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The lesson ‘The Ganga’ is an extract from his testament written in 1954. He expresses his gratitude for the love and affection of all classes of Indian People. Then he expresses his love for The Ganga which is beloved by her people. He says that The Ganga has been a symbol of India’s age-long culture and civilization. Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru wants that his body should be cremated after his death. He wishes that a handful of his ashes be immersed in the Ganga and the major portion of them be scattered over the fields.
Jawaharlal Nehru expresses his deep love for India
At the beginning of the lesson, Nehru expresses his deep love for India and the people. He says that affection of all classes of the Indian people has come to him in such abundant measure that he has been overwhelmed by it. To his innumerable comrades and colleagues, he owes an even deeper debt of gratitude.
He wishes that wherever he dies, his body should be cremated there and his ashes sent to Allahabad. A small handful of these ashes should be thrown into the Ganga. The rest should be scattered over the vast fields of India.
Ganga is the symbol of India’s culture
Nehru has a great attachment to the Ganga. The Ganga is the most sacred and beloved river of India. She has been a symbol of India’s age-long culture, history, religion, and civilization. She is a symbol and memory of India’s past. Nehru has seen the Ganga in her changing moods. She is running into the present and flowing to the great ocean of the future.
Nehru discards much of our traditions. They divide the people and suppress most of them. They prevent the free development of body and spirit. Yet Nehru is very much proud of the great inheritance. He seeks inspiration from it. So, in his last homage, he requests that a handful of his ashes should be thrown into the Ganga at Allahabad. He wants to mix with the dust and soil of India so that he may become an indistinguishable part of India.
The Ganga and the Jamuna meant a lot to Jawaharlal Nehru. He had been attached to them ever since his childhood. His attachment had grown with the years. He had watched their changing moods with the change of seasons. They had been a source of great inspiration for him. Despite this, his attachment to the Ganga was not religious. Nehru calls the Ganga ‘the river of India’ because it is loved by her people.
The songs of India’s victories, defeats, racial memories, hopes, and fears are interwoven around the Ganga. It is also a symbol of India’s age-long culture and civilization which have ever been changing and ever-flowing like the Ganga. The Ganga reminded Nehru of the snow-covered peaks and the deep valleys of the Himalayas which he loved so much and of the rich and vast plains below, where his life and work had been shaped.