I was reading Glimpses of World History last night and I was thinking what a life Mr. Nehru lived. Often time I try to thing if someone asks me to write a "the man you admire most" or "Your favorite hero" type essay, who shall I write about? Of course there are many people whose work I admire like Einstein or Russel? But I do not know what kind of life they lived (I have a plan to read Russel's autobiography). Also, they were philosophers and thinkers and not leaders or heroes. I like Mandela. But I think Nehru comes closest to the man I can write the above essays about. He has all the stuffs that I like in a human being, atheist, left leaning, fiercely democratic, secular, intellectual. The only flaw I can think in him is that he followed Gandhi even when they were poles apart in their thinking. Gandhi was a pure Indian, deeply religious, capitalist. Nehru was almost alien to India. He was true atheist, secular, socialist. These are very un-Indian traits. I wonder how he was so successful in Indian politics. But being so different intellectually, how could he follow Gandhi? How come he did not have a fight with Gandhi like Subhas Bose. I guess he had no other option. At that point of time if you want to serve India politically, you could not fight with Gandhi.
Going back to the point, I just admire and envy the life that he lived, His childhood, his education, his English, socialist, intellectual upbringing, his sense of satisfaction from the work that he did as a politician and as a statesman. All these things (barring the last one), I would have loved to do. The thing I like most in him is his passion for history. No one tells history so interestingly and impartially as he does. Just too good.
I could not find my Discovery of India last night. I will try this tonight. If I cannot find it, I will buy one tomorrow.