In the summer of 1955, India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru flew over to the Soviet Union for a state visit. The trip, extending to almost a month, still remains the longest visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the region— which consists of Eastern Europe, Russia and Central Asia. The trip was a landmark visit because it escalated the Soviet-Indian friendship to a new high in that era of cold war-ridden bifurcation of the world order. Reminiscing of this visit in his later years, former Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev recollected that “…Jawaharlal Nehru’s visit to Moscow in June 1955 was an unexpected stimulus for me in this respect [understanding democracy]. … This amazing man, his noble bearing, keen eyes and warm and disarming smile, made a deep impression on me.” Jawaharlal’s visit to USSR—then one of the two competing powers of the cold war—was an important step for India as cozying up to the Soviets maintained a subtle balance of power in the subcontinent, for the Americans had cozied up to the Pakistanis. So intimate was the visit, that while riding through Moscow, when people threw roses at Nehru and the thorns pricked his fingers, he remarked—sarcastically—“Look, I’ve shed my blood for Russia.”
Image Credits: Life magazine
Much blame is directed at Nehru for pushing India towards a socialist economic policy. How much blame is justifiable, and who can claim to cast the first stone? What was the economic policy of Jana Sangh during 1950’s and 60s?
Nehru went to Trinity College, Cambridge in October 1907 and graduated with an honours degree in natural science in 1910. In his Autobiography, he gives some clues on the early influences on him
Out of the filth floating about freedom fighters the current regime deems as ‘anti-national’ on the skin of the Internet sewers, a good 80% is easily disproved by either common sense or a quick search on the internet. However, there is of course ‘intellectual propaganda’, where even those who do not get their history lessons from Whatsapp tend to believe in. These often prey on vague subjects, such as ancestry, or trying to pin the blame of a catastrophic event on a single person. This will, hopefully, be the beginning of a historical FAQs section, where common misconceptions about Nehru’s (and possibly other cabinet members) dealing with the country are addressed. These are questions adapted from legitimately asked queries on sites such as Quora or Twitter, with any sources being referred at the end of each piece.
Every time the Indian government is forced in between a rock and a hard place, the immediate, knee jerk response is to blame it on Nehru. Whether it’s rapes in JNU, power cuts in Delhi, or even his own erasure from textbooks: the finger always points in a single direction. However, the UNSC seat (namely, that Nehru passed it up, and apparently ruined India forever) is one of the set in stone phrases used by those too prudent to bring in his personal life, and too lackadaisical to indulge in contemplation of circumstance and fact.
Even as India's first PM is scrubbed out from textbooks, his reputation is being savaged on the internet
* Jawahar, the Arabic word for pearl, could not have been chosen by any Kashmiri Brahmin as a name for his child.
* Jawaharlal Nehru's grandfather was Ghiasuddin Ghazi, a kotwal of the Mughals, who changed his name to Gangadhar Nehru.
* Nehru was born in a brothel in Allahabad.
* Nehru got a Catholic nun pregnant, and was indebted to the church for spiriting her away from India. He died of syphilis.