Bhubaneswar: Every year November 14 is celebrated as Children’s Day. The day also marks the birth anniversary of independent India’s first prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.
Fondly known as Chacha Nehru among children, he advocated for children to have fulfilled education. Children’s Day is celebrated to enhance awareness about the rights, education and development of children in the country.
Here are 10 interesting facts about Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru
1: Nehru received his early education at home and moved to England at the age of fifteen. Thereafter two years at Harrow, he joined Cambridge University and the Inner Temple where he trained to be a barrister
2: He returned to India in 1912 and enrolled at the Allahabad High Court but soon plunged into the national politics and the Indian struggle for independence.
3: Nehru met Mahatma Gandhi in 1916 and was immensely inspired by him and became his ardent follower.
4: During the freedom struggle, Nehru spent 3259 days in jail. He used to campaign against Indian oppression by the British in the form of indentured labour and other gross violations of rights.
5: A socialist by belief, Nehru’s ideologies were vastly inspired by the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and his visit to USSR in 1927. When he became India’s first Prime Minister after independence, he modelled the country as a ‘mixed economy’, taking inspiration from his Soviet trip.
6: Nehru was among the prominent faces of the Congress’s left-wing faction since the 1920s, and it was around that time when he became the first to table the demand for a completely ‘independent India’ to the British.
7: He became the Indian National Congress president on two occasions — in 1919 and 1928.
8: Nehru survived four recorded assassination attempts — in 1947, 1955, 1956, 1961.
9: Nehru passed away after a massive heart attack on May 27, 1964. It is said that his deteriorating health was an aftermath of the 1962 Sino-India war which shocked him greatly.
10: Children’s Day was actually celebrated on November 20, in line with the Universal Children’s Day observed by the United Nations. Following the demise of Nehru, the lawmakers decided to observe the day on his birth anniversary to give the departed leader a befitting tribute as he was popular with the children. A resolution was passed in the parliament to this effect.
Children’s Day amid a pandemic
This year, however, Children’s Day brings a moment of pause. Usually celebrated in myriad ways in schools across the country, the celebrations in 2020 are muted. The fact that it coincides with Diwali adds to the significance of reasserting the importance of children and the role they have to play.