Published: 23rd March, 2015 Last Edited: 23rd March, 2015
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Jawaharlal Nehru, was an Indian nationalist leader who became the first Prime Minister of India after independence. Nehru, often referred to as Panditji, was elected by the Indian National Congress to become India's first independent Prime Minister in the year 1947, and then re-elected to the post when the Congress Party won India's first general election in 1951. He was also one of the initiators of the international Non-aligned movement.
He was the son of moderate nationalist leader and Congressman Motilal Nehru. Under the mentorship of M.K. Gandhi, he became Congress President. He advocated Democratic Socialism and believed that a strong public sector is the means by which economic and social development could be pursued by nations like ours. He was the father of Indira Gandhi and the maternal grandfather of Rajiv Gandhi, who would later serve as the third and sixth Prime Ministers of India respectively.
Early Life and Career (1889-1912) -
Jawaharlal Nehru was born on 14th of November 1889 in Allahabad in British India. His father, who belonged to the Kashmiri Pandit community, was a wealthy barrister and acted twice as the President of the Indian National Congress party during the independence struggle. Nehru described his childhood as a ''uneventful''. He grew up in an atmosphere of comfort and privilege and was home-schooled by private governess and tutors. Under the influence of a tutor, Ferdinand Brooks, he became interested in science and theosophy. However, his interest did not prove to be enduring.
For college education, Nehru went to Trinity College, Cambridge in October 1907 and graduated with an honours degree in natural science in 1910. During this period Nehru also studied politics, economics, history and literature aimlessly. After completing his degree in 1910, Nehru stayed in London for 2 years for law studies.
After returning to India in 1912, he enrolled himself as an advocate of the Allahabad High Court and tried to settle as a barrister. But unlike his father, he only had a desultory interest in his profession and did not relish either the practice of law or the company of lawyers. Nehru soon gave up his profession in favour of politics. It was during his youth that Nehru became an ardent nationalist.
Struggle for Indian Independence (1912-47) -
In 1919, Nehru overheard General Dyer gloating over Jallianwala Bagh massacre. This incident changed the course of his life as he joined the Congress party which was fighting for greater autonomy from the British rule. He was heavily influenced by the organisation's leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. During the 1920s and 1930s, he was repeatedly imprisoned by the British rule for civil disobedience. In 1928, he was elected as the president of congress.
By the end of World War II, he was widely recognised as Gandhi's successor. He played a key role in the negotiations over Indian independence. He openly opposed the Muslim League's insistence on the India's division on the criteria of religion. Lord Mountbatten, the last British viceroy, advocated that division is the fastest and most workable solution. Nehru agreed reluctantly.
Prime Minister of India -
On 15th August 1947, Nehru became the first PM of independent India. He implemented moderate socio-economic reforms and committed India to a policy of industrialisation. Upon taking office, he was determined to implement moderate socialist economic reforms by means of centralized economic planning. He held the post until his death in 1964. He personally presided over the government Planning Commission that drew up successive five-year plans, beginning in 1951, for the development of India's economy. A decade and a half after independence, these plans focussed on industrial development and national ownership of several key areas of the economy. He also served as the foreign minister of India. In October 1947, he faced an opposition from Pakistan over the state of Kashmir, which was disputed at the time of independence. Because of which, Nehru sent troops into the state to support India's claim. A United Nations ceasefire was negotiated but Kashmir remains unstable to this day.
As the Cold War started in the 1950s, Nehru adopted a foreign policy of "positive neutrality", thereby making an attempt to defuse international tensions without directly supporting either of the two international power blocs led by the United States and the Soviet Union. He was one of the key spokesmen of the non-aligned nations of Asia and Africa, out of which, most were former colonies which, like India, wanted to avoid relying on any major power blocs.
Under Nehru's guidance, India administered a prisoner exchange at the end of the Korean War (1950-1953) and helped to call a truce between the French and the Vietnamese at the end of the First Indochina War (1946-1954). Nehru campaign for India-China friendship at the Bandung Conference of non-aligned Asian and African nations in 1955, and backed the claims of the People's Republic of China to get membership in the United Nations. Nehru's government didn't support the British-French invasion of the Suez Canal area in 1956, though he spoke leniently about Soviet incursions into Eastern Europe.
India and China tried to achieve cooperation as Asia's two most populous nations. From the late 1950s, however relations between the two countries worsened over boundary disputes and over India's acceptance of Tibetan refugees, including the Dalai Lama, after China annexed Tibet in 1950. In the year 1959, Chinese troops occupied territory claimed by both countries. As diplomatic efforts failed to resolve the conflict, the condition escalated into war in 1962 between Indian and Chinese forces in the Himalayas. Indian troops were beaten decisively as they were unprepared for the encounter. The Chinese however took no additional territory, but continued to occupy the land they had annexed in 1959. India's crushing defeat compelled a re-evaluation of India's defence capabilities, and Nehru was forced to ask for the resignation of Defence Minister V. K. Krishna Menon, a close personal friend. Nehru appealed for equipment assistance from the American military during this crisis despite his policy of non-alignment and it was granted through the offices of US president John Kennedy and Ambassador John Kenneth Galbraith.
Nehru was totally against the ides of religion as he observed the effects it had on Indian people and described religion as ''it shuts its eyes to reality''. He believed that religion was the root cause of stagnation and lack of progress in India. He deeply concerned by the fact that a large proportion was population was illiterate and so he was under the strong belief that mass education can release Indian society from the limitations that ignorance and religious traditions imposed.
Nehru was married to Kamala Kaul in 1916. Indira, his only daughter was born a year later in 1917. Nehru was presumed to have relationships with Edwina Mountbatten and Padmaja Naidu.
Jawaharlal Nehru played a pivotal role in shaping modern India's constitution and political culture along with flexible foreign policy. As a matter of fact, Nehru's education policy is also credited for the development of world-class educational institutes like the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Management.
In his lifetime, Chacha Nehru, as he was fondly remembered by children, enjoyed an emblematic status in India and was widely appreciated across the world for his idealism and statesmanship. His birthday, 14th November is celebrated as Children's Day in recognition of his lifelong commitment in development of children and young people. Even today, his ideals and policies continue to shape Congress's Party manifesto and core philosophy.
Numerous public institutions and memorials like Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru Port near Mumbai, Nehru Planetariums are dedicated to his memory.
Nehru was a profilic writer in English and wrote a number of books, such as The Discovery of India, Glimpses of World History and his autobiography, Toward Freedom.
In 1955, Chacha Nehru was awarded India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna.
Final years and the rise of Indira Gandhi -
In the 1957 elections, Jawaharlal Nehru led Congress to a massive victory but the same thing can't be said about the 1962 elections where communist and socialist parties were the main beneficiaries. Nehru's health began declining steadily after 1962. He spent months recuperating in Kashmir. Upon his return in May 1964, Nehru suffered a stroke and later a heart attack which he couldn't survive. He was cremated at the Shantivana on the banks of river Yamuna. Hundreds of thousands mourned his death.
On his death, he left a powerful imprint on India with no evident political heir to his leadership, even though his daughter Indira was widely expected to succeed him, before she turned it down in favour of Lal Bahadur Shastri.
Indian newspapers read: ''The Light has gone out of our lives and there is darkness everywhere''. These were Nehru's own words after Bapu's assassination.
Some famous quotes by Nehru -
Time is not measured by passing of years but by what one does, what one feels and what one achieves.
A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new; when an age ends; and when the soul of a nation long suppressed finds utterance.
Culture is the widening of mind and of the spirit.
Action to be effective must be directed to clearly conceived ends.
Democracy and socialism are means to an end, not the end itself.
Our chief defect is that we are more given to talking about things than to doing them.
A theory must be tempered with reality.
Loyal and efficient work in a great cause, even though it may not be immediately recognized, ultimately bears fruit.
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Topic :The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
Struggle for India’s Independence, Bipan Chandra
The entire history of the freedom movement is replete with the saga of bravery, sacrifice and political sagacity and Indian women were integral part of it. Many of these women continued their noble contribution even after independence.
