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Indian History

Jawaharlal Nehru

  • 14 Nov 2022
  • 7 min read

For Prelims: Home Rule League, Indian National Congress, Quit India Movement.

For Mains: Significance and contribution of Jawaharlal Nehru in national freedom struggle.

Why in News?

India is celebrating Children's Day on 14th November 2022 to commemorate the 133rd birth anniversary of the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.

Who was Jawaharlal Nehru?

  • About:
    • Birth: 14th November 1889 in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh.
    • Father’s Name: Motilal Nehru (a lawyer who held the office of Indian National Congress as President two times.)
    • Mother’s Name: Swarup Rani
  • Brief Profile:
    • Author, politician, social activist, and lawyer who rose to prominence as the face of Indian national movement against British rule of India.
  • Education:
    • Nehru received his education at home from English governesses and tutors until the age of 16.
    • He attended Harrow, a prestigious English school, in 1905, where he spent two years.
    • He spent three years at Trinity College in Cambridge where he earned a degree in natural science.
    • He qualified as a barrister from the Inner Temple, London.
  • Return:
    • In 1912, when he returned to India, he immediately entered in to politics.
  • Contribution in Indian Freedom Movement:
    • Nehru participated in the Bankipore Congress as a delegate in 1912.
    • In 1916, he joined Annie Besant’s Home Rule League.
      • He became Secretary of the Home Rule League, Allahabad in 1919.
    • When the Non-Cooperation Movement began in 1920, he interacted with Mahatma Gandhi and joined the national independence movement.
    • In 1921, he was detained on suspicion of engaging in anti-government activity.
    • Nehru was appointed as General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee in September 1923.
    • Since 1927, he has twice served as the general secretary of the Congress party.
    • Nehru was lathi-charged in Lucknow in 1928 while leading a protest against the Simon Commission.
    • Nehru was elected as president of the Lahore Session of Indian National Congress in 1929.
      • Nehru advocated for India's complete independence in this session.
    • In 1929-31, he drafted a resolution called Fundamental Rights and Economic Policy, which outlined the congress's main goals and the nation's future.
      • The resolution was ratified by the Congress party during the Karachi Session in 1931, which was presided over by Saradar Vallabhai Patel.
    • He participated in the Salt Satyagraha in 1930 and was put in jail.
    • Nehru became a more prominent leader within the Congress and grew close to Mahatma Gandhi.
    • In 1936, he presided over the Lucknow session of the Indian National Congress.
    • Nehru was arrested for attempting to organize an individual satyagraha to oppose India's forced participation in the war.
    • He took part in the civil disobedience movement in 1940, for which he received a four-year jail term.
    • Nehru introduced the historic 'Quit India' movement at the All-India Congress Committee session in Bombay in 1942.
    • Nehru along with other leaders was arrested on August 8, 1942 and taken to Ahmednagar Fort.
    • He was released in 1945 and went on to arrange legal defence for officers and troops accused with disloyalty in the Indian National Army (INA).
    • He was chosen to serve as the president of Indian National Congress fourth time in 1946.
    • To recommend a strategy for the transfer of power, the Cabinet Mission was dispatched to India in 1946.
      • An interim government headed by Jawaharlal Nehru as Prime Minister was formed.
    • On August 15, 1947, India attained independence but also suffered the pain of partition.
  • First Prime Minister of India:
    • A princely state must join in the constituent assembly, according to Nehru, who also affirms that there would be no princely states in an independent India.
    • He assigned Vallabhbai Patel to oversee the effective integration of the states.
    • India became a sovereign democratic republic on January 26, 1950, when the new Indian Constitution came into effect.
    • In order to divide up states according to languages, Jawaharlal Nehru created the states reorganization committee in 1953.
    • In addition to promoting democratic socialism, he promoted India's industrialization by carrying out the first five-year plans.
    • The Non-alignment movement (NAM) is regarded as his greatest geopolitical accomplishment.
      • India decided to not align with any superpower during the cold war era after World War II.
    • His final term as prime minister was troubled by the Sino-Indian War, 1962.
    • He promoted democratic socialism during his 17 years as prime minister, highlighting the necessity for India to attain both democracy and socialism.
    • His internal policies were founded on the four tenets of democracy, socialism, unification, and secularism. He was able to incorporate these pillars into the construction of new independent India.
  • Books Written: The Discovery of India, Glimpses of World History, An Autobiography, Letters from a Father to His Daughter.
  • Death: 27th May 1964.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Q1. For the Karachi Session of Indian National Congress in 1931 presided over by Sardar Patel, who drafted the Resolution on Fundamental Rights and Economic Programme? (2010)

(a) Mahatma Gandhi
(b) Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
(c) Dr. Rajendra Prasad 
(d) Dr. B. R. Ambedkar

Ans: (b)

Q2. In the ‘Individual Satyagraha’, Vinoba Bhave was chosen as the first Satyagrahi. Who was the second? (2009)

(a) Dr. Rajendra Prasad
(b) Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru
(c) C. Rajagopalachari 
(d) Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

Ans: (b)

Source: HT

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