Young World

Man for All seasons

A warm welcome: Chacha Nehru being garlanded by children. Photos: The Hindu Photo Library

A warm welcome: Chacha Nehru being garlanded by children. Photos: The Hindu Photo Library  

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November 14 is Children’s Day. As we celebrate the birth anniversary of our first Prime Minister, we remember his love for children and the path he decided to take our country on.

It was dark and gloomy, and the atmosphere was stifling. But, what can you expect from a prison?

One prisoner however, unnerved the guards. A benign smile on his face, he wrote: “ My dear Indira, on your birthday you have been in the habit of receiving presents and good wishes. Good wishes you will still have in full measure, but what present can I send you from Naini prison…?”

How does one smile, when in prison? But this was no ordinary man. For Jawaharlal Nehru, the prison transformed into his study. The time he spent there and the wisdom he imparted were lessons for his daughter and the world.

His journey

Known as the maker of modern India Jawaharal was born to Motilal Nehru, a prominent lawyer and a fierce nationalist. Jawaharlal’s childhood was a sheltered one, and he grew up in a palatial home. Educated at home by private governesses and tutors, he developed a keen interest in the world around him. Later, he graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge in the U.K. and the Inns of Court School of Law (Inner Temple), London, where he trained as a barrister.

Later, he returned to India and enrolled himself as an advocate at the Allahabad High Court. However, his interest in national politics eventually replaced his legal practice. Nehru’s first big national involvement came at the beginning of the non-cooperation movement, in 1920. 

Soon, he joined his mentor, Gandhiji, in the fight for India’s freedom and went on to becoming independent India’s first Prime Minister.

A voracious reader and a prolific writer, he has to his credit, books such as  The Discovery of IndiaGlimpses of World History and his autobiography,  Toward Freedom.

Rose buds

In all pictures of Nehru, he is seen with a rose pinned to his shirt. Nehru’s love for roses was not different from his love for children. He frequently drew comparisons between the two stating that children were like buds in the garden — both had to be carefully nurtured.

He held that children were the nation’s future, a country’s formidable strength and society’s foundations. He believed in equal opportunities for men and women.

Naturally, he was the beloved of children, who referred to him as  chacha or uncle Nehru. It is as a tribute to him that his birthday, November 14, is celebrated as Children’s Day.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2018 3:12:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/kids/remembering-chacha-nehru-on-childrens-day/article7869012.ece

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