Tall in stature, like a father’s secret ambition his son; dignified, but not stilled in bearing-like a sons that has aroused a nation simple and yet vigorous in manner-like the prose style of some modern master; brave, vibrant eyes which remind one vaguely of momentous moments; a sad, untired smile; a face quivering with impatience; like a prophecy awaiting fulfilment and a scientillating personality every core alive with character.
Such was “The Favorite Jewel (Jawahar lal) of the canal (Nehru)”. He was great. He achieved greatness and he has borne more greatness than most shoulders can bear. The name stood for an illustration clan of Kashmiris who had descended from the country of canals and dominated the Mughal Court at Delhi by their scholarship in Sanskrit and Persian and their cultured story of old-world Urdu-culture.
After leaving Cambribge when he came home as a Barrister and joined Mr. Annie Besant’s Home Rule League, the magnificent Moderate’s only son, showed the first inklings of extremism.
Jawaharlal, on his return from England, went on a tour for discovery of India and of himself. He wandered in the remote ham lets of Oudh, in scorching such of the Northern Indian summers until he developed a rich plan to the intense chagrin of the Government spies who had been assigned to dog his steps. He talked to the peasants as man to man, what he had in mind, in a chatty, personal way. He found to his amazement that the downtrodden kisan began to walk straight with his head held high. This was a revelation, not only of the kisan of but himself.
Advent into politics
As the Mayor of Allahabad, Secretary of the Home Rule League and Secretary of the Provincial Congress Committe Jawaharlal proved to his friends that he was no more visionary, talking in the air, but a man with a gift to handle routine jobs with an efficiency unknown to political figures and that sitting leadership was served with a hot pepper by this ruthless idealist, hot from a visit to Red Russia. The magical word, “In dependence’, sounded like exotic music that facinated the nation, which, awakened from its sleep, raised its hood and began to dance to the tune of the new charmer! Jawaharlal Nehru became a name !
Nehru had none of those qualities that go to make a good politician. On the contrary, he was impatient, hated compromises and brutally frank, had more sincerity than tact, more earnestness than diplomacy. A correspondence course would have not taught any man more of statesmanship than he knew.
About the man
But for India, he was not merely a person; he was an ideal. He was the personified ideal in which Indian had begun to believe. He was the French Song, “La-Marseillaise” in flesh and blood on Indian soil.
Above all, he was the man of action. He was of the swift, the strong, the undaunted stuff that should yet make a worn out nation glad. His sincerity and honesty stageed in one, a world where mean man pinched, higgled and cheated.
Jawaharlal Nehru became the political-Sheikh of India by suddenly capturing the hearts of young Indians. The child-like faith and confidence was showered on the young Nehru and the whole nation staggered one. It was not politics but unadulterated idolatory. Greatness could not be thrust upon a man, with a greater vengeance.
He was the man who could not be suppressed. Every time he was imprisoned, yet another of those tremendous looks, came out of the prison. He earns his living in jail and spends it all on the country, when set free. When the Viceroy looks him up, he collects his thoughts, weights and considers and writes down in delightful, unadorned but vivid prose, what passes in the mind of the best citizen of the world we have with us.
He liked poetery, friends, writing letters, climbing mountains, gazing at good pictures, seeing Indian dance, reading books by hundreds, light hearted jester, laughing at himself and looking at himself as others see him.
Swimming and standing were on his head.
He likes to watch birds and insects. He once had a little tiff with wasps which had invaded his cell of Dehra Dun Central Jail. He wanted to examine the lot. But they put up such a teriffic fight that he decided to leave them in peace. Perhaps it was the only battle in which he turned jail.
He hates meanness of any sort, lack of the sense of humour, and bats !
He makes a fine picture as he stands in his nobility. He is no longer the hope of the nation. He was the one man in 400 millfons who fulfilled the promise of youth. He was the modern version of the sepic; Indian hero-an Arjuna. educated at Harrow, or a Rama, graduated at Cambridge.