Outline: hero –worship is natural for the youth- my hero is Pandit Nehru; his self sacrifice is not the important thing about him – he was one of the architects of India’s freedom; he tried to modernise India- he was an Indian to the core.
Hero –worship comes naturally to the youth. A young mind feels the urge to admire somebody, to adore a hero, living or dead, who is a pattern of greatness in thought or action. Since the world has produced several great men, why should one admire a particular hero more than any other? the obvious answer is that one has certain ideals and is attracted to certain types of greatness.
The hero I admire most is the late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. I do not admire him very much for his ‘self-sacrifice’, of which much is usually made. It is said that instead of enjoying the immense fortune to which he was heir and leading a life of ease and luxury, he chose to spend many years of his life in jail for the sake of his country. But the important point is that he felt an irresistible urge to take part in India’s struggle for freedom and, in following this urge, be derived a deep spiritual satisfaction, beside which the material sacrifice he made pales into insignificance. In fact, Nehru would have been miserable, with all his wealth, if he had taken a leading part in the struggle for freedom. In this sense I admire him more for his noble determination to liberate his country from foreign rule than for his self-sacrifice. It must be admitted all the same, that his ‘self-sacrifice’ contributed to the immense influence he had with the masses of India. The tremendous hold he had on Indians of all classes, educated as well as uneducated, was also due to his intellectual and moral qualities – his scholarship, his literary talent, his integrity and idealism.
This vast influence Pandit Nehru exercised on the minds of Indians he used it to bring freedom to his country. What is equally important, he used it to modernise India as much as possible. Through his speeches and writings he waged a relentless battle against superstitions, outdated customs and practices, and the tendency to glorify everything in the past of India. Scientific and modern in outlook, he did his best, after he became Prime Minister, to industrialise India and plan her development. He believed not only in democracy but in economic equality. It was he who set before the country the goal of a socialistic, pattern of society.
Nehru combined his modern outlook with love for India and appreciation of the best in her culture. Though he was educated abroad, he was an Indian to the core. His well-known book, ‘The Discovery of India’ is a record of his attempt to understand the soul of India. He admired and followed Mahatma Gandhi who had his finger on the pulse of the masses. Who can forget his poetic praise of the Ganga in his last will and treatment? The desire he expressed in his will regarding the manner in which his ashes should be disposed of, reveals his deep-rooted love for his country. He wanted his ashes to be carried high up in an aeroplane and scattered over the fields where the Indian peasants toil, so that he might mingle with the dust and soil of India.