Role as a freedom fighter- At a very young age Sarojini Naidu wrote many patriotic poems which inspired people in India to throw off the foreign yoke. She joined the Home Rule movement launched by Annie Besant. This was her first step in politics. In 1921 she participated in the Non-Cooperation movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi. She became President of the Congress in 1925. When Mahatma Gandhi started his Civil disobedience movement in 1930, Sarojini Naidu became his principal assistant.
Contribution after independence- She acted as first governor of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, with this she also became first woman to become governor of any Indian state.
Role as a freedom fighter- She was an active member of Congress Party and participated in public processions during the Salt Satyagraha. In 1932, she was held prisoner at the Tihar Jail where she protested the indifferent treatment of political prisoners by launching a hunger strike. Her efforts resulted in an improvement of conditions in the Tihar Jail. Aruna Asaf Ali became a face of Quit India movement by hoisting the Congress flag at the Gowalia Tank maidan when all the major leaders were arrested by British.
Contribution after independence- After the independence, she remained active in politics. She joined the Communist Party of India in the early 1950s and in 1954; she helped to form the National Federation of Indian Women. the women’s wing of CPI. She became Delhi ‘s first mayor in 1958. In the 1960s, she successfully started a media publishing house.
Role as a freedom fighter- Sucheta Kripalani actively took part in Quit India movement along with Aruna Asaf Ali and Usha Mehta. She courted imprisonment for taking part in freedom struggle. During communal violence Sucheta Kriplani went to Noakhali with Gandhi and worked hard to pacify communities.
Contribution after independence- She was general secretary of Indian National Congress from 1958 to 1960, and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh from 1963 to 1967. Sucheta Kripalani was in the words of Indira Gandhi, a person of rare courage and character who brought credit to Indian womanhood.
Role as a freedom fighter – She organized the Congress Radio. an underground radio station. which functioned for around 3 months during the Quit India Movement of 1942. It greatly assisted the movement by disseminating uncensored news and other information banned by the British-controlled government of India. Secret Congress Radio also kept the leaders of the freedom movement in touch with the public.
Contribution after independence- Usha Mehta continued to be socially active, particularly in spreading the Gandhian thought and philosophy after independence. In 1998, the Government of India conferred on her Padma Vibhushan. the second highest civilian award of Republic of India.
5) Vijay Laxmi Pandit-
Role as a freedom fighter- Vijayalakshmi Pandit inspired by Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi and impressed by Sarojini Naidu entered the Non Cooperation Movement. She was imprisoned thrice for taking part in the Civil Disobedience Movement in 1932, 1941 and 1942.
Contribution after independence-
Following India’s independence, she entered the diplomatic service and became India’s ambassador to several countries like the Soviet Union, the United States, Mexico, Ireland, and Spain. Between 1946 and 1968 she also headed the Indian delegation to the United Nations. In 1953, she became the first woman President of the United Nations General Assembly. She also served as governor of Maharashtra from 1962 to 1964.
Role as a freedom fighter- Miss Padmaja Naidu like her mother Sarojini Naidu, devoted herself to the cause of Nation like her mother. At the age of 21, she entered the National scene and became the joint founder of the Indian National Congress of Hyderabad. She spread the message of Khadi and inspired people to boycott foreign goods. She was jailed for taking part in the Quit India movement in 1942.
Contribution after independence- After Independence, she became the Governor of West Bengal. During her public life spanning over half a century, she was associated with the Red Cross. Her services to the Nation and especially her humanitarian approach have been well appreciated.
Role as a freedom fighter- In her early years was active in the national liberation struggle. During the 1930 movement, she formed the ‘Vanar Sena’, a children’s brigade to help freedom fighters. She became a member of the Indian National Congress in 1938.
Contribution after independence- In the eventful years of her leadership as Prime Minister, Indian society underwent profound changes. She was unremitting in her endeavour for the unity and solidarity of the nation. A staunch defender of the secular ideals of the Constitution, she worked tirelessly for the social and economic advancement of the minorities. She had a vision of a modern self-reliant and dynamic economy. She fought boldly and vigorously against communalism, obscurantism, revivalism and religious fundamentalism of all types.
Role as a freedom fighter- She was a follower of Mahatma Gandhi and thus; played active role in Gandhi Satyagraha movement and played role of Indian struggler, a lawyer, a social activist and a politician.
