The present publication is the second in a new series of popular books which the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) is bringing out. The first book in the series, The Historic Trial of Mahatma Gandhi, was brought out in January this year. The series is called the Lotus Series. It aims at introducing young readers to the world of knowledge by making available to them low-priced books on history, science, culture, problems of contemporary India and the world, and lives of great men and women, Dr Mulk Raj Anand who has prepared this as well as the previous book in the series is also the inspiration behind the entire series. In planning the series, we have received the help of eminent scholars and educators including Professor D.S. Kothari.
Living Thoughts of Jawaharlal Nehru introduces the young reader to certain aspects of the thought and personality of Jawaharlal Nehru in his own words. Jawaharlal Nehru's contribution to moulding the consciousness of many generations of our people was second only to that of Mahatma Gandhi. He articulated the aspirations of the people of our country for the building of a new India free from exploitation and creation of a new world order free from the scourges of imperialism. As the first Prime Minister of independent India, he laid down the direction of modern India's independent development.
Dr Mulk Raj Anand has made an inspiring selection from the enormous volume of Jawaharlal Nehru's writings and speeches spread over a period of about four decades. The Council is grateful to Dr Mulk Raj Anand for preparing this selection and making it. a part of the Lotus Series. The Council received tremendous response to the first book in this series and, within a few weeks, the book went out of print and had to be reprinted. I am sure the response to this book would be no less.
The living thoughts of Jawaharlal Nehru are offered in this little book in the modest effort to give to the underprivileged, who have no access to libraries, where are the big books of the writings of the great freedom fighter and first Prime Minister of free India.
Our anthology has been compiled from some existing obscure selections and from the Editor's own readings. This is specially meant for the young. As an elementary book, this may introduce the young reader to Jawaharlal Nehru's basic thoughts. So that he or she may be inspired to read the bigger selections, of which a list is given at the end.
The important thing about the words of Jawaharlal Nehru is that they are the thoughts of a man of action. He had learnt from Mahatma Gandhi how to integrate idea and act and become an example to the people.
As our country is still working in the tradition of the founding fathers, to realise the many freedoms implicit in political freedom, and which are yet to be gained, the young will have to make these words, and others by the predecessors, into acts.
Thus alone can the thoughts of Nehru become relevant for the new generations.
And we have even more need to learn from him today, because many of his thoughts, and their emphases, have tended to be forgotten by his successors.
The Lotus Series dedicates these thoughts to the new generation. The Editor wishes to express the gratitude of the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for permission to reproduce selections from the writings and speeches of Jawaharlal Nehru.
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