Top 10 unknown & interesting facts about Jawaharlal Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru is recognised for his social informative policies and unbound patriotism which aided in steering India through what is regarded as the most turbulent political atmosphere during its founding years as an independent nation. 

Jawaharlal Nehru, hailed with the title of Pandit, was one of the fundamental figures entangled in the struggle against colonial rule in pre-independence India and manoeuvring through the hardships that plagued the country in the early stages of the post-independence era. 

Born on November 14, 1889, in Allahabad, his involvement in the nationalist movement was vital to the future of the country at the time. Known to have possessed a sharp intellect, Nehru is recognised for his social informative policies and unbound patriotism which aided in steering the country through what is regarded as the most turbulent political atmosphere during its founding years as an independent nation. 


Before he took the oath as India’s first Prime Minister and even before he became an active part of the resistance against the colonial regime, Nehru was a simple-minded man and did not have any set course for the future. He was homeschooled by foreign and Indian tutors during his formative years and was thereafter sent to London to complete his higher education. 

During the 7 years he spent in England, Nehru became increasingly disoriented of his own identity and often felt as if he neither belonged in London nor India. In 1912, he returned to India, and despite being a qualified barrister, did not feel enthusiastic to join his father as a lawyer. Instead, he was pulled towards the ongoing struggle for freedom in the country and subsequently became a part of it. 

But it was only after he met Mahatma Gandhi in 1916, that Jawaharlal Nehru began to see past the haze surrounding his life’s purpose and sought a clear path to attain freedom for the country. 

This new vision for India led to him becoming the President of the Indian National Congress in 1929, where he popularised a more radical and confrontational approach to resist the British regime. 

It was Nehru’s leadership that drew the youth of the country to participate in the freedom movement in bulk. His influence was so widespread in the succeeding years that the Indian populace as early as the mid-1930s began to see in Nehru the natural successor to Gandhi.

Jawaharlal Nehru’s gradual rise to power and prominence is as admirable as it is fascinating. He was not known to be an exceptionally bright student during his academic years and was not particularly passionate about his career. But it was his sense of nationalism that gave him a defining purpose and led him to become the most significant politician in Independent India. 


Here are 10 facts you might not know about Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru: 


  • Jawaharlal Nehru was born into a family of Kashmiri Pandits that had migrated to Delhi sometime during the 18th century. His father, Motilal Nehru, was a reputed advocate and the Allahabad court and Nehru was the eldest out of four siblings in his family. 


  • Despite not deeming himself to be exceptional at studies, Nehru was schooled at some of the most eminent institutions of his time. He went to Trinity College in Cambridge in October 1907 and graduated with an honours degree in natural science. After completing his degree in 1910, Nehru moved to London and studied law at Inner Temple Inn and came back to India as a practising barrister. 


  • Nehru was first jailed by British authorities in 1921. In the ensuing 24 years leading up to India’s independence, he was detained 8 more times, his last and longest detention ending in June 1945, after being imprisoned for almost three years. 


  • In 1935, Nehru wrote his autobiography while in prison. The book written by Nehru was titled “Toward Freedom” and was published in the following year in the USA. He then went on to author several other books during his lifetime. 


  • Despite his westernised education, Nehru renounced western wear during the freedom movement and instead donned traditional Indian wear such as long kurta, sherwanis and churidars; the style of caps and jackets he wore during this time has become synonymous with his name. 


  • Nehru, since his days as a student, was pulled towards the ideals of socialism. His ideologies of socialism and reform policies were largely motivated by the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and his visit to the USSR in 1927. Even when he became India’s first Prime Minister after independence, he adopted some of these social and emancipatory ideologies into the existing administration system and moulded the country as a mixed economy, taking inspiration from his Soviet trip.


  • Nehru’s birth anniversary is observed every year in the country as Children’s day in recognition of Nehru’s dedication and advocacy towards educating the younger age groups of the populace. He was lovingly referred to as ‘Chacha Nehru’ by children.


  • Jawaharlal Nehru was nominated 11 times for the Nobel Prize, mostly for Peace, during the years 1950-1955 but he was never able to win the coveted title at the esteemed forum before his demise. 


  • During his lifetime, Pandit Nehru reportedly survived four assassination attempts. Historians believe that there were four attempts to kill Nehru, first of which was in 1947 during the partition, then in 1955 by a rickshaw puller and other two in 1956 and 1961. 


  • Nehru died of a massive heart attack on May 27, 1964. It is speculated that more than 1.5 million people gathered on the streets to witness his cremation because of his deep-rooted influence on the country’s citizens. It was dubbed as one of the largest gatherings of people in India, the first being Gandhi’s funeral.