With the exception of Mahatma Gandhi, no political figure stirred the minds and hearts of the people of India so long and so deeply as Jawaharlal Nehru did. He was hailed as the quintessential embodiment of patriotism and self-sacrifice, and remained the darling of the Indian masses until the end. Nehru’s total identification with the cause of Indian freedom came in 1919 in the wake of Gandhi’s impact on Indian politics. He willingly joined Gandhi’s satyagraha struggle and emerged as a leading figure of nationalism. When he returned from Europe in the late 1920s, Nehru sought to transform the policies of the Congress. He argued that the Indian struggle was part of the revolt of Afro-Asia against Western imperialism. Neither Nehru nor his critics were able to predict the exact timing of Britain’s withdrawal from India. Nehru also left indelible marks in Indian foreign policy, political democracy, economic development, and social justice.
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