The Government has decided to celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Pandit Motilal Nehru this year. A National Committee has been constituted on under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to celebrate the occasion in a befitting manner.
Life of Motilal Nehru
Motilal Nehru (6 May 1861 – 6 February 1931) was a lawyer, an activist of the Indian National Movement and an important leader of the Indian National Congress, who also served as the Congress President twice.
Motilal passed lawyer examination in 1883 and started practicing as a lawyer at Kanpur. In 1909 he reached the pinnacle of his legal career by gaining the approval to appear in the Privy Council of Great Britain.
He was the first Chairman of the Board of Directors of The Leader, and a leading daily published from Allahabad. On February 5, 1919 he launched a new daily paper, the Independent.
Motilal Nehru twice served as President of the Congress Party, once in Amritsar (1919) and the second time in Calcutta (1928). The Calcutta Congress (December 1928) over which Motilal presided was the scene of a head-on clash between those who were prepared to accept Dominion Status and those who would have nothing short of complete independence. A split was averted by a via media proposed by Gandhiji, according to which if Britain did not concede Dominion Status within a year, the Congress was to demand complete independence and to fight for it, if necessary, by launching civil disobedience.
Although initially close to Gandhi, he openly criticized Gandhi’s suspension of the Non Cooperation movement in 1922 due to the Chauri Chaura incident.
In 1923, he was instrumental in founding the Swaraj party along with Deshbandhu Chittranjan Das. The object of the Swaraj Party was to enter the Legislative Assembly as elected members to oppose the government. He became the Leader of the Opposition in the Central Legislative Assembly and vociferously opposed and exposed the decisions of the government.
Motilal Nehru chaired the famous Nehru Commission in 1928 that was a counter to the all-British Simon Commission. The Nehru Report drawn up by the commission was the first attempt by Indians to draw up a Constitution.
Important features of Nehru Report:
1. Demand for Dominion Status for India.
2. Rejection of separate electorates
3. Linguistic Provinces
4. Nineteen Fundamental Rights including equal rights for women, right to form unions, and universal adult suffrage.
5. Full protection to cultural and religious interests of Muslims
6. Complete dissociation of state from religion