Shankha International
Shankha International in Bengali
Autumn-98 Issue

Jawaharlal Nehru

- Nina Basu -
(Grade 9)

Jawaharlal Nehru was born in Allahabad, India on November 14, 1889. He went to college in England, soon to become his enemy country. He eventually graduated from Cambridge University.

He was part of a very famous family. His father was Motilal Nehru, a man who was instrumental in his fight with Mahatma Gandhi in civil obedience movements. Mr. Jewaharlal Nehru himself was very important in Gandhiís civil obedience movements as well. His daughter became prime minister of India in the 1970s. Look at it this way. If you arenít impressed by her being a female prime minister, donít laugh just yet. India has only had its independence for 51 years. They already have had a women in charge of their country. We have had independence for more than 220 years and we still havenít had a women at the Presidentís throne. Nehru's sister was also one of the most important women in Indiaís history. She was called Madame Pandit. His mother was also from one of the most wealthy families in India.

Unfortunately, Jewaharlal Nehruís parents passed away during the peak of the struggle for independence. His daughter went on to be prime minister, a job which was very demanding. It must have been hard for her two children who stayed with their grandfather while their mother was away.

Nehru was one of the leaders in the fight for independence. Between the years of 1919-1947, Nehru fought and begged and pleaded for what India deserved. If you relate it to our fight for independence, you could call Nehru and Gandhi true Ďrebels.í

Let me tell you more about his life. He was born on November 14, 1889 as I first mentioned. He studied and graduated from Harrows and Cambridge University. Following his bouts with the government, he served as the general secretary of the All India Congress Committee. This was in 1929. That very year, he was elected into the Indian National Congress. Not only was he elected into it, he was named the president of the Congress. He held this post four times. Once in 1929, 1936, 1937, and 1946.

As the rebels were highly punished, so was Nehru. He was periodically thrown into jail for his nationalistic activities. In other words, he was arrested for his participation in Indian rebellion. He was a master of the English language, and his writings were widely read.

As I have mentioned so many times before, he was a major reason we got our independence at midnight of August 15, 1947. Finally, with a tough struggle, India got its independence. Now they had to form a new government. They chose to have a prime minister and Jewaharlal Nehru was named as the first prime minister of the independent India. What an honor, donít you think?

After being named prime minister, Nehru dominated all the Indian situations. He strived for a more democratic country and a better way of living for the residents. He worked for a state controlled economy, that would operate in a democratic society. He wanted India to be a peopleís environment. He also directed 2 five year plans to improve the monetary situation.

He really became well known with the rest of the world when he created a policy of opposing alliances and promoting equality. He urged countries to stop and ban hydrogen bomb tests. He advocated non-violence. He was definitely the opposite of racist when it came right down to the definition. He strongly criticized discrimination based on skin color, or anything else. He was a spokesman for equality in Africa and Asia.

When I stated before about Jewaharlalís daughter, I realized that I forgot to mention her name. You probably have heard of her. Her name was Indira Gandhi. I still canít believe how much further India is in that respect. They have already had a female prime minister. You canít even say that weíre close to having one. That may be a reason that Indira Gandhiís name pops up when people talk about India. She must be a huge role model in India. If I lived there I know I would have adored her. Unfortunately for all of us, she passed away in 1984, the year I was born. She led a full life though. Jewaharlal Nehru died on May 27,1964.

You can say that he led a full life. No one will disagree with that. He did a lot for his country and his countrymen were proud to say they knew him. And so in conclusion, I say, "Have a nice day to all, and to all a good night!"

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