Jawaharlal Nehru was, throughout his life, a teacher and an educator to others as well as to himself. From jail he wrote the letters to his daughter giving to Indira and the younger generation in India glimpses of world history. In the Indian National Congress he was the preacher of new ideas—of socialism, secularism and internationalism. In Parliament he often functioned as a school master to the nation. Even on world platforms, while pursuing the foreign policy of India, he was also preaching the gospel of peaceful coexistence and international cooperation. In the Letters to Chief Ministers Nehru, as the Prime Minister of India, was not only informing the chief ministers of events and policies but expounding and analyzing their meaning and significance in a continuous, imperceptible, effortless educational exercise. All this would have been somewhat pedantic and tiