Jawaharlal Nehru first became popular as one of the leaders of the Indian Independence Movement, which sought to free India from the colonial institutions that controlled it, the most oppressive being British standards of grammar. As the leader of newly independent India, he instituted a new regime of rational, scientific policy making: his first 5 year plan was implemented for 2 years, his second for 3 years, and the rest for 5, 7,11 and 13 years respectively, earning him the title of India’s First “Prime” Minister.
There are many conspiracy theories about Nehru, all of which are true. It has been recorded that Nehru possessed magical powers: when he took office, he gave a speech on India’s “Terrorist with a destiny”, foretelling his daughter’s political career. He believed in the transformative power of large scale hydroelectric projects. He declared them “temples of modern India” when he saw people gathered there praying for adequate compensation for their land. Some believe he was instrumental in transforming India into an “Eternal Dam-Nation”.
Nehru is known for his “Non-Aligned Movement”, because when he walked, his right shoulder was always 3 inches above his left. To this day, portraits of Nehru in government offices are tilted similarly, as a tribute to him. In the field of international relations, he was enthusiastic about learning dance forms from countries on both sides of the Cold War. He was particularly impressed with what he learned on his visit to Cuba, earning him the nickname “Cha-Cha Nehru”.
Nehru’s legacy lives on. India celebrates 5th September every year as Teacher’s day, in honour of his favourite brand of whiskey. 14th November is celebrated as Children’s day, in remembrance of his decision to have children. The “Nehru Jacket” is still worn by politicians today, even though it is worn out and has begun to show signs of decay.