Jawaharlal Nehru By: Shreya Balaji and Ashley Lupien

Early Life

Jawaharlal Nehru and his parents (Motilal and Swarupani).

Jawaharlal Nehru was born on November 14, 1889 in Allahabad, India. He was his parents (Motilal and Swaruprani) only son. The family lived a very European lifestyle. Jawaharlal had an English education from his father and when he was 15 he left India to go to an English boarding school. He went to college (Cambridge University) and got a degree in law. At age 22 he returned to India and joined his father's law practice.

Goals and Political Movement

Jawaharlal Nehru and Mohandas Ghandhi.

Nehru was a very influential leader behind Gandhi during the Indian Independence Movement. He became the nation’s first prime minister in 1947. He based his leadership off of the Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. He implemented the Panchsheel Treaty, or the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence during his time as Prime Minister to ensure India's foreign relations were peaceful and beneficial. Nehru formed a strong alliance with the leader of China through the Pannchseel Treaty. His goals were to modernize a feudal society, to industrialize the rural economy, and to adhere unfailingly to the principles of democracy. He encouraged industrialization in India and promoted scientific and technological advancements. He promoted many social reforms, some being free public education and food for Indian schoolchildren, legal rights for women, and laws that prevented acts of discrimination based on caste. He advocated for women to have rights to legally divorce their husbands. During the Cold War, he professed neutrality and refused to condemn the Soviet invasion of Hungary. He was a very popular Prime Minister and was adored my many.


The Principles of Peaceful Coexistance, the meeting of Chinese and Indian leaders, and a modern-day meeting discussing the Principles.

Jawaharlal Nehru emphasized the five principles of peaceful coexistence. The five principles of peaceful protest are: mutual respect for eachothers territorial integrity, mutual non- aggression, mutual non- interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and cooperation for mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence. These five principles would help countries have more civilized and peaceful approaches to each other when developing international relations. Nehru believed that without coexistence everything would lead to or end in destruction. When Nehru was India’s first prime minister, he introduced many different social reforms to the country. He believed in advancing the agricultural, scientific and technological areas of India, and also wanted to help the people. Nehru helped gain more rights for women and children such as children being able to get a proper education for free or for women to inherit property and have rights of divorce. When he was imprisoned during the Indian Independence Movement in 1921, he started to produce his political philosophy based on patience and adaptability.


“The service of India means the service of the millions who suffer. It means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity. The ambition of the greatest man of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye.” (Tryst with Destiny Speech)

Nehru addressing a massive crowd.

“Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you is determinism; the way you play it is free will.”

“The only alternative to coexistence is codestruction.”

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

“Democracy is good. I say this because other systems are worse.”

Major Actions/Events

Gandhi and Nehru at the Salt March.

In 1919 Nehru joined the Indian National Congress and was fighting for freedom from the British, but while doing this throughout the 1920’s he became imprisoned by the British multiple times for civil disobedience. Jawaharlal’s first actual leadership role in politics was in 1929 when he was elected as president of congress. He helped with negotiations for Indian independence. Many of his actions were influenced and inspired by Gandhi and Jawaharlal was often recognized as his successor. On August 15, 1947 Jawaharlal became the first Prime Minister of India when it became independent, where he implemented many social reforms and introduced India to industrialization. Jawaharlal wanted the state of Kashmir and was fighting with Pakistan over it. In October 1947, Nehru sent troops into the state of Kashmir to try and win it over. During the Cold War, India and China had many disputes which turned into war in 1962. Jawaharlal fought during this war which led to his health significantly becoming worse. He died on May 2, 1964 in New Delhi.

Dissenter's Corner

Map of the hostile area between India, Pakistan, and China.

Nehru publicly supported the partition of India and Pakistan, mainly in regards to the Indian ownership of Kashmir. He sent troops to Kashmir to gain control of the land, which was densely populated by Muslims who wanted to be a part of Pakistan. Nehru pushed against the Pakistanis and gained control of Kashmir in 1957. To this day, there is still hostile tensions in Kashmir between India and Pakistan, and it remains as one of the most volatile places on Earth. The Muslims in Kashmir still to this day want to be a part of Pakistan.

Works Cited






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