“Words are lovely dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.” These lines became immortal and world famous immediately after the death of Pt. Nehru on the 27th of May, 1964. These lines were always kept before him on his writing table. He never slept without going miles and miles away. Pt. Nehru the rebel and pat riot, the statesman and writer the socialist and democrat and the first Prime Minister of India was suddenly snatched from us, from the world by the cruel cold hands of death on May 27, 1964 immediately after the special session of the Congress at Bhuwaneshwar. His death created a void in the world scene which can never be filled.
Actually, 1964 was an eventful year. It was the year when in the National Indian Congress at Bhuwaneshwar the leaders agreed to reach the goal of democratic socialism. It was the same year which gave us the severest blow by snatching our beloved leader from us. Really the passing away of Pt. Nehru was the saddest event of the world. He was undoubtedly the greatest leader of the world and the greatest man of the world to fight for peace single handed.
He was literally the precious jewel not only of India but also. of the world which threw its lustrous and brilliant beams dazzling the eyes of the people of the world. When we attempt to consider anything about his legacy, we become conscious of our littleness be fore this huge and mighty God of the world. Pt. Nehru was Prime Minister of India under making, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chairman of Planning Commission, sometimes President of the India National Congress, the undisputed greatest leader of India and of the world, a citizen of the world working alone to form a bridge between the Eastern countries and the Western countries, the apostle of pease and fighter for the peaceful co-existence of the people of all the counties of the world. Such was Nehru. I think it would be a vain attempt to throw some light upon his legacy.
His role in the struggle of India’s freedom
Many patriotic and loyal citizen of India sacrificed their everything for the freedom of India. Pt. Nehru is one of them who played a very conspicuous part in it. Gandhiji was the greatest of all, the only one and match less leader of the struggle and Nehru was his the most beloved disciple and second to him. What John was to Christ, King Ashoka was to Buddha and Akbar to Hindu-Muslim unity, so was Pt. Nehru to Gandhiji. He was also with him and walked on the path indicated by him. He sacrificed his life, pleasures, comfort and luxuries of life for the freedom of India. He knew that the Indians were steeped in poverty, illiteracy and disease. People were conservative, orthodox, superstitious tradition ridden and divided into castes and creeds. It was very difficult for anyone to unite such persons. Pt. Nehru with the help of Mahatma Gandhi was successful in uniting Indians. He had to suffer long and had to go many times to jail for the freedom of his country. He was shocked by his wife’s death and father’s death during the movements launched by Mahatma Gandhi. In the end, India became free on the 15th August, 1947. With Independence, so any other problems came forward. These problems were the problems of rehabilitation of refugees and settlement of Princely states. He faced all these problems boldly and was firm in his place like the Himalayas.
Frank Moraes has written, “Like Krishna, who turned the Gopis with his flute. Nehru lures Indian masses with the magic of his name.” He lured the people of the country and tackled the refugee problem i quite successfully. He gave us secularism and social ism and a crude shape of Democracy. He molded the character of Indians like Caesar but he was not a Caesar either by his conviction or his temperament. He hated dictatorship. Under his guidance, the country developed much. Such was his love for the country.
The achievements of his foreign policy
Pt. Nehru’s foreign policy was appreciated by all. He was man of peace and noble ideas; so he made peaceful existence, non-alignment and anti-colonialism the corner-stone of his foreign policy. He hated war from the core of his heart and he loved peace passionately. While he was Prime Minister of India, the world came to the brick of war but Nehru became the cause of the aversion of the danger by his astute wisdom. He was an internationalist. He loved all nations alike. He gained friends all over the world. He not only guided the destinies of his nation but also of the world at large.
He declared again and again that the policy of non-alignment I was good for us and for the world. He walked in the image of Buddha and Ashoka. He was the creator of Punchsheel which cons tituted his principles of foreign policy. The five principles of Panch sheel jointly enumerated by Jawaharlal Nehru and Chinese Prime Minister Chou En Lai-(1) Mutual respect for one another’s terri torial integrity and sovereignty, (2) Non-aggression, (3) Non interference in one another’s internal affairs for any reasons of eco nomic, political or ideological character, (4) Equility and mutual benefit, and (5) Peaceful co-existence.
His wise foreign policy was of great benefit to India. It laid the foundation of future prosperity and strength for India based on mutual friendship and co-existence.
His home policy
His achievements at the home front are equally remarkable. He could not tolerate the poverty and backwardness of country. He also did not likes to see that India should depend totally upon the foreign countries for food and other goods. He started democratic planning in the country. He launched several movements in this respect and with the help of his tact he could get help from foreign countries like America and set plans. The country started many Five Year Plans and the shape of India has been completely changed. The giant like machines are working in India night and day to bring her on the path of prosperity.
Nehruji failed to study the mind of China and so she attacked our country in 1962. Now Pt. Nehru woke from a deep sleep and he started the work to defend our country from the foreign invasion. It was the result of his working that Late Shasrtriji could reply Pakistan in 1965 when she attacked India. The Russian block helped India to a very great extent.
Jawahar Lal Nehru was a man of the masses. He drew inspiration from the masses. The people of India loved him madly. He plunged himself heart and soul into the service of the country owing to love of the people for him. He tried to get the support of all the people of all castes and creeds in building the nation. It is indeed a tribute to his great leadership that in spite of many problems that disturbed our country after her freedom. India today enjoys stability and unity unrivaled in the newly freed countries of the world.
He was not without critic
Nehru was loved by all but criticized also by a few. He was called a political Hamlet. He was charged of being a dictator. It is alleged that though he was a true democrat, yet he did what he liked and nothing else. He was the personification of honesty, integrity and uprightness but he allowed his lieutenants to indulge in corrupt practices. Somebody remarked that he was an idealist and not a practical political leader. The problem of Kashmir could not be solved by him. He could not solve the language problem also. But we all know that he was a visionary. Actually he was wrapped in the vision of the future. He had a clear vision of India of tomorrow and he did according to his vision. He wanted to move with the masses who were slow to move.
Nehru died suddenly. The world was stunned to hear the saddest news of the time. Millions and millions of people came to Delhi to have the last look of their beloved leader and to pay their homage. Leaders of the world rushed to India to pay their homage to him. The entire world wept with India. Actually the light was gone from us and we all were plunged in darkness. Great men like him are born only once in thousand years and the world becomes poorer by their death. Immediately after his death, people began to think that India would be indulged in civil war but Congress men patched up their differences and the problem was solved by the unanimous election of Lal Bahadur Shastri as the Prime Minister of India. No one can replace Nehru but India will march ahead on the path of progress shown by him. The foreign policy of India is at stake. There are disturbances in the country. There is chaos here and no one knows what will happen tomorrow. The Language problem is very acute. All these problems would have been solved if Pt. Nehru had been among us.
Nehru is no more but the Nehru era is continuing. The Fourth General Election have opened the eyes of the Congress party and they saw the result of the absence of Pt. Nehru. Many problems like defence, national integration, poverty, food and leadership along with the language problem have arisen. The people must be united together and slove all these problems. People must regain the country’s prestige which has been lost by the absence of Nehru. He has left us with the vision of India he would like to see. It is pro per that we, his inheritors, crown his ambitions by fulfilling them. We must remember;
“His life was gentle and the elements. So mixed in him that Nehru might stand up. And say to all the world this was a man.”