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While Jawaharlal Nehru was in prison, he wanted to make sure that his child is not devoid of her father’s teachings. Nehru continuously wrote to his daughter from prison and his words are still inspiring. The letters written by Nehru from the various prisons in British India to his daughter Indira, were published in 1942 as a book called “Glimpses of World History”. It is a collection of 196 letters on world history.
In his letters, he speaks to his daughter on a wide range of topics, including languages, trade, history, geography, science, epics and evolution. These letters contained his understanding of the world which he wanted to further impart to his daughter.
This particular letter was written from Central Prison, Naini on October 26, 1930. It was Indira’s birthday and Jawaharlal Nehru sent her good wishes. He shared his dislike for sermons and believed that the best way to distinguish between right and wrong is by talking and discussing, as a little bit of truth always comes out by discussing.
He believed that one must not think that they encompass all knowledge and have become very wise as there are many more mysterious worlds beyond our world. He affirmed that a letter is a one-sided affair and asked her to imagine as if they were really conversing.
He wrote that ordinary men and women are not heroic, what matters to them is a livelihood and their children. However, there comes a time when people are forced to become heroes. He talked of Mahatma Gandhi as a great leader full of love, who helped make the starving, the poor and the oppressed free and happy.
He addressed Mahatma Gandhi as Bapuji. Although Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned, he inspired many Indians to fight for India’s independence. He urges Indira Gandhi to participate in the movement for freedom.
Truth and Transparency
According to him, there was one little test to be applied whenever Indira was in doubt regarding right and wrong. He instructed her to never do anything in secret because the desire to hide something meant that she was afraid and fear was unworthy. He urged her to be brave.
Jawaharlal Nehru shared that in their great freedom movement under Bapuji’s leadership, there was complete transparency and they worked in the open. He said that if she followed this principle she would grow up and become an unafraid child of the truth.
He concluded the letter by saying, that although he wrote a long letter there was much more that he wanted to tell her and that a letter cannot contain all his advice and emotions. He hoped that she would grow up and become a brave soldier in India’s service.
The letter is incredibly heartwarming and inspiring. It urges the readers to raise their voices against injustice and help the oppressed. The letter also advises one to always be honest and transparent. It highlights the importance and struggle of our nation’s brave freedom fighters and their families. It is inspiring how these revolutionaries fought against injustice and lived through their punishments.