Contribution after independence- She was a lok sabha member as well as member of Planning Commission of India. While being member of Planning Commission she launched a Central Social Welfare Board through which she improved condition of education, women, children, handicap and rehabilitation of needy persons.
Topic. The Freedom Struggle – its various stages and important contributors /contributions from different parts of the country.
Bipan Chandra, Struggle for India’s Independence
Along with the hundreds and thousands of Indian women who dedicated their lives for the cause of their motherland, there were a number of noble and courageous foreign women who stood shoulder to shoulder with their Indian counterparts in this struggle.
Reasons behind participation of foreign women-
Role played by foreign women in India’s struggle for independence-
Born in Ireland on 28 October 1867, she arrived in India in January, 1898, in search of truth. After freeing herself from the obligations of the monastic order she actively took interest into Indian politics and wrote and spoke against British rule.
She attacked Lord Curzon for the Universities Act of 1904 and partition of Bengal in 1905. She held the British responsible for disastrous state of Indian economy; she attended the Benares Congress in 1905 and supported the Swadeshi Movement. She helped Nationalist groups like the Dawn Society and the Anusilan Samiti.
She propagated for the cause of India throughout America and Europe. Swami Vivekananda described her as a real Lioness.
A strong votary of truth, she came to India in 1893 at the age of 46, impressed as she was by its great religion and philosophy. On arrival, she found that the state of things in India were bad.
Through her lectures, she tried to awaken them to their lost heritage by dedicating herself to the cause of religion, society and education of India. In doing so, she was watchful that Indian revival must be through Indian traditions and customs and not through any of the European concepts. As early as 1898 and later in 1902 she urged Indians to were native dress, use and develop Indian manufacturers and also develop a national language.
Dr. Annie Besant entered active politics in 1914. She demanded Home Rule for India and suffered internment for it from June to September 1917. By then she had tried and achieved unification of the Congress and Hindus and Muslims in 1916.
She fittingly became the president of Indian National Congress in 1917. Tilak declared that if we were nearer our goals, it was due to Dr. Annie Besant’s sincere efforts. Gokhale considered her a true daughter of Mother India.
Nellie joined Indian freedom struggle along with her husband by participating in non-cooperation movement in 1920. After her husband’s imprisonment during the Assam-Bengal Railwaymen’s strike, she forcefully protested against the District authorities’ imposition of a ban on assembly, addressed mass meetings and courted arrest. She defied the law by selling Khadi door to door. In 1931 she suffered four months’ imprisonment at Delhi for addressing an unlawful assembly. She was elected as the president of Indian national congress at its 47 th annual session at Calcutta in 1933. She was also elected on a Congress ticket to the Bengal Legislative Assembly in 1940 and 1946.
Madeleine Slade known as Mira behn, who brought up in affluent environment of a proud aristocracy came to serve the cause of India’s freedom by identifying herself completely with the life and work of Gandhi. She tried to become a bridge between the East and the West.
Daughter of a British Admiral Madeleine Slade renounced the life of luxury and worked in the service of India. She accompanied Gandhi to England in 1931 and undertook a tour of America and Britain in 1934 to enlist sympathy for the Indian cause. She suffered imprisonment in 1932-33 and 1942-44 for the cause of India’s Independence.
She came to India in 1914 and met Shri Aurobindo. She was associated with the work of Shri Aurobindo when he started a philosophical monthly named Arya to express his vision of man and his divine destiny. She played an important role in motivating women like Mrs. Annie Besant and Mrs. Nellie Sen Gupta. She has also contributed to enrich India’s age-old heritage and culture.
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Topic. Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora
The Indian Diaspora is a generic term to describe the people who migrated from territories that are currently within the borders of the Republic of India. It also refers to their descendants. The Indian Diaspora is currently estimated to number over twenty million. It is composed of “NRIs” (Indian citizens not residing in India) and “PIOs” (Persons of Indian Origin who have acquired the citizenship of some other country).
What government is doing-?
What government should do-?
The Diaspora is very special to India. Residing in distant lands, its members have succeeded spectacularly in their chosen professions by dint of their single-minded dedication and hard work. What is more, they have retained their emotional, cultural and spiritual links with the country of their origin. This strikes a reciprocal chord in the hearts of people of India. It is to nurture this symbiotic relationship to mutual advantage that the Government of India is striving to hard taking various steps.
