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Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Anniversary: 30 Interesting Facts About The First PM Of India

Jawaharlal Nehru was an important leader whose contribution to Indian Independence Movement and Indian National Congress was so colossal that he was crowned as the first PM of India when it won its independence on August 15, 1947.

Jawaharlal Nehru was born on 14 November 1889 in Allahabad to Motilal Nehru (1861-1931), a wealthy barrister from the Kashmiri Pandit community, who served twice as president of the Indian National Congress. This year 2022 marks his 133rd birth anniversary.

Jawaharlal Nehru played a key role in the Indian National Congress and the independence movement. He balanced the extreme religiosity and orthodoxy of Mahatma Gandhi with a right mix of secular and modern perspectives. He served the longest, as PM of India, from 1947 to 1964 a record that is yet to find a match in Indian politics. He was an ardent supporter of Gandhi's views and his efforts in the freedom struggle. He is popularly known as Pandit Nehru or Panditji. Children call him Chacha Nehru. He is also addressed as the 'Architect of Modern India'. Nehru advocated complete dissociation from the British Empire and Fabian socialism.

On the occasion of Nehru's birth anniversary and Children's Day, we have curated some interesting facts about him.

1. Jawaharlal Nehru was born in 1989 in Allahabad to his parents Swarooprani Thussu, the second wife of his father and Motilal Nehru.
2. Both of his parents Motilal and Swarooprani were Kashmiri Pandits and Motilal Nehru was a famous barrister and President of the Indian National Congress.

3. Jawaharlal Nehru was the eldest followed by two sisters, Vijay Lakshmi Pandit and Krishna Hutheesing. Vijaya Lakshmi was the first female president of the United States General Assembly.
4. Museum and Nehru Planetarium, or the erstwhile Anand Bhavan, was the home in which he had his upbringing. It was later turned into a museum by Indira Gandhi.
5. His birthday on 14 November was chosen to be celebrated as Children's Day every year. He was affectionately called Chacha Nehru by children.

6. He graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1907 and graduated with an honours degree in Natural Science in 1910.

7. After leaving Cambridge in 1910 he attended higher studies in law in Britain and finally was back in India by 1912.
8. After returning to India, he enrolled himself as an advocate at first in Allahabad High Court but later his interests shifted from Law to congress and freedom struggle.
9. Jawaharlal Nehru became the Congress President in 1929 and took a keen interest in national affairs.

10. His wife Kamala Nehru died of Tuberculosis in Switzerland.
11. The book "Discovery of India" was written when he was incarcerated from 1942 to 1946 in Ahmednagar for participating in Quit India Movement. Other notable works include Glimpses of World History, Toward Freedom (his autobiography), Letter of a Father to his daughter.

12. Jawaharlal Nehru played a significant role in the Home rule movement for which he became the secretary.
13. Nehru came to limelight due to his participation in the non-co-operation movement of 1920.
14. Due to the sudden upliftment of Non-cooperation movement following the Chauri Chaura incident, Motilal Nehru parted ways from Congress and formed his own separate Swaraj party. But, Jawaharlal Nehru remained loyal to congress and made friends with Gandhiji.
15. He worked along with Subhash Chandra Bose in his mission, which did not last long and had to split due to some political disagreements.

16. He espoused the cause of complete independence in 1927 by calling out to people to refrain from all sorts of ties with the British including the Indian Civil Services.
17. On 31st December 1929, Jawaharlal Nehru hoisted the tricolour flag for the first time in Lahore in front of huge public gathering and Congress volunteers. This popularized the tricolour.

18. After the Lahore session of Congress in 1929, Jawaharlal Nehru became the national icon for the Independence struggle.
19. His popularity even superseded Mahatma Gandhi and he was slated to be the heir of Mahatma Gandhi in Congress and national politics.

20. Although, Nehru was initially reluctant about adding the Salt March (Namak Andolan) to Civil disobedience as proposed by Gandhi ji, but later accepted it. With his arrest in 1930, the national movement grew stronger.

21. He joined Quit India Movement pioneered by Gandhi although he was initially reluctant to do so.
22. Nehru was selected by common consensus and faced multiple challenges involving communal violence, political disorder and the worst, demand for Pakistan by Muhammad Ali Jinnah heading Muslim League.

23. He took charge as PM on 15 Aug 1947 and delivered the famous speech "Tryst with Destiny".

24. After the death of Gandhi ji, Nehru along with support of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel asserted his power and established Congress as the sole authority of Indian Politics.

25. General elections were held for the first time in 1951 and congress party under leadership of Jawaharlal Nehru won remarkably with 364 out of 489 seats.

26. After the defeat of India China war of 1962, Nehru sacked the Défense Minister Krishna Menon and sought US military aid which was refused noticing India's friendly attitude towards USSR.

27. Due to shocking defeat of 1962 Indo-China war his health deteriorated. He eventually succumbed to death on 27 May 1964. Cause of death was never disclosed.
28. Jawaharlal Nehru's residence at "Teen Murti Bhavan" was turned to "Nehru Memorial Museum and Library". Five Nehru Planetariums were set at Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Allahabad and Pune.

29. Although Jawaharlal Nehru was nominated 11 times for the Noble peace Prize, he was not awarded the prize even a single time.
30. During India's struggle for freedom, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was imprisoned 9 times and this accounted for nine years of imprisonment.

Story first published: Friday, November 11, 2022, 16:30 [IST]
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