Thoughts of Jawaharlal Nehru Part 2

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Jawahar Lal Nehru was born 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.


Nehru wanted the Indian people to absolve the shackles of the past and must recondition themselves with the present problems and future perspective. He further said that this is only possible when people tried to imbibe the highest ideals of the present age i.e. Humanism and Scientific temperament.

Although there remained a constant conflict between the Humanism and scientific spirit but a new synthesis between the two are taking place which evolved a new kind of Humanism i.e. Scientific Humanism.
Nehru approvingly quoted Rousseau.
This is the people who compose the human race, what is not people is so small concern that it si not worth the trouble counting. -Rousseau

Views on Culture

Nehru explained the essence of culture in terms of inner growth, behaviour towards others, capacity to understand others and capacity of oneself to be understood.
The cultured mind... should have it's windows and doors open. It should understand others' viewpoint fully even though it cannot agree with it. The question of agreement and disagreement arises only after we understand a thing. Otherwise, it is blind negation, which is not cultured approach to any question. - JL Nehru
He further argued that no one in the world belongs one hundred percent to a particular race or culture. In the long coarse of history most of the races evolved or adopted new things from the external influences.
He compared the culture to the root of a plant while external influences as the leaves, flowers, and branches. A proper balance among leaves, flowers, roots and branches is needed to keep the plant alive.
He believed that each nation or culture is affected by geography, climate and external factors and create a new amalgam.
He argued that India's culture is affected by Himalayas, forests and great rives of India. In the 'Will and Testaments', he even said that the Ganga is one of the important symbols of culture in India.

Views on Science

For Nehru, the most important aim of the age was to lift people out from age old state of subsistence level to a social level which provide security, progress in material life and above all the opportunity of higher life for all. According to Nehru , to achieve this aim for India, people have to base their way of life on modern sciences.
He saw science as a great intellectual discipline which develops a man's personality and inculcate in them the objective and dispassionate thinking capability. For him science is the search of truth and the truth according to him was material progress.
He prophesied state controlled development of atomic energy, which is focused on both point of views i.e. investment as well as state policy.
He acknowledged that agriculture is the backbone of the Indian Economy, hence he stressed on the need for modern scientific approach in agriculture through the new scientific research in agriculture by Indian Council of Agricultural Research(ICAR).

Nehru was a great proponent of self sufficiency hence he stressed that India should use second class weapons rather than relying on first class arms, which are imported from foreign countries.
Nehru was perhaps the greatest influencer of scientific development in the country. Once he said that 'dams are the new temples of the country'. He brought the Government of India's Scientific Policy Resolution(SPR) on 13th march 1958 in the Loksabha, which acknowledged the role of science in nation-building as well as socio-scientific development of society. The Resolution formed the new Scientific Advisory Committee(SAC) to the Cabinet to help Government of India(GoI) in implementing the the policies under SPR.[post_ads_2]

Views on Nationalism

Intense Nationalism was the part of his mental makeup but at the same time he was an internationalist par excellence. Hence, he has a great blend of both nationalism and internationalism in him at the same time. 
He knew that nationalism provided vigour, vitality and unity to many people across the world, but at the same time he also knew that nationalism can be curse if it is fanatical and religious in character.
He also rejected aggressive nationalism which approves of expansionist policy, which creates suspicions in the minds of neighbours. The nationalism during  French Revolution proved that very evil. 
Hence he stressed on the need for liberalising, limiting and balancing the nationalism is essential.
He argued that Indian Nationalism was not like the nationalism of Europe(19th century), which was fascist in character. He also said that Indian Nationalism from its inception was based on wider universal virtues such as liberalism, pacificism and secularism.