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PORTRAIT: Jawaharlal Nehru, Panditji

Mahatma Gandhi was the greatest leader of India. He is rightly called ‘father of the nation of India’. He was the man who had successfully led the freedom movement of India. Nehru was the popular leader, next to Mahatma Gandhi.

Portrait of Jawaharlal Nehru
Charcoal, Pencil, and Pastel on White Paper

Contemplative Jawaharlal Nehru 3, originally uploaded by lapata.

Jawaharlal Nehru (14 November 1889–27 May 1964) was one of the main leaders leading the freedom movement of India. He had become first prime minister of India after its independence. He was known as Panditji among his close friends. He had studied law in England. His negotiation skill and political foresight coupled with his pleasant personality were amazing.

Nehru as an Indian Leader

Under his able assistance to Mahatma Gandhi, India had got freedom from the British Rule, known as British Raj. Indian National Congress was the political party that led the movement for liberation of India. Nehru was a gem for his party. He had become president of the party thrice. And next to Mahatma Gandhi only, perhaps he was the only popular leader having influence throughout the country. He was the darling of Indian masses. People loved him in this way.

He was very much loved by children. He was nick named as Chacha Nehru, meaning Uncle Nehru. His birthday, the 14th of November, is celebrated as 'Children's Day' in India. Once he became prime minister of free India, he opened all the gates of economic and social development for the people of India. Under his able leadership as prime minister, the country did tremendous economic and social progress. He made his country walking on the roads of self-sufficiency.

Gandhi and Nehru 1942Nehru as a World Leader

Though Jawaharlal Nehru was a leader of India, he always thought in terms of the whole world. His contribution to the freedom of India was extremely valuable, but he had a broad vision for the international politics, too. He was believed to be the Asiatic leader. He always professed for arranging the Asian countries under one umbrella. He had a burning desire to make one federation of the nations of Asia.

Nehru with Mahatma Gandhi, 1942. (Image courtesy See page for author[see page for license], from Wikimedia Commons)

Major contribution of Nehru to the world politics came from his successful endeavours in carving out an institution called Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). It is a forum of nations that has taken many nations of the world under one umbrella. In those days the nations of world were divided into two camps. One camp was believed to be under the influence of USA, and another was believed to be under the influence of former USSR. The countries that did not want to take side of either of the camps led by two super powers became members of this forum.

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