Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Nehru - A Revelation.

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, our first prime minister of sovereign India , has been my object of study in recent weeks. It was a rewarding experience to go through his autobiography. The rewards cannot be materialistically listed by me, but one of the primary gift that it had for me was "revelation". Revelation of Nehru himself, revelation of an India before the years of Independence, revelation of Gandhji's ideals and his social standing in that era, revelation of socialistic values , revelation of the bourgeois nature of our Independence movement, revelation of liberals etc .. the list would be too long to put in here.

His appeal primarily lied in the fact that he had a wider view of the world while at the same time he had a cognizance of the plight of peasants. He bore an open mind towards Industrialization and socialism , unlike Gandhji, and more so he was a staunch supporter of Poorna Swaraj from the very beginning. It was rather he who bought this idea into forefront.

Throughout the book , he has questioned existing order of our country then and he also drew himself into the ring of debates. He had been in gaol seven times till 1935 and it was during his last jail visit that the got into writing his autobiography. This book , I feel to be important to me as it revealed to me an India before that D day of 15th August. It revealed to me an India that existed before it , and the importance of those days which led up to that momentous night.

He was an avid reader of books , and it is through these roots that he gained an impartial view of the world and thus could identify strongly the position of India. He had largely differed with Gandihjee on several issues and has revealed it thoroughly into this book .
Throughout this book his soft spot towards animals and nature has been amply demonstrated during his stays in gaol. He made friends with many of them and those were his chief companions during his stay there.

Besides these, going through several topics that he has dealt with in his book would convince you that he was a visionary .Even when the country was creeping under the mighty British dominance , he saw India in future. He saw the future of country and its social upheaval. He was largely against the existing social order of country, opposite to Gandhijee, but he thought gaining independence was of foremost importance at that time for our country and other changes will then gradually follow .

His sacrifice and diligence towards that single cause moved me very much and I can certainly say that I know him better now as a person. This is always the case if you read autobiographies. The enigma created by mass disappears and you know the person in its pristine form. It was a pleasure knowing this man , after I have already read about Gandhijee, and I hope that the ideas that he had so strongly endorsed encourage us to look beyond our own personal selves to the greater social good and in the process an upliftment of personal soul and knowledge and experience.

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