Nehru explains idea behind Bharat Mata ki jai

  • Posted on: 15 January 2017
  • By: Yawer

In the first episode of Bharat Ek Khoj, Nehru beautifully explained the meaning of Bharat Mata. Below is an excerpt of his account from the book Discovery of India.


Sometimes as I reached a gathering, a great roar of welcome  would greet me: Bharat Mata ki Jai – Victory to Mother India!  I would ask them unexpectedly what they meant by that cry, who  was this Bharat Mata, Mother India, whose victory they wanted?  

My question would amuse them and surprise them, and then, not  knowing exactly what to answer, they would look at each other  and at me. I persisted in my questioning.

At last a vigorous  Jat, wedded to the soil from immemorial generations, would say  that it was the dharti, the good earth of India, that they  meant.

What earth? Their particular village patch, or all the  patches in the district or province, or in the whole of India?  And so question and answer went on, till they would ask me  impatiently to tell them all about it.

I would endeavour to do  so and explain that India was all this that they had thought,  but it was much more. The mountains and rivers of India, and  the forests and the broad fields, which gave us food, were all  dear to us, but what counted ultimately were the people of  India, people like them and me, who were spread out all over  this vast land. Bharat Mata, Mother India, was essentially  these millions of people, and victory to her meant victory to  these people.

You are parts of this Bharat Mata, I told them,  you are in a manner yourselves Bharat Mata, and as this idea  slowly soaked into their brains, their eyes would light up as  if they had made a great discovery.


 — The Discovery of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru

The writer can be contacted on twitter handle @yawer_yousuf

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