- Term Papers, Book Reports, Research Papers and College Essays

Jawaharlal Nehru

Essay by   •  February 3, 2011  •  Essay  •  2,602 Words (11 Pages)  •  1,229 Views

Essay Preview: Jawaharlal Nehru

Report this essay
Page 1 of 11

Jawaharlal Nehru (Pandit Nehru) is one of the largest influential figures within India during the fight for independence pre-1947 against British imperialism. When Nehru assisted in liberating India from the British, he completed a lifetime goal that was filled with despair, frustration, and triumph. Becoming the first Prime Minister within India is a great achievement in itself, however it was Nehru's political ideology and early activist movements toward Indian independence that made him such a great historical figure. Through the adversity of fighting for independence Nehru managed to bring hope and promise to the Indian society.

Nehru's ideas and political ideology stemmed from an early age. He was born in Allahabad, India, on November 14, 1889. His education started at home by private tutors and English governesses until he left for England to further his education. For 2 years he was enrolled within Harrow school until he moved to Trinity College at the University of Cambridge, where he would spend three years obtaining a degree in natural science. After obtaining the foundation of education, Nehru returned to Allahabad, India to practice law in the Allahabad High Court. His father, Motilal Nehru was a "prominent advocate and early leader of the Indian independence movement." He was involved directly in the early stages of the Congress Party, which is also known as the Indian Congress Party (INC). The INC was established in 1885 with the purpose of formally constructing a voice towards Indian independence. Since it's establishment the INC has gained more than 15 million Indian cohorts, with more than 70 million supporters. Despite staying busy with his movements for independence, Motilal Nehru was able to hold a close relationship with his son, regardless of being separated for so many years. When he arrived back home, Jawaharlal Nehru's vision of what thought to be a peaceful Indian environment faded. Instead, the mindset was replaced by a degree of interest for the British way of life. Nehru returned to find "instances of conflicts between the rulers and the ruled" , which would almost certainly end in favour of the British Raj. For example: "whenever an Englishman killed an Indian he was acquitted by a jury of his own countrymen." Nehru was left to ponder the lifestyle differences between Indians and the Europeans. Through all this, he had finally succumbed to see that the question he needed to look at was not the difference between the British and the Indian populous, but merely the difference between the Indian societies. This would be regarding the creation of the caste social system, and the various cliques that were formed within it. Indians in higher classes such as the Brahmans (which was also Nehru's social class), and the Kshatriyas were treated much fairer and with more integrity. The lower classes such as Vaishays and Shudras were in their own class by themselves sitting at the bottom. These lower classes would often be overlooked and mistreated. Although Nehru despised the foreign rulers for their ill treatment towards much of society, he did not share any negative feelings toward individual Englishmen. Most Englishmen who he came in contact with were his father's acquaintances from abroad, or English governesses that had helped him as a young individual. Therefore he grew up having negative thoughts, not for the British society, but Britain itself and the way it had ruled others so carelessly. Other influences that helped spark Jawaharlal Nehru's political career were various readings especially those in the art of philosophy and religion (mainly Buddhism and Hinduism scripts). From here, Jawaharlal Nehru grasped the tools he needed intellectually to create his political theories and apply them back at home following in his father's footsteps to fight for independence.

Nehru's fight for independence started as soon as he had returned from England when he received a position in the Allahabad High Court in 1912. By this time Mahatma K. Gandhi (birth name being Mohandas K. Gandhi) had already started his own activist movements under the INC and was marching through the country protesting the need for the liberation of India. The actions from Gandhi were emotionally inspirational to Nehru. In 1916 Nehru will find himself meeting Gandhi for the first time at an INC meeting in Lucknow, India. Nehru became a large supporter of Gandhi's activist engagements in the early stages and was very fascinated with his way of progressive movements for independence.

In 1919 the British Parliament signed the Government of India Act, which introduced a shared administration between the British and Indian society. This Act allows both "Indian-elected administrators and appointed British officials to share power, although the British retained control of critical portfolios like finance, taxation and law and order." However, a few months later the British Parliament also passed the Rowlatt Acts. "These acts empower the Indian authorities to suppress [treason] by censoring the press, detaining political activists without trial, and arresting suspects without a warrant." Nehru responded to the Rowlatt Acts by becoming more committed and active within the INC party. Gandhi, to protest, began the campaign of passive resistance or Ð''satyagraha', which means the "devotion to truth, or truth force. The satryagrapha movement was a nationalist movement that would spread on a massive level. Within months the campaign had millions of followers. However, the movement stoped abruptly on April 13, 1919 when British troops open fire into a gathering of 10,000 unarmed Indians at Amritsar while celebrating a Hindu festival. "A total of 1,650 rounds are fired, killing 379 and wounding 1,137." In a fit of fury, Nehru rose to the occasion and officially started his public activism against the British in voicing his opinion for an independent state.

Nehru's struggle for independence would follow him into the early 20's. In 1920, a group of Shudras (peasants) protested against exorbitant taxes and mass evictions arrived in Allahabad from the district of Rae Bareli in hopes of finding Gandhi. "When he was elsewhere, they headed for the Nehru family compound. There they asked Nehru to go in Gandhi's [place], to lead a new [campaign for independence]. Nehru, with little else to do, agreed." Nehru's movement started gaining political fame through his positive aspirations for a united India, as well as being a Brahman (upper-class) Indian willing to sacrifice his status for the strength of his country. The Indian people would come to respect Nehru as a man of dignity. This year would also mark the creation of Gandhi's campaign for



Download as:   txt (15.6 Kb)   pdf (171.2 Kb)   docx (15.4 Kb)  
Continue for 10 more pages »
Only available on
Citation Generator

(2011, 02). Jawaharlal Nehru. Retrieved 02, 2011, from

"Jawaharlal Nehru" 02 2011. 2011. 02 2011 <>.

"Jawaharlal Nehru.", 02 2011. Web. 02 2011. <>.

"Jawaharlal Nehru." 02, 2011. Accessed 02, 2011.