Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru जवाहरलाल नेहरू
Jawaharlal Nehru at Teen Murti Bhawan
1st Prime Minister of India In office August 15, 1947 – May 27, 1964
Jawaharlal Nehru (Hindi: जवाहरलाल नेहरू, IPA: [dʐəʋäɦəɾläl nɛɦɾu]; 14 November 1889–27 May 1964) was the first and longest-serving prime minister of independent India, serving from 1947 to 1964. A leading figure in the Indian independence movement, Nehru was elected by the Congress party to assume office as independent India's first Prime Minister, and later when the Congress won India's first general election in 1952. As one of the founders of the Non-aligned Movement he was also an important figure in the international politics of the post-war era. He is also referred to as Pandit Nehru ("pandit," Sanskrit, "scholar", as honorific) and in India, as Panditji (-ji, honorific suffix).
The son of a wealthy Indian barrister and politician, Motilal Nehru, Nehru became a leader of the left-wing of the Indian National Congress fairly young. Rising to become Congress President, under the mentorship of Mahatma Gandhi, Nehru was a charismatic and radical leader, advocating complete independence from the British Empire. In the long struggle for Indian independence, in which he was a key player, Nehru was eventually recognized as Gandhi's political heir. A life-long liberal, Nehru was also an advocate for Fabian socialism and the public sector as the means by which long-standing challenges of economic development could be addressed by poorer nations.
To Nehru was given the singular honour of raising the flag of independent India in New Delhi on 15 August 1947, when India gained Independence. Nehru's appreciation of the virtues of parliamentary democracy, secularism and liberalism coupled with concerns for the poor and underprivileged are recognised to have guided him in formulating policies that influence India to this day. They also reflect the socialist origins of his worldview. As prime minister and as Congress' leader Nehru pushed through India's Parliament, dominated by members of his own party, a series of legal reforms intended to emancipate Hindu women and bring equality. These reforms included raising the minimum marriageable age from twelve to fifteen, empowering women to divorce their husbands and inherit property, and declaring illegal the ruinous dowry system. His long tenure was instrumental in shaping the traditions and structures of independent India. He is sometimes referred to as the 'Architect of Modern India'. His daughter, Indira Gandhi, and grandson, Rajiv Gandhi, also served as Prime Ministers of India.