the writing of the letters, Nehru was in Allahabad, while Indira was in Mussoorie.The actual letters written by Nehru were in English. They were translated into Hindi by the famous Hindi novelist Munshi Premchand, and the name of the Hindi compilation is Pita Ke Patra Putri Ke Naam

9.      TOWARD FREEDOM (An Autobiography)

An Autobiography  also known as Toward Freedom, (1936) is an autobiographical book written by the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru while he was in prison. It ran nine editions in the first year alone. He wrote the book to explore how and why he had ended up taking the path of civil disobedience that in turn led to his imprisonment.
Nehru starts his history with how his ancestors had to flee Kashmir, and then goes on to tell about his own life, with a particular emphasis on the parts of his life that had brought him to this point in time.
Indian identity should be developed through public education for the protection and promotion of secularism. Its ignorance about the essentials of religion causes sectarian narrowness and religious tensions. Hence education on the fundamentals of all religions is a necessity. It will help us to weld together all Indians into a single unit. This will bring about religious harmony, which is the essence of our secularism. Nehru firmly believed and very often stated that progress can be achieved only by keeping our political and public processes free from religious considerations.
To Jawaharlal Nehru, secularism was a part of his democratic creed, and his broad and liberal humanism and a facet of his socialist faith. The Nehruvian model of secularism may have come under serious strain in the complex process of politico-economic developments, but it has not failed. As Sri. P.N. Haksar has remarked, "if, despite Indian poverty, democratic institutions, and democratic processes continue to survive in India and show extraordinary strength even in the midst of extraordinary difficulties through which we pass from time to time, and we are certainly passing today, it is because of Nehru's insistence on secularism as a guiding principle, not merely of state policy, but of our thought processes and behaviour patterns" .
His entire life history, from even before his father was born, seems to have led him naturally to where he was.
As a child he seems quiet, observing, and thoughtful. As a (very tall) grownup he is still thoughtful. One sees his admiration for humble people, and his aversion to any form of violence very early in the book.


In October 1947, two months after he became independent India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru wrote the first of his fortnightly letters to the heads of the country’s provincial governments-a tradition that he kept until his last letter in December 1963, only a few months before his death. Carefully selected from among nearly 400 such letters, this collection covers a range of themes and subjects, including citizenship, war and peace, law and order, national planning and development, governance and corruption, and India’s place in the world.
The letters also cover momentous world events and the many crises and conflicts the country faced during the first sixteen years after Independence. Visionary, wise and reflective, these letters are not just a testimony to Nehru’s statesmanship and his deep engagement with every aspect of India’s democratic journey, but are also of great contemporary relevance for the guidance they provide for our current problems and predicaments. 
Indian Secularism is confronted with many challenges such as communalism, casteism, regionalism, linguism etc. The opposite category of our secularism is communalism rather than religion. Communalism in our body politic has played a reactionary and disruptive role all along. During the British rule, it disrupted the freedom struggle and today it seeks to undermine all that is the basis of our national life - secularism, democracy and socialism. In the final analysis, communalism is a political reaction that ·obstructs socio-economic change and progress.
Nehru, as a solider fighting in the freedom struggle to liberate the country from foreign rule and as the first Prime Minister of independent India who was engaged in an endeavour to reconstruct and transform the socio-economicthat the spread of science and technology and economic development would result in greater secularisation of Indian society.
26 Thus we may see that India, inspite of its pluralism, still remains as the largest democratic country in the world because of the great vision of Nehruji who made constant efforts to build up the nation based upon the principles of a sound secular humanism.


For most of the Nineteenth Century, India was ruled by the British. India was considered the jewel in the crown of the British Empire. Queen Victoria had been made Empress of India and the British had a major military presence in India.                                     .
                    Jawaharlal Nehru was born on Nov. 14, 1889, the son of a wealthy Brahmin lawyer in Kashmir. His entire family lived in a large house called 'Anand Bhawan' in Allahabad. The house is still there and is quite an luxurious abode.                                   .
                     Motilal Nehru, father of Jawaharlal Nehru, was a successful man, who was also well known in the society. He was a barrister by profession and won several awards for his legal work from different spheres. All these brought him lot of name and fame. As a result, he could give his children the best of everything in life.                .
               Jawaharlal Nehru was his only son, while he also had two beautiful daughters named Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit and Krishna Pandit. With a swimming pool and a tennis court in the house premises, Jawaharlal Nehru led a lavish life. He went to England at the age of 16 and was educated at the Harrow School and at the University of Cambridge where he earned an honors degree in natural science.                       .
                Upon his return to India in 1912, he enrolled at the Allahabad High Court, and took an interest in national politics. He practiced law for some years and in 1919 joined the Indian National Congress, the principal nationalist organization of India, led by Mohandas K. Gandhi. Nehru quickly rose through the ranks and became a leader of the nationalist movement; between 1921 and 1945 he was imprisoned nine times by the British administration for his activities toward Indian independence.                            .

             The first major step that the Indians took towards their freedom was forming the Indian National Congress. This, along with other things that embodied patriotism, showed the British that the Indians were serious about achieving their freedom. The Indian National Congress was fighting for greater independence from the British before Nehru's legacy. They were led by the organization’s leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. 
                 Indian nationals had no say in central government and even at a local level, their influence on policy and decision making was minimal.Indian National Conference (INC)’s aim was to get a much greater say in the way India was governed.                       .
                      The first of a series of national movements was the Non-cooperation movement (1920-1922 AD). It was followed by the civil disobedience movement, after a lull. Though the Congress was in the forefront of the freedom struggle but there were many other organizations and individuals who also played important role. The struggle for independence continued in the 1930s but the real momentum came with the Second World War. In 1900, India was part of the British Empire; but by the end of 1947, India had achieved independence.

P.N. Haksar, 'India's foreign_ policy and its problems·, (New Delhi: Patriot
Publishers, 1989), p.27.
See R.C. Gupta, ed 'Indian freedom movement and thought (New Delhi:
Sterling publishers, 1983), p.273.
Jawaharlal Nehru: 'Independence and After~ (New York: Johnday Co., 1948),


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