Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru were two peaks of the India’s freedom struggle. Nehru’ was variously influenced by Gandhiji. However, there were some differences between Gandhi and Nehru.
1. Gandhi was oriental in his outlook. He derived inspiration from the cultural heritage of this land. The life of Buddha, Mahavir and other saints had tremendous impact upon him.
Nehru, on the other hand was westernized in his outlook. His ideas were pragmatic. The western education had instilled into his nerves a radical outlook and he wanted to exhibit it as per the demand of-the situation.
2. Gandhi envisaged a spiritualised democracy. Neither property” nor position in the society but manual work should be the basis of village republic. It will be a state devoid of corruption and hypocrisy.
Nehru was the champion of parliamentary democracy. He had belief in the Parliament, judiciary, press, public pinion etc. Universal adult suffrage, to him, should be the basis of democracy.
3. Cottage industry with emphasis on hand spinning, hand-weaving, Khadi, trusteeship etc. were the ideas of Gandhi to create a self-sufficient economy.
Nehru, on the other hand, followed democratic socialism and put emphasis on cooperative movement, massive industrialization, scientific and technological advancement etc. which formed the principles of Nehru for the economic advancement of the country.
4. Gandhi viewed that India should not poke her nose in the foreign affairs which is detrimental for the growth of the country.
Nehru, on the other hand, became a promoter of world peace. With his ideas of Panchasheel, non-alignment, faith on U.N.O. he tried to develop friendship with the neighboring countries and other countries of the world for the upliftment of India.
5. Gandhi’s ideas were basically spiritual and he was uncompromising with his principle of truth, non-violence and purity.
Nehru never attached due importance to spiritualism. His ideas were rational, pragmatic and global. He wanted to compromise with the situation when circumstances demanded.
6. Gandhi was quite traditional in his approach. He never needed doctors, police, and machines and wanted to pursue traditional methods to realize the ends.
Nehru never believed such things. He had faith on doctors, police, press, machines and he wanted to promote welfare of the society through them.
7. With all his benign smile, hard work, traditional -approach, Gandhi was regarded as the ‘Father of the Nation’.
With all his pragmatic outlook, dream to modernize India, massive industrialization etc. Nehru became the architect of the modern India.
8. Gandhi believed in non-violence and he wanted to disarm even his opponents by that.
On the other hand Nehru believed in reality. Whenever situation becomes beyond control, he told to use force for restoring law and order