Picture

Jawaharlal Nehru India’s first Prime Minister

Picture

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar India’s Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee

I have ventured towards learning about the great men of India as my web presence has gotten a lot of interest from that part of the world. I have chosen the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru and the Chairman of the Constitution drafting committee Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar for consideration in this post. Here are the nine lessons and admonitions I have drawn from the consideration of their lives and deeds. 

Admonitions gained from the architects 

1.    Learn the scriptures of your country. You will discover a wealth of wisdom there for life and leadership.

By learning Buddhist and Hindu scriptures Pandit Nehru armed himself with the knowledge and ability to think which would become useful in his Nationalist Movement and his own work, The Discovery of India.

2.    Start your fight for the underdog in your early days.

Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar recognized that the fight of the underclass was his fight as well. At the age of thirty-six he fought and won high profile cases against the establishment of the time. He also campaigned against social discrimination of people looked down on at the time; these included women, labour and scheduled tribes.

3.    Dream big.

When he was young Pandit Nehru dreamed of an independent India. Though not a foregone conclusion at the time he took inspiration from the success of the Japanese in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-1905. He said “[The] Japanese victories [had] stirred up my enthusiasm … Nationalistic ideas filled my mind … I mused of Indian freedom and Asiatic freedom from the thraldom of Europe.”

 

4.    Find your calling

Though passing the English Bar Pandit Nehru found the legal profession boring. He allowed his true calling, the national struggle of India to gradually come to the fore.

 

5.    Once called to power remember the social revolution.

Babasaheb did not forget his struggle for the Indian underclass once he became the nation’s first Law Minister and later Chairman of the Constitution Drafting Committee. He made the constitution a tool for social revolution either directly or by promoting the conditions for change. The text prepared by Babasaheb provided constitutional guarantees and protections for a wide range of civil liberties for individual citizens, including freedom of religion, the abolition of untouchability and the outlawing of all forms of discrimination.

6.    Stand as an equal among allies made around the world.

Pandit Nehru sought out allies in the struggle against Imperialism and for democracy around the world. This led him to help with the founding of the Non-Aligned Movement during the Cold War Era.

7.    Stand up to your own Princes

I learnt from the actions of Pandit Nehru towards the Princely States that sometimes in the interest of integration and unity you must stand up to the vested interests in your own camp.

8.    Have a core aim

Pandit Nehru’s core aims were drafted in 1929-31 and were the “Fundamental Rights and Economic Policy” resolution ratified by the All India Congress Committee under Mahatma Gandhi’s leadership.
 
9.    The man who cannot change his mind cannot change anything

Later in life, at around age sixty, Babasaheb formally converted to Buddhism; showing me that in life it is never too late for a change. 

Conclusion 

These are the lessons I have gained from my reading. They are a reflection more of me than the true greatness of these iconic figures. I hope that those who read this article will seek out the wisdom of their elders both past and present. Which elder leaders of the past or present have you drawn inspiration from? Feel free to comment below. 




 My name is Peter Campbell, writing from company HQ in London. If you seek you shall find.