Did Jawaharlal Nehru really ‘speak’ the ‘language’ of Gandhi? Locate the points of their agreements and departures. (About 250 words)


Gandhi Nehru
Favoured small scale and cottage industries including Khadi. Supported heavy and large scale industrialization.
Gandhi considered the British parliament like a sterile woman and prostitute. To Nehru, Parliamentary system was the ideal state craft and democratic practices.
In a stateless society of Gandhi’s dream, the individual enjoys unlimited, unbridled freedom where no outside authority will interfere with his life. Nehru was convinced that in order to distribute freedom equally to all the members of the society, it had to be rationed and each individual was to be given his legitimate share.
Justified his suspension on the plea of Chauri-Chaura Incident. Strongly criticised the suspension of non-cooperation movement by Gandhi in 1922.
Nonviolence was the very breath of his life. Did not accept non-violence as a method for all situations.

For the preservation of law and order in a country coercive authority of the state is indispensable.

Staunch critic of western civilization based on technology. Enamored of western science and technology.
Wanted to give a negative, passive role to the state. Wanted the state machinery to gear up to achieve the socialistic goals.

    Despite all these differences, it will be wrong to assume that Nehru was anti-Gandhi or non-Gandhian. Nehru’s extempore words at the time of Gandhi’s assassination are revealing, “the light has gone out of our lives and there is darkness everywhere…..”

   There was no doubt a personal and spiritual bond of union existed between them. Both of them wanted India to be a secular state. Both believed in the establishment of a liberal democratic state. Though Nehru was not wholly devoted to the concept of non-violence as cherished by his master, he was very much attracted to its moral aspects. There is no denying the fact that after the exit of Gandhi from the political scene, Nehru fully realised the significance of non-violence and exhorted the nations of the world both at NAM and UN General Assembly, to follow it not only as a policy but as a creed.

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