Presents you a panoramic picture of India’s epic battle of freedom, unparalleled in the annals of mankind, under the inspired leadership of Mahatma Gandhi-the greatest non - violent revolutionary ever born.
Tells you how this battle of Right against the world’s greatest military might, a battle of Soul-force pitted against brute-force was fought wherein, ultimately, Truth triumphed over untruth, Love conquered hate.
Describes to you in particular the heroic role played in this battle by Jawaharlal Nehru, the most dynamic and devoted follower of Gandhi, whom he called a “Jewel of India” and named as his political heir and successor.
Shows you what a marvel of history it was that these two magnificent personalities-Gandhi and Nehru-so unlike in their temperaments and divergent in their views, should have found themselves closely bound to each other in an indissoluble bond of love in the service of India and the world.
Reveals to you the innate high-souled nobility of these great humanists who worked incessantly throughout their lives for building a new social and economic order, based on equality and brotherhood of man, not only for the country of their birth but for the entire human race.
Anand T. Hingorani was born in Sind (now Pakistan) in 1907, and graduated from the Bombay University in 1929. He became an ardent follower of Mahatma Gandhi at an early age of 13 during the Non-co-operation movement of 1920 against the British rule, when he pledged himself to Swadeshi and life-long Khadi-wear.
At the age of 22, Hingorani personally came under the magic spell of Gandhi, when the latter visited Sind in February 1929. He came into still closer touch with the Mahatma when he attended the Lahore Congress in December 1929. There he was invited by Gandhi to join his Ashram at Sabarmati. Hingorani gave up his law studies and became the inmate of Gandhi’s Ashram in the first week of January 1930.
In the Salt Satyagraha of 1930, Hingorani was the only one from Sind to join Gandhi’s historic Dandi March, in the course of which he was chosen by Gandhi himself to be his Personal Secretary for some time. Hingorani participated in all the Civil Disobedience movements of Gandhi and courted imprisonment for no less than five times. He also did Harijan, village and social work for several years, and was also the Editor of Gandhi’s Harijan Weekly for a brief period.
Being a lover of Gandhi’s writings from his very student days, he conceived an idea of collecting and systematising Gandhi’s scattered writings under suitable heads in a series of attractive volumes. Gandhi highly appreciated his idea and blessed his effort. As a result, Hingorani launched his “Gandhi Series” in 1941, under which more than 50 titles have come out so far and met with unstinted acclaim all over the country and even abroad.
Some 30 years ago, I had brought out a book under the title Jawaharlal Nehru-The Jewel of India by Mahatma Gandhi, which had very good reception at the hands of both the Press and the public. The present volume, which I have the pleasure and privilege of presenting to the reader in its new incarnation and under a new name Gandhi on Nehru, marks a vast change and improvement on the old in quality, character and content, and is altogether so different from all other publications on Jawaharlal Nehru that it rightly stands in a class by itself and is assuredly of a great world significance.
Herein, the reader will find almost all that Mahatma Gandhi has said and written on Jawaharlal Nehru, in the particular context of his remarkable role in the unique, non-violent, divinely-inspired battle of India’s freedom, and also in Mahatma Gandhi’s constructive activities designed to bring about the social, cultural, economic regeneration of the Indian people. Numerous letters from Gandhi-Nehru correspondence, bearing on their personal and political relations as to how they acted and inter-acted with each other, and reacted to national and international events, have also been given to make the volume as interesting, informative and comprehensive as possible.
And, in order to further highlight the life, work and philosophy of these two great sons of India, a substantial supplementary reading matter has been provided by inclusion of chapters pertaining to the message of Mahatma Gandhi to mankind, the mind of Jawaharlal Nehru, the world-view on Gandhi and Nehru, their life-chronologies, etc. Hundreds of rare and topical photographs and the select Gandhi stamps in colour, adorn the pages of this beautiful book-perhaps, the only one of its kind in this way.
The book gives you wide-ranging glimpses of Jawaharlal and his multi-faceted personality as a politician, a statesman, a leader of men, a freedom fighter, a builder of modern India, a writer, a historian, a poet, a philosopher, a democrat and a lover of peace. A noted American professor, Norman Cousins, has rightly remarked that Nehru was not one man, but “he was a procession of men,” as in him you witnessed many distinct and different personalities. The book also gives you a profound understanding and appraisal of Nehru by Gandhi, which has a distinct value of its own, as no other person ever came to be so closely and intimately associated with this Colossus of the age, in all walks of his life and at all levels, as did the Mahatma. Interestingly, the reader will also have before him a highly revealing picture of a gradual growth and unfoldment of Jawaharlal’s charismatic personality and the wonderful transformation it underwent, almost imperceptibly, step by step and day by day, under the benign, ever-loving guidance of his Master, and also under the powerful, moral and spiritual impact of our national struggle for freedom in which Jawaharlal played such a stellar role.
