Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was one of the most acclaimed leader of the Independence struggle next to Mahatma Gandhi only. He was the undisputed claimant as the first Prime Minister of independent India. His entire family from his father Motilal Nehru, sister Vijayalaxmi Pandit and daughter Indira Gandhi was connected with the Independence movement in one way or other. was attracted to the USSRand socialism. His ‘Socialist Pattern of society’ slogan was accepted by the Avadi Congress, but it was only partly implemented and later was completely forsaken. Non-alignment was a powerful movement, but that also did not last much after him. The creation of Public Sector and its growth in the first two decades is clearly his contribution. His speech on 15th August 1947 on the ramparts of Red Fort is a memorable, which echoed throughout the country.
I had the opportunity to meet Prime Minister Pandit Nehru during 1957/ 58. He had come to Tellicherry and was to address a public meeting there which was massively participated. I was working as a school teacher and had come to hear him. I wanted to get his autograph. I had a small box camera with me and along with the press photographers I went near to him and took a photo. I utilised the opportunity by requesting for an autograph. He readily agreed and signed in my small autograph book.
As a P and T worker, later I read that Jawaharlal Nehru supported the 1946 Posts and Telegraph Strike and was also partly instrumental in its settlement with almost all the demands accepted by the British Government. But as the Prime Minister of India, he called the Central government Employees’ historical strike of July 1960 as ‘Civil Rebellion’ and suppressed it by using all the brute force at the hands of the government including the ‘Essential Service Maintenance Ordinance’ promulgated.
There is no doubt that he was a man of destiny and had the opportunity to lead free India for more than 17 years.
Homage to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on his 56th death anniversary!