Jawaharlal Nehru
1889 - 1964

Early Life:

Jawaharlal Nehru was born on 14 November 1889 in Allahabad. He was a barrister trained in Cambridge. After his return from London in 1912, Nehru enrolled himself as an advocate of the Allahabad High Court.

 

Role in India’s independence movement:

Nehru led the Non-Cooperation movement and the Kisan movement in the United Provinces in 1920, participated in the protest against the Simon Commission in 1928, moved the Purna Swaraj Declaration in 1930, lead the Civil Disobedience movement in United Provinces in 1930 and participated in the Quit India movement in 1942. He held the post of the President of the Indian National Congress many times and was the Prime Minister during the interim Indian Government between 1946 and 1950.

 

Contribution to Constitution Making:

 

 

Nehru was elected to the Constituent Assembly from United Provinces on a Congress Party ticket and held important positions that included being Chairman of the following States Committee, Union Powers Committee and the Union Constitution Committee. He actively participated in the Assembly debates and spoke on ojectives resolution and national language.

 

Key writings:

Nehru's notable works include:  Towards freedom; the Autobiography of Jawaharlal Nehru (1936);  The Discovery of India (1946); Glimpses of World History (1934).

 

Later Contributions:

Nehru served as India’s Prime Minister for 17 years from 1947 to 1962.  As Prime Minister, he played a critical role in the Indian economy: he was instrumental in the adoption of import substitution and the development of the heavy industries sector.

He established many academic institutions that included: the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, the Indian Institutes of Technology, the Indian Institutes of Management and the National Institutes of Technology.

Nehru played a critical role in India adopting an independent foreign policy through its support and membership of the Non-Allignment movement. However, his handling of the India-China relationship during the early late 1950s and early 1960s was considered a failure.

He died on 27th May 1967 in New Delhi due to coronary thrombosis. 

Chairman of:

  1. States Committee
  2. Union Powers Committee
  3. Union Constitution Committee.

  1. On 13th December 1946, four days after Assembly's first session, he moved ‘Objectives Resolution’ that would inform the constitution-making process.
  2. In response to the Hindu enthusiasts, Nehru argued for a resolving the national language issue through democratic principles rather than an authoritarian approach.
  3. He put up a strong case for India to join the Commonwealth of Nations. 
  4. On the eve of Independence Day he addressed the Assembly and the nation with his famous ‘Tryst with destiny’ speech.

  1. B.R. Nanda, ‘Jawaharlal Nehru: Rebel and Statesman’.

  2. Benjamin Zachariah, ‘Nehru’

  3. B.R. Nanda, The Nehrus.