The first Prime minister of Independent India was Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. He was born on the 14th of November, 1889 at Allahabad. His parents were Motilal Nehru and Swaruprani Thussu. Kamala Nehru was the wife of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, his daughter.
He studied at the Harrow School, London and then moved to Trinity College, Cambridge and pursued his higher qualifications from the Inns of Court School of Law, London. He joined the Indian National Congress and was loyally associated with the party.
He was a Hindu by birth and had his religious beliefs rooted in Hinduism. He was an ardent supporter of democracy for our country and took part in the national freedom struggle movements of India. He even supported nationalism, socialism and communism.
He has written many books of his own, some of them are – The Discovery of India, Glimpses of World History, Towards Freedom, and Letters from a father to his daughter. He passed away on the 27th of May, 1964.
Childhood and Early life
Nehru belonged to the upper class in society where he was born to Motilal Nehru and they were very famous and rich Kashmiri Pundits.
People looked up to them as the elite advocate family of Allahabad. Motilal was a very popular advocate of those times; he even had connections with political leaders and hence was an activist by nature.
Motilal made sure to educate his children from the comforts of his own home and so Nehru received education at home, not only in English, but from Scottish teachers also.
Though his father sent him abroad to pursue a degree in the sciences at Harrow school, he was determined to become a barrister, so he enrolled in the Inns of Court School of Law, London.
After completing his education from the law school, he returned to India to practice at the Allahabad High Court Bar in the year 1912.
He also learnt a lot of world knowledge and studied things out of the science framework. So when he was in London, he read through a lot of literature, economics and world history. This opened the doors to a larger thinking and broader perspective about ideals like nationalism and spinned thoughts on democracy.
Kamala Kaul was the lady Nehru got married to in 1916. Kamala was born and brought up in a very orthodox Brahmin family and her views were entirely different from that of Nehru’s. She actually took some time to get along with the forward culture adopted by Nehru, be it in his views or in his ways. Later she became a very supportive wife to Nehru, both personally and in matters of political interests.
Kamala gave birth to their daughter, Indira Priyadarshini in the year 1917. In matters of the freedom struggle movement, Kamala lent her support by encouraging and motivating women to come forward and join the Non-co-operative movement in the year 1921.
She forced women to think out of their household work and influenced them to take part actively in the freedom struggle movements.
Many such women, in her leadership, abolished foreign goods from entering the shops of Indian merchants and those who were regularly doing businesses with foreign goods were asked to disown the foreign goods. Sadly, Kamala Nehru passed away in the year 1936 due to tuberculosis.
Nehru’s Political Career
After the country witnessed the Jallianwallah Bagh incident, Nehru joined hands with Annie Besant and launched the Home Rule movement with her. He was also an active member of the Indian National Congress by then and was imprisoned due to his increasing role in the freedom struggle movements.
He started developing a thick rapport with Gandhi and strengthened his political ties by obeying Gandhi and his words. Another feather in his cap came in the year 1920, when he was elected as the President of Allahabad Municipal Corporation.
Around the year 1926, Nehru visited many foreign countries, most of which were European and Russian countries and was highly influenced by the prevailing economic state of affairs there. He conceived a dream to build the same economic framework in India by following the footsteps of the Soviet Union.
It was only in 1930 that Gandhi came up with the decision of electing Nehru as the next president of the INC, but he was declared president of INC only in the year 1936. In the year 1942, the country launched a massive and very famous movement, the Quit India Movement.
Nehru was a true leader in the sense that he stressed upon the need for complete freedom, or ‘Poorna Swaraj’ for our country and pushed orders for the British to leave our land at once. On account of this, Nehru was sent to prison once again and was imprisoned till the 15th of June, 1945.
After his release from jail, Nehru put himself into high profiled political debates and discussions with the British high commands and pushed for freedom for our country at any cost. The British gave in at last; and Nehru became the first prime minister of Independent India on the 15th of August, 1947.
Nehru made the first independence speech ever on the midnight of 15th August, 1947 from the Red Fort and this speech became the most historic and iconic speech ever, made by a political leader upon achieving independence for the country.
Political contributions as the first prime minister
After independence, came the black phase of the nation in terms of its partition into 2 countries, namely India and Nehru was the prime minister of our country for a period between 1947 and 1964.
Nehru was the pioneer in bringing into picture, the first five year plan in 1951 that brought many economic reforms to India and changed the picture of rural India. He was also responsible for formulating many policies for the nation, some were at the national level and some were at the international level.
He formulated new foreign policies for the country in the form of NAM or Non-Alignment movement. During his tenure, the country also witnessed the Sino-Indian war in the year 1962.