Jawaharlal Nehru

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Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964) was an Indian states, Prime Minister and nationalist leader. In 1947 Nehru was appointed as the first prime minister of independent India. Nehru was born in Allahabad, educated in England and studied law at the Inner Temple in London. He returned to India in 1912 to practice law. Kamala Kaul and Jawaharlal Nehru were married in 1916 and they had one daughter, Indira.

Nehru linked up with the Indian National Congress to fight for independence from the British and his idealism was highly influenced by Mohandas Gandhi. During the 1920s and 1930s Nehru was imprisoned by the British for civil disobedience and his role in the National Congress. In 1928 he was elected president of the Indian national Congress.

At the end of WWII, Nehru was listed as Gandhi's successor. As such he played an important role in the negotiations to gain Indian independence from Great Britain. Nehru opposed the Muslim League's resolve on the division of India on due to religious differences but was over turned and reluctantly settled on this solution.

Nehru served as foreign minister of India. In 1947 he faced conflicts with Pakistan over the state of Kashmir. Nehru sent troops into Kashmir to support India's claim, but it was not until a United Nations truce was negotiated that this conflict ended. Kashmir continues to be a sore spot in Indian-Pakistani relations to this day.

Nehru was one of the key spokesmen for the non-aligned countries of Africa and Asia during the Cold War. He negotiated with China on border issues, but these disputes escalated into war in 1962. India was soundly beaten which contributed to a decline in Nehru's health. Nehru passed away on May 27, 1964 and a few years after his death, Nehru's daughter Indira Gandhi was elected as prime minister of India. In 1984 Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her bodyguards.

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