Jawarharlal Nehru was born in 1889 in a luxurious family. His father Motilal Nehru, was a Kashmiri Pandit whose forefathers came to plains from Kashmir valley near about 100 years before Jawahar’s birth.
After completing his higher studies from England his father advised him to work in Europe but contrary to this he came back to India and joined the freedom movement. People often think that Nehru became India’s first Prime Minister and lead a luxurious and lavish life but what they don’t know is he spent 15 years of his life in jail for that, more than even Mahatma Gandhi. He was rich and could have gone anywhere but he sacrificed everything for the country.
Few important incidents of his life:-
In 1937, Nehru was again elected as president of INC. He was the most popular leader of INC at that time. Cognizant and cautious of danger of his pride and position, he wrote an essay under the Pseudonym “Chanakya”, which was published in ‘Modern Review-Calcutta’.
In his essay he pointed out the danger from increasing popularity of Jawahar Lal Nehru. He showed the belief in one person is always dangerous for a democracy. He might become dictator of the country if continued like this. He emphasized in his essay that how important is to ask question to leaders, even how much popular and great the leader is?.
Later after some years the Chanakya was Jawaharlal himself. He wrote the essay to criticize himself only.
The eternal will of Nehru
The news of sudden death of Rajnit Sitram Pandit (Nehru’s brother in law) made Nehru think that how fickle the life is. In 1943 still in prison he wrote his will and testament which became his one of the most beautiful writings of all time.
“I have received so much love and affection from the Indian people that nothing that I can do can repay even a small fraction of it, and indeed there can be no repayment of so precious a thing as affection.
Many have been admired, some have been revered, but the affection of all classes of the Indian people has come to me in such abundant measure that I have been overwhelmed by it. I can only express the hope that in the remaining years I may live, I shall not be unworthy of my people and their affection…Former PMO Jawaharlal Nehru
When I die, I should like my body to be cremated. If I die in a foreign country, my body should be cremated there and my ashes sent to Allahabad. A small handful of these ashes should be thrown in the Ganga and the major portion of them disposed of in the manner indicated below. No part of these ashes should be retained or preserved.
My desire to have a handful of my ashes thrown in the Ganga at Allahabad has no religious significance, so far as I am concerned. I have no religious sentiment in the matter.
I have been attached to the Ganga and the Jumna rivers in Allahabad ever since my childhood and, as I have grown older, this attachment has also grown. I have watched their varying moods as the seasons changed, and have often thought of the history and myth and tradition and song and story that have become attached to them through the long ages and become part of the flowing waters.
The Ganga, especially, is the river of India, beloved of her people, round which are intertwined her racial memories, her hopes and fears, her songs of triumph, her victories and her defeats. She has been a symbol of India’s age-long culture and civilization, ever-changing, ever-flowing and ever the same Ganga.
She reminds me of the snow-covered peaks and the deep valleys of the Himalayas, which I have loved so much, and of the rich and vast plains below, where my life and work have been cast. Smiling and dancing in the morning sunlight, and dark and gloomy and full of mystery as the evening shadows fall; a narrow, slow and graceful stream in winter, and a vast roaring thing during the monsoon, broad-bosomed almost as the sea, and with something of the sea’s power to destroy, the Ganga has been to me a symbol and a memory of the past of India, running into the present, and flowing on to the great ocean of the future.
And though I have discarded much of past tradition and custom, and am anxious that India should rid herself of all shackles that bind and constrain her and divide her people, and suppress vast numbers of them, and prevent the free development of the body and the spirit; though I seek all this, yet I do not wish to cut myself off from that past completely.
I am proud of that great inheritance that has been, and is, ours, and I am conscious that I too, like all of us, am a link in that unbroken chain which goes back in the dawn of history in the immemorial past of India. That chain I would not break, for I treasure it and seek inspiration from it. And, as witness of this desire of mine and as my last homage to India’s cultural inheritance, I am making the request that a handful of my ashes should be thrown into the Ganga at Allahabad to be carried to the great ocean that washes India’s shores.
The major portion of my ashes should, however, be disposed of otherwise. I want these to be carried high up into the air in an aeroplane and scattered from that height over the fields where the peasants of India toil, so that they might mingle with the dust and soil of India and become an indistinguishable part of India.”Former PMO Jawaharlal Nehru
This will not only beautiful in poetically but also shows the relation of Nehru with his beloved India.
Discovery of India
Nehru wrote world famous book ‘The discovery of India’ in 1942-45 during his imprisonment. Nehru used his knowledge of Upanishads, Vedas, Textbooks on ancient history to introduce literature, scientific traits in the history of India.
This book showed the world about India’s culture and heritage. No other leader’s work about India, was ever read as enthusiastically as that of Nehru. People still wondered the abilities of Nehru’s writing a book in prison without any external research or help.
Albert Einstein raved the boos and said Nehru: “I have read with extreme interest your marvelous book (The discovery of India)…It gives an understanding of the glorious intellectual and spiritual tradition of …India.”
Death of Nehru
Death was something which Nehru was least fear of. He had sacrificed more than death to his country. Last years of his life was hard. Although, he was lonely from childhood. Whether in this environment it was or was not as lonely as he thought, it is certain that Nehru by nature was lonely, and must always have been lonely. But last years of his life in which India lost war against China, he became weak and suffered from various diseases. A man who even in 50s did yoga like a young 20 year old, was now not even able to walk properly. It is true that the war really affected the soldiers but it also affected the leaders like Nehru.
Finally he took his last breath on 27th May 1964 and left the world. Whole world was shocked and gave its condolences to the family. Thousands of people came out on streets for Nehru’s last rituals. Nehru’s death took priority over all the news.
Raja ji on Nehru’s death–
“Eleven years younger than me, 11 times more important for the nation and eleven hundred times more beloved to the nation, Sri Nehru has suddenly departed from our midst and I emailn alive to hear the sad news – and bear the shock…I am unable to gather my wits. I have been fighting Sri Nehru all these ten years for what I consider faults in public policies. But I knew all along that he alone could get them corrected… A beloved friend is gone, the most civilised person among us all. God save our people.”
The beckon of life has gone out. No doubt Nehru was one of the most loved leaders of not only in India but of the world. All over his life he was with thousands of people but his writings shows that deep inside he was alone, born to be alone.
After his death beautiful line of Robert Frost was written found on his table
“The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.”