Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was born on November 14, 1889, at Allahabad. He was the only son of the illustrious leader, Pandit Moti Lai Nehru. He was brought up in the lap of luxury, like a prince. When he was only fourteen, his father took him to England and got him admitted in the famous Public School of Harrow. From Harrow, he went to Trinity College, Cambridge, and took up his degree with honours. Then he joined the Inner Temple and was called to the Bar.
On his return to India, he did not take up the legal profession. He was a born patriot and he yearned to serve his motherland. In 1916, he fell under the spell of Mahatma Gandhi, during the Lucknow session of the Indian National Congress.
Service of the motherland became the be-all and end all of his life. Service, service and ever service of the motherland became his great panacea. He spent his entire youth in His Majesty’s jails. It was under his Presidentship that the Indian National Congress declared complete independence from the British domination as its goal.
He was the most famous personality in the world. He was the messenger of peace. Whenever peace was in danger and war broke out in any part of the world, his help was called for. His magical formula of Panch Shila was a gospel of peace to the war-weary world. He was the father of the policy of neutrality in foreign affairs. He was the bridge between the East and the West. He was the symbol of India’s unity.
He was her destiny at home and her international status abroad. When he spoke, the whole world listened. He was an internationalist, a citizen of the world. He was the voice of suppressed Asia and enslaved Africa. He was the builder of free India. He knew no rest. He worked seventeen hours and seven days a week.
No nation in ten years had made as much progress as India under Nehru’s leadership. His five-Year Plans are a bold challenge to hunger, poverty, disease and unemployment. He shaped India’s history. Asia is on the move. Imperialism and colonialism are tottering.
They are on their last legs. His stern warning ‘Hands off Asia’ to the Western Powers created a sensation in the world. He was a great man not because he was the prime Minister of India but he was the Prime Minister of India because he was a great man.
Nehru was a great lover of children. He saw in their eyes the future of India. His birthday on November 14 is now celebrated as the Children’s Day all over India. He was a master of English prose. He was a wizard of words.
His books ‘The Autobiography’ ,’The Glimpses of World History,’ ‘Discovery of India’ are the finest pieces of English literature. They are the best sellers and are translated into almost every language of the world.
He was a great orator. He was a dynamite, a moving volcano. He was the busiest Prime Minister in the world yet he had never fallen ill. He was ever fresh. For him physical fitness was a moral duty. He was the idol of the youth.
He was the hope of India. He was the shining star of the world. He was proud of India and India was proud of him. He could move mountains. He was a spare eater, little sleeper and great worker. He had a fine sense of humour which kept the hinges of his mind well oiled.
He was always open to conviction. He was ready and willing to concede the claims of others. He was free from any tinge of snobbery or false pride in him. Even his worst enemies would proclaim that he was selfless and that he was never attracted by the lust of power and position. His conscience was as pure as gold. He was always guided by moral considerations. He would live forever in his great deeds.