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On His Death Anniversary, 5 Inspiring Facts About Jawaharlal Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru was India’s first Prime Minister and statesman. 

Updated
India
3 min read
Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first Prime Minister. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)

Time seems to have treated Jawaharlal Nehru the same way a younger generation, drunk with the excesses of youth, often treats its elders.

India is young. And this young blood seems to fault the country’s first Prime Minister for many reasons. But do we really know Nehru?

On his 52nd death anniversary, here are five things which make Jawaharlal Nehru great:

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Nehru Was a Lover of Urdu

People who knew Nehru, knew of his love for the Urdu tongue. A rationalist, Nehru’s heart really beat for the poetic language of the Mughal courts.

He told the famous Urdu poet, Josh Malihabadi that he personally favours Urdu, but his hands were tied as his party (Congress) had a greater number of Hindi speaking people.

Nehru along with poet Josh Malihabadi. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Nehru along with poet Josh Malihabadi. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Once, on a tour to Pakistan, Nehru, donning a sherwani and speaking in fluent Urdu put all his Pakistani counterparts to shame with his skills in the language.

Nehru’s Public Apology to Shyama Prasad Mukherjee

A member of Nehru’s cabinet, Mukherjee once attacked the Congress, saying that the party used money to win elections.

Nehru at a public event. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Nehru at a public event. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

When Nehru flew into a fit of rage, Mukherjee told him to pick up any official gazette and verify the facts. On realising there may be some truth to Mukherjee’s allegations, Nehru apologised to Mukherjee in a full assembly.

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Nehru Didn’t Believe in Glorifying Himself

Nehru did not believe in making an example out of himself or other leaders. He didn’t shy away from citicism. Author Nayantara Sehgal once approached Nehru to inaugurate her new column. Nehru agreed but on the condition that she would not hesitate from critiquing him as well.

Nehru during an official trip to China. (Photo: MEA)
Nehru during an official trip to China. (Photo: MEA)

When Nehru Said, ‘Don’t Vote for Congress’

True to democratic values, Nehru once told an audience member at a Kanpur rally not to vote for a Congress candidate, if they thought the candidate was inappropriate.

Nehru addressing a gathering. (Photo: Nehru Memorial)
Nehru addressing a gathering. (Photo: Nehru Memorial)
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Until the End, Nehru Remained Loyal to His Country

Nehru’s close associates say that in his last moments, lines from Robert Frost’s poem lay on his pillow side:

The woods are lovely dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to before I sleep.

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