In one of my recent posts I listed numerous quotes that I gathered in my journal last year. Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964), the Harrow / Cambridge educated philanthropist and first Prime Minister of India, featured prominently in this collection.
Now, Indian history is one I am largely unfamiliar with. But this is one of the great things of writing this blog – I get to explore areas of time and geography that I may not have come across in my education but would really like to learn more about.
Nehru is a figure I had heard many things about but mostly as remote facts relevant to international relations. For example I learnt of his leading role in the non-alignment movement in 1961 last year whilst studying the Cold War. It’s almost sad I didn’t further research this great man until I ran into some of his quotes on pinterest!
He has become known to many as the architect of a democratic, modern and secular India. His life is far to complex and amazing to be triibulised by me so I implore you to read one of the following …
why he is so inspirational to me is in part because of his relationship with his daughter. Having read ‘Letters from a father to his daughter’ (1931) I have discovered the root of many of the quotes I had referenced. But these letters were more than this, they include the hopes and dreams of India as a nation and the relation between the generation fighting for independance and generation that would uphold it. Speaking to his ten year old daughter (who would also go on to become prime minister of India) he imposes ideas and concepts well beyond her years aiming to make her “think of the world as a whole, and the other peoples in it as (her) brothers and sisters”.
These letters are so beautifully written and express his ideas of the world, his dreams for the future and loving teachings – all using the most gorgeous metaphors and imagery. His letters on history speak to me particularly as he explains the “fascinating story of the earth “.
I especially think these letter inspire me because I can relate to the father-daughter relationship. They evoke the same emotions reading “the little princess” creates a book I always end up in tears reading!!
It is this emotional and worldly writing that makes him so quotable. It is writing to his daughter that he simplifies the nature of being human and living on earth to a simple but thought provoking manner. For example …
” culture is the widening of the mind and of the spirit “
Many people have attempted to rank or categorise his work and Quotes but for me my favorate Quote of his will always be …
” You don’t change the course of history by turning the faces of portraits to the wall “
with this as a close second …
” Time is not measured by the passing of time but by what one does, what one feels, and what one achieves “
Do you have a favorate quote from Nehru? or an area of Indian history that you think I should write about ? – tweet me @time_daisy