Today is the birth anniversary of the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru. He was born in Allahabad. His father, Motilal Nehru, was a prominent barrister. After having spent two years in Harrow, an English school, he went to Trinity College, Cambridge to obtain an honours degree in natural science. He also qualified as a barrister after two years at the Inner Temple in London. He married Kamala Kaul in March 1916 and had a daughter, Indira Priyadarshini. Indira Gandhi also became Prime Minister of India. Jawaharlal Nehru died of a cardiac arrest on 27 May 1964 and was cremated at Shanti Van, near Raj Ghat, Delhi.
10 Interesting Facts About Jawaharlal Nehru
- His grandfather Gangadhur Pandit joined as a Kotwal before the 1857 war. Later, he moved to Agra with his family during the last days of his life.
- To celebrate Nehru’s love for children, his birth anniversary is observed as Children’s Day across the country. Earlier, India celebrated Children’s Day on 20 November (United Nations marks this as universal Children’s Day). After Nehru’s death in 1964, India decided to celebrate his birthday as “Bal Diwas”.
- The first speech which Jawaharlal Nehru made as the first Prime Minister of independent India was titled ‘Tryst with Destiny’. It is perhaps one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century.
- During the struggle for freedom, Jawaharlal Nehru was imprisoned 9 times and for exactly 3,259 days. This means that he spent 9 years of his life in British prisons.
- He was the one who hoisted the Indian National Flag on August 15, 1947 at the Red Fort, Delhi.
- Under Nehru’s governance, the Parliament of India brought about many changes in Hindu Law. Parliament also made caste discrimination illegal.
- Nehru wrote his autobiography, “Towards Freedom” while in prison in 1935. The book was published in the USA in 1936.
- He made the ‘Nehru Jacket’ famous and was the first politician to change the trend of wearing predominantly white clothes.
- Nehru was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Peace 11 times but never received the honour.
- He has authored books like The Discovery of India and Glimpses of World History. He had also written letters to his daughter when she was 10 years old and away at boarding school. These have been compiled and published as the book Letters from a Father to a Daughter.