Thoughts of Jawaharlal Nehru Part 1

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Jawahar Lal Nehru was bron on 14th November, 1889. His father was Motilal Nehru, who was one of the highest paid lawyer in the country, Their ancestors were came from Kashmir. They were Brahmins enjoying the honorific of 'Pandit', which means 'Man of Learning'.
He along with Mahatma Gandhi and other leaders fought for the freedom of the Nation.
Besides freedom fighter he was also a great thinker especially about his idea of India. He wrote several books from where we found his thoughts about India and it's discourse. Some of the most famous books of him are 'The Discovery of India', 'Will and Testaments' etc.

Communalism and Secularism

Nehru was a votary of secularism from initial days of his career(1920s) always opposed communalism. His remedy for communalism was also based on traditional approach of 'Hindu Muslim Bhai-Bhai', a common slogan of Hindu-Muslim Unity.
His secularism in political terms was based on tolerance and respect for each other's religion. 
He made Communalism a major target of attack. He also argued that democracy, secularism and socialism are linked together. He once, said that
We talk about a secular India.... What it means is that it is a state which honours all faiths equally and gives them equal opportunities, and it does not allow itself to be attached to one faith or religion, which then become state religion.... India has long history of religious tolerance. - JL Nehru
In a country like India, which has many faiths and religious, developing a real nationalism except on the basis of secularism is not possible. Any narrower approach based on a single faith/religion bound to exclusion of certain sections of society, which ultimately dilutes the concept of Nationalism itself.

According to Nehru, Secularism did not mean neglect of religion but it meant respect for every religion without any favour of one religion on the expense of others, which ultimately becomes state religion 
He also made it clear that communalism ultimately destroy the community which it claimed to defend or protect.
Under Nehru's guidance constitutional rights to every religion were guaranteed (Article 25-28).


J. L. Nehru prophesied a new form of Socialism called as Democratic Socialism, which was different from Marxist Socialism. His socialism was based on logical and scientific approach focused on equal distribution of income through planned programmes and schemes.

At that time capitalism had taken deep root in the Indian soil. Hence, he thought that a compromise between capitalism and state ownership would be beneficial for the country. According to Nehru, his socialism was to protect national interests rather than imposing authority over the Private sector enterprises.
His theory on socialism, was aimed to provide due liberty and freedom based on scientific and rational approach rather to follow the idealistic or theoretical hard core socialism.
Without social freedom and socialistic structure of the society or the state neither the country nor the individual could develop much. - JL Nehru

Thoughts on Foreign Policy

Nehru prophesied two most important thinking in the area of foreign policy:- 

I. Non-Alignment Movement(NAM)

This was his greatest contribution to the world of power politics, secret diplomacy, military pacts and nuclear arms race.
At that time when he proposed this theory the majority of the world was divided into two power blocs namely:-
  1. Russian Bloc (Communist Bloc)
  2. American Bloc (Capitalist Bloc)
He prophesied that countries should not (Non-alignment) joining either of the two blocs.
The major components of his NAM were peace, development, disarmament and independence, so that imperialism and colonialism in all their manifestations were liquidated from the world.
His NAM theory became very popular across the world and adopted by many countries.

II. Panchsheel

According to Nehru Panchsheel means that each country should carve out it's own destiny without interfering with others.
Basically Cina and India signed the Sino-India Agreement on Trade and Intercourse between Tibetan Region of China and India on 24th April 1954. In this agreement the preamble had five principles of Panchsheel. 
  1. Mutual Respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty.
  2. Mutual Non-Aggression. 
  3. Mutual Non-interference in each other's internal affairs.
  4. Equal and mutual benefit.  
  5. Peaceful Co-existence.
It means that each country should be free to develop of it's own and yet to be friendly with others. If the Nehru's Panchsheel theory was sincerely adopted by every country than this world would have became a heaven on Earth.