In the golden tapestry of India’s history of the present century, no two glorious names are so intricately inter-woven as those of Gandhi and Nehru, so that the mention of one name inevitably brings to one’s mind the other. They were, indeed, a peerless pair. Nevertheless, each of them was made in a different mould and of a different clay, the clay being fortunately highly refined in both. Naturally, therefore, there were differences between them as to their attitude and outlook on life and its problems. Their social philosophies were basically at variance, and so also their backgrounds and life-styles. And yet, notwithstanding all these differences and divergences, and also the ideological fights that Jawaharlal used to have frequently with Gandhi, it was really a marvel that there sprang up between them a relation not only of a foster-father and a son, or of a leader and a follower, or of a Master and a disciple; but it was infinitely something more-something that was unfathomable, intangible and indefinable. A Higher Power, it seems, in its divine wisdom, had somehow managed to bring together these two mighty minds and knit them in an unbreakable bond of love-perhaps with the pre-ordained purpose of liberating India from the shackles of its centuries-old slavery, thereby delivering a message of hope and freedom to all the oppressed and exploited races of the earth!
Those of us who have been the living witnesses of those stirring, yet turbulent, times of India’s epic struggle for freedom, can well recall how this bond of love between them was of such an ennobling and enduring kind that it successfully survived even the severest strains imposed upon it by many a bewildering crisis that our nation had to pass through in the course of its march towards freedom, and by the attainment of that very freedom itself when, in the teeth of the strongest opposition by Mahatma Gandhi, the horrendous tragedy of Partition took place, plunging the entire country into an orgy of terrific blood-bath and tears, misery and desolation of an unparalled magnitude.
The differences between these two stalwarts-Gandhi and Nehru-had, however, led some unkind friends to insinuate that they were estranged from each other. Repudiating the charge, Gandhi said:
“It will require much more than differences of opinion to estrange us. We have had the differences from the moment we became co-workers; and yet, I have said for some years and say now that Jawaharlal will be my successor. He says he does not understand my language, and that he speaks a language that is foreign to me. This may or may not be true. But language is no bar to a union of hearts. And, I know this that when I am gone, he will speak my language.”
Who can deny that Gandhi’s prophecy in this respect was not largely, if not wholly, fulfilled? Those amongst us who are familiar with Jawaharlal’s utterances and activities after the passing away of Gandhi, will bear an ungrudging testimony to the fact that he had worthily worn the mantle of the Mahatma as his chosen heir and successor, and had even tried, as nearly as possible, to speak his language, too.
Gandhi’s love for Jawaharlal was truly extraordinary. It peeps out from every page of this book. Often would he speak of him with a fatherly fondness and pride and say: “Jawaharlal is a real Jawahar (Jewel),” and that “he is a jewel in fact as well as in name.” Once, writing to a friend in London, he described him as “a jewel among men,” and said: “Happy is the land that owns him.” After the achievement of independence and Jawaharlal’s assumption of the exalted office of the Prime Minister of Free India, Gandhi invariably used to refer to him as “our uncrowned King” as, he said, he was working and slaving for the people not as a King, but as their “First Servant”. From the beginning of his association with Jawaharlal till the last moment of his life, Gandhi had nothing but abundance of love for his successor. In his last letter to him, written only a few days before he fell victim to the assassin’s bullet, Gandhi blessed him in these words: “May you live for many a long year and continue to be the Jawahar (Jewel) of India!” This blessing of the Mahatma, I am sure, must have found spontaneous echo in millions and millions of Indian hearts.
It was, indeed, our great good fortune that at that momentous period of our history, when transition from the old to new order was taking place and the power was being transferred from the British hands to Indian hands, we had a man of exceptional wisdom and experience like Jawaharlal Nehru at the helm of our national affairs; a man whose incorruptibility of mind and spirit was acknowledged on all hands; a man whose indomitable will, utter fearlessness and courage had unfailingly triumphed over many an ugly and menacing situation in the wake of the partition of the country when hell had literally broken loose all over; a man whose genius had made it possible to evolve order out of the prevailing chaos and turmoil and thus save India from the impending disaster and worse. During those difficult and dangerous days, Gandhi was an endless source of inspiration and sustenance to him.
The Mahatma had an abiding faith in his disciple. It was his firm belief that Jawaharlal would one day show light to the whole world-the light of Truth, Non-violence, Freedom and Peace. And that, no doubt, he did soon after he assumed the reins of the government as the Prime Minister. He forcefully drew the attention of the world to the utter futility of armaments and the atom bombs, and asserted the right of the nations, big and small, to equality and freedom. In him, all the oppressed and enslaved nations found a powerful champion of their causes. His enunciation of the doctrine of Panchsheel-the five principles of peaceful co-existence of nations-his keeping away India from the Cold War between the two Super Powers, the United States of America and the Soviet Union, and his fearless pursuit of the policy of positive Non-Alignment, won him the highest esteem and affection of all the sane elements of the world. His voice was listened to with utmost respect and attention in all the chancellories, as it was a sagacious voice of peace and goodwill for all the people of the earth. He was hailed as the Prophet of Peace and was regarded as the greatest statesman of the century. Winston Churchill, Britain’s Prime Minister, who was responsible for sending him to jail a number of times, came to look upon him as the “Light of Asia” and admired his “ardent wish for peace” and “the absence of bitterness” in his consideration of antagonisms that in the past had divided them. And, this is how President Lyndon Johnson of America expressed his feelings about Nehru:
“It is not just as a leader of India that he has served humanity. Perhaps more than any other world leader, he has given expression to man’s yearning for peace. This is the issue of our age. In his fearless pursuit of a world free from war, he has served humanity .... As it was for Gandhi, peace was the ideal of Jawaharlal Nehru; it was his message to the world. There could be no more fitting memorial to him than a world without war.”