Topic. Appointment to various Constitutional posts, powers, functions and responsibilities of various Constitutional Bodies
Context – Recently three crucial appointments made by Tamilnadu government were set aside by the madras high courts. All three selections appeared to be a form of rewarding political loyalty by party in power.
Public service commissions are vested with the responsibility of selecting members of bureaucracy which is backbone of Indian democracy. If chairperson and members of public service commission are appointed considering the political loyalty rather than merit, the system would malfunction producing substandard civil servants.
Existing provisions of appointing members of public service commissions-
Art 316 states that the Chairman and other members of a Public Service Commission shall be appointed, in the case of the Union Commission or a Joint Commission, by the President, and in the case of a State Commission, by the Governor of the State: Provided that as nearly as may be one half of the members of every Public Service Commission shall be persons who at the dates of their respective appointments have held office for at least ten years either under the Government of India or under the Government of a State.
Critical assessment and opinions of the judiciary
No criteria other than the half of the members having work experience of 10 years under government of India or state, has made appointment process of members of commission subjective, ambiguous and vulnerable to political interference. Thus in such matters judiciary has expressed its disappointments and have pronounced some landmark judgments.
In Upendra Narayan Singh case, 2009 with regarding to Bihar public service commission supreme court observed that “The Public Service Commissions which have been given the status of constitutional authorities and which are supposed to be totally independent and impartial while discharging their function in terms of Article 320 have become victims of spoil[s] system”
Recently 11 appointments made by the State Governor to the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission were set aside by the Madras High Court by stating that appointment process was suspicious. Further Supreme Court refused to stay the order.
Further the court opines that any person should not be rejected on the basis of his past political affinities, as that will violate the Fundamental rights and lead to unjustified discrimination. If the person has carried out his duties in an honest manner in the past, he should be considered for the post.
The procedure to be followed for appointments –
Constitution visualizes public service commission as watchdog of merit system. State public service commissions are consulted by governor while framing the rules of appointment to judicial service of the state other than the posts of district judge. Such important institution cannot be subjected to the vagaries of the politics of the day. Thus legislature and judiciary should be watchful of the appointments made by executives.
Topic. Economic growth and development; Infrastructure
Since historic times cities are engines of economic growth and innovation. It is said that, cities, not nation-states, are the main players in macroeconomics. According to The Economic Survey, 2016-17,from 1991 to 2011, the percentage of India’s population that lives in cities and towns has increased from a quarter to a third and this segment produces more than three-fifths of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Urbanization acts as a two-edged sword, as it brings prosperity but also new challenges along with it. The challenges being-
The 2011 census showed that a third of India’s population consisted of internal migrants.
Lack of comprehensive data about the composition of India’s migrant population—a problem for policymaking.
Slum formations and ghettoisation, rich-poor divide.
Urban areas becoming heat islands, increasing pollution, non-degradable solid wastes, plastics, etc.
Encouraging more compact urban development through changing land use regulations, investing in urban mobility and addressing the convoluted classification process of census towns that results in denied urbanization.
These measures should be implemented in letter and spirit for true urban development. Govt. steps such as AMRUT, SMART CITY and SBA are steps in right direction.
Topic :Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
Privacy concerns exist wherever sensitive information is collected, stored, used, and finally destroyed or deleted – in digital form or otherwise. Eg: Health-care records, financial institutions and transactions, web surfing behaviour. There is an urgent need to enact privacy laws in India, given the growing use of technological interventions in the citizen-government interactions. In this regard, the following points need to be kept in mind while framing the privacy laws:
OECD’Srecommendations for protection of personal data
The seven principles governing the OECD’s recommendations for protection of personal data are to be considered while designing privacy law –
Significant aspects to be considered-
Other aspects to be considered while designing privacy law is –
The important elements of the PRIVACY LAW include-
The privacy law should be flexible and secure enough for the citizens to trust the government in revealing their necessary data without any fear of its misuse. It should also take lessons from other countries in management and security of big data while at the same time addressing the needs specific to India.Please Share this Post