CHAPTER XL
Nehru's India

Nehru

The sixth decade of the twentieth century in India can properly be described as the period of Nehru's India. In 1950 Patel, his last rival for or cosharer in power, died. Henceforward his prestige and personal ascendancy were such that he dominated the whole Indian scene. Whatever may become of him or his policies, his memory will linger in the popular mind like that of Akbar or Aurangzeb. He has come to be looked up to as the fount of all authority, the impulse of all action, and the source of all inspiration within the country. He has been tireless in speech and ubiquitous in movement. Like Queen Elizabeth I on her travels from manor to manor, Nehru has become a living figure to the people. While she had her thousands of viewers, he, with the help of the automobile, the plane, and the radio, has his millions. He is the visible mah-bap--"father-mother"--of the Indian nation.

Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was born at Allahabad, where the Jumna joins the sacred Ganges, in November 1889. His family were Kashmiri Brahmins, who are considered the most purely Aryan of the whole Brahminical stock.1 An ancestor, who was a Persian poet in Kashmir in the seventeenth century, migrated to the court of Aurangzeb. He was given a grant of land on a canal bank, whence his family (whose subcaste name was Kaul) adopted the surname of Nehru.2 Members of the family held office under the Mughals and the British after them. His father Motilal was an interesting case of the metamorphosis of the old official family into the new middle class. He took up the new legal profession which grew up around the British law courts. He achieved notable success and became a leading advocate in the Allahabad high court. Like many of his time, he adopted the Western externals of life along with Western legal and political notions while maintaining Hindu

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