The reader will find in the pages of this book many a glowing tribute paid to Jawaharlal and Mahatma Gandhi by the high and mighty of all the lands.
India and the world have, indeed, every reason to feel blessed in having had such great luminaries as Gandhi and Nehru who, besides being ardent nationalists, were also fine internationalists. They were also among the world’s greatest humanists whose vision was not confined to the freedom and welfare of the land of their birth only, but which went far beyond its borders to the emancipation and well-being of all the poor, deprived and enslaved nations of the world. Wherever they found any wrong or injustice perpetrated, they instinctively and instantly reacted to it and tried to do all that was possible to remedy the same. Both of them were implacable opponents of Imperialism, Colonialism, Feudalism and Fascism. For them, the humanity was one. The sweep of the embrace of their love was as wide as the universe, and as vast as the ocean. Unceasingly they worked throughout their lives for the good of all, irrespective of any distinction of caste, creed, colour or country, and thus promoted peace, freedom, justice and brotherhood of man all over the globe.
This volume, incidentally, comes out at a juncture when, even after the cataclysmic changes that have taken place in the world during last few years, the world still very much stands disarrayed and in disorder, with a spirit of war and violence and vengeance ruling the minds and hearts of men and their leaders almost unabated. It is, therefore, time that the world statesmen and leaders of mankind turned to the path shown by Mahatma Gandhi-the path of Truth and Non-violence-for redress of all the ills that the humanity is suffering from. Says the Mahatma:
“I have not the slightest doubt that but for the pair-Truth and Non-violence- mankind will be doomed. It does not frighten me at all that the world seems to be going in the opposite direction. For the matter of that, when the moth approaches its doom, it whirls round faster and faster till it is burnt up. It is my duty till my last breath to save India, and through it the world, from such a fate.”
I have claimed this book to be of world significance, not only because it contains what Gandhi has said and written about the heroic and dynamic role played in India’s freedom struggle by Jawaharlal Nehru, the bravest of his comrades and co-workers, whom he called a “Jewel of India” and designated as his “heir and successor” for carrying on his mission of serving humanity further forward and building non-violent, secular, self-reliant and democratic India. Also, not only because it contains the full and vivid account of various socio-economic and political differences between Gandhi and Nehru, and how those were resolved every time they cropped up; or because it gives you an exciting story of the world’s greatest freedom revolution, totally non-violent and without hate, which Mahatma Gandhi launched and thereby roused millions of his countrymen to fight absolutely unarmed against the world’s mightiest military power-the British Government-to win freedom for India, which was, verily, a most unbelievable world marvel.
Again, the book is of world significance not only because it contains the marvellous miracles of Mahatma Gandhi as to how with a homely spinning-wheel as his weapon, and by a simple process of salt-making and breaking the Salt Laws of the land, and by just withdrawing co-operation from the evil and unjust Government, and by asking the Britishers to quit India, he transformed, as if by magic, a slave and dormant India into a vibrant, rebel India and made it too hot for the British Power to hold, much less to rule.
This book is truly of world significance for the simple reason that it shows the way of Mahatma Gandhi how to root out war, violence, exploitation and oppression from the world and make this earth planet of ours a peaceful and happy abode to live in. The value of Gandhi’s message is all the more crucial today as the violence, injustice, exploitation, greed, and indulgence in vice and excessive luxury by the majority of nations, coupled with the tremendous explosive, destructive military and nuclear weaponary have brought the humanity too close to a total wipe-out in a few moments.
Here, I cannot resist the temptation of sharing with the reader some of the beautiful and noble thoughts of Gandhi, a divinely-inspired saint and a seer, which if we could only act up to and regulate our lives accordingly, all will then be well with us individually as well as with the world at large. Picturing the world of tomorrow, the Mahatma says: “It will be, must be, a society based on Non-violence. Individuals, groups and nations must adopt the way of Non-violence-the way of Love. I see then no poverty in the world of tomorrow, no wars, no revolutions, no bloodshed.”
And again, “Wherever in the world Truth and Non-violence reign supreme, there is peace and bliss. Truth triumphs over untruth. Love conquers hate. God eternally triumphs over Satan.”
And finally, “There is no hope for the aching world except through the narrow and straight path of Non-violence.”
In the end, I feel I owe it to my son, Mahadev, an expression of my warm appreciation of his unstinted help and co-operation in the production of this monumental volume which, perhaps, I may not have been able to bring out singlehandedly. God bless him!
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