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Jawaharlal NehruRebel and Statesman$
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B. R. Nanda

Print publication date: 1998

Print ISBN-13: 9780195645866

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195645866.001.0001

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Nehru and Religion

Nehru and Religion

(p.97) 6 Nehru and Religion
Jawaharlal Nehru

B. R. Nanda

Oxford University Press

Jawaharlal Nehru was very vocal about his views on religion. In his presidential address to the Lahore Congress in 1929, Nehru admitted that although he was born a Hindu, he does not know how far he is justified in calling himself one, or speaking on behalf of the Hindus. Nehru was hostile to the caste system, which is not surprising considering that his father, Motilal Nehru, had clashed with the orthodox section of the Kashmiri community in the 1890s. Motilal’s rationalism saved him from a possible disaster caused by Hindu revivalism at the turn of the century. After the collapse of the non-cooperation movement, Nehru was distressed by the religious tension and discord which wreaked havoc in India. While in prison, he read the problems of religion, culture, and politics, and sought to fill gaps in his own early education. Nehru openly criticized communalism and strongly denounced Hindu communal groups.

Keywords:   Jawaharlal Nehru, religion, Mahatma Gandhi, politics, culture, communalism, Hindus, Motilal Nehru, revivalism, India

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