Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India, was born in 1889. He was the only son of Pt. Motilal Nehru. He received his education in England and returned to India in912. He got married in the same year to Kamla Nehru. In 1918, he was elected the secretary of the Home Rule League Allahabab and was elected to the All-India Congress Committee. Nehru was elected President of the Indian National Congress in 1929 at the Lahore Session and under his presidentship, the resolution of complete independence was adopted. He was arrested many times. During the ‘Quit India Movement’ of 1942, he was imprisoned and was only released three years later when the World War II ended.
On September 2, 1946, Pt. Nehru took office as Vice President of the Executive Council, when an interim government was formed.
On August 15, 1947, when India got her independence, Pt. Nehru became the first Prime Minister. He pledged to build the nation, eradicate poverty and work for the good of the people.
In 1949 he raised the issue of Dutch repression in Indonesia and was successful in getting independence for that country. In 1954, he met the Chinese Prime Minister, Chou-En-Lai and enunciated the Panch Sheel.
He was the champion of the oppressed people and a staunch upholder of the democratic principles. His dynamic personality, intense patriotism and unflinching devotion to national duty endeared him to all his countrymen. Nehru’s nationalism was not a narrow one. He respected the nationalistic sentiments of other nations too. His motto was to abolish slavery from the world.
However, his nationalism was not opposed to internationalism. He always emphasised on the necessity of the world state. All the countries of world praised these ideas. He always praised the principles of UNO, but was against regional pacts. Nehru was a bitter enemy of colonialism and imperialism and sympathised with Spain, Burma, Indonesia, China, Ghana, Egypt, etc, in their struggle for freedom. He always opposed fascism and Nazism. Nehru was the apostle of world peace.
Nehru’s foreign policy was based on sound principles and was an extension of India’s traditions, thoughts and history into foreign affairs. India’s foreign policy was the national interest: whatever policy you may lay down, the art of conducting foreign affairs of a country lies in finding out what is most advantageous to the country. We may talk about international goodwill and may mean what we say but in the ultimate analysis, a government functions for the good of the country it governs and no government dares to do anything which in the short or long run is manifestly to the disadvantage of that country. Nehru was easily recognised as the spokesman for Asia and strengthened the ties of friendship with the countries of Asia and Africa: He was a distinguished man of letters; he wrote the Autobiography. Letters from a Father to His Daughter, Glimpses of World History and Discovery of India.
Dr. Rabindranath Tagore wrote about him, “He has never been shy of truth, he fought when it was dangerous, not made alliance with falsehood when it would be convenient.” On May 27, 1964, pt. Nehru, the architect India’s destiny, the apostle of nun-alignment, the man who stood like a rock in the face of difficulties, made his last voyage to the final abode. The world mourned his departure from this world.