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Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi’s father, was a leader of India’s nationalist movement and became India’s first prime minister after its independence.
As Gandhi became the leader in the struggle for Indian Independence, Jawaharlal Nehru sought to join his movement.
Jawaharlal Nehru was born on November 14, 1889, in Allahabad, India. Yet his early life experiences couldn't foreshadow the fiery political life he would come to lead.
After working all his life for the freedom of India, Jawaharlal Nehru became India's first Prime Minister on August 15th, 1947.
On August 15th, 1947 came the moment that Jawaharlal Nehru had fought fro all his life, the freedom of India.
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Jawaharlal Nehru was born on November 14, 1889, in Allahabad, India. In 1919, he joined the Indian National Congress and joined Indian Nationalist leader Mahatma Gandhi’s independence movement. In 1947, Pakistan was created as a new, independent country for Muslims. The British withdrew and Nehru became independent India’s first prime minister. He died on May 27, 1964, in New Delhi, India.
Jawaharlal Nehru was born in Allahabad, India in 1889. His father was a renowned lawyer and one of Mahatma Gandhi's notable lieutenants. A series of English governesses and tutors educated Nehru at home until he was 16. He continued his education in England, first at the Harrow School and then at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he earned an honors degree in natural science. He later studied law at the Inner Temple in London before returning home to India in 1912 and practicing law for several years. Four years later, Nehru married Kamala Kaul; their only child, Indira Priyadarshini, was born in 1917. Like her father, Indira would later serve as prime minister of India under her married name: Indira Gandhi. A family of high achievers, one of Nehru's sisters, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, later became the first woman president of the UN General Assembly.
In 1919, while traveling on a train, Nehru overheard British Brigadier-General Reginald Dyer gloating over the Jallianwala Bagh massacre. The massacre, also known as the Massacre of Amritsar, was an incident in which 379 people were killed and at least 1,200 wounded when the British military stationed there continuously fired for ten minutes on a crowd of unarmed Indians. Upon hearing Dyer’s words, Nehru vowed to fight the British. The incident changed the course of his life.
This period in Indian history was marked by a wave of nationalist activity and governmental repression. Nehru joined the Indian National Congress, one of India's two major political parties. Nehru was deeply influenced by the party's leader, Mahatma Gandhi. It was Gandhi's insistence on action to bring about change and greater autonomy from the British that sparked Nehru's interest the most.
The British didn't give in easily to Indian demands for freedom, and in late 1921, the Congress Party's central leaders and workers were banned from operating in some provinces. Nehru went to prison for the first time as the ban took effect; over the next 24 years he was to serve a total of nine sentences, adding up to more than nine years in jail. Always leaning to the left politically, Nehru studied Marxism while imprisoned. Though he found himself interested in the philosophy but repelled by some of its methods, from then on the backdrop of Nehru's economic thinking was Marxist, adjusted as necessary to Indian conditions.
In 1928, after years of struggle on behalf of Indian emancipation, Jawaharlal Nehru was named president of the Indian National Congress. (In fact, hoping that Nehru would attract India's youth to the party, Mahatma Gandhi had engineered Nehru's rise.) The next year, Nehru led the historic session at Lahore that proclaimed complete independence as India's political goal.
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Learn more about some of the world's most famous prime ministers, including "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher, the first woman to hold the position; Winston Churchill, who stood against Adolph Hitler's threat to control Europe during World War II; Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister; and his daughter, Indira Gandhi, who served three consecutive terms as prime minister before she was assassinated by her bodyguards in 1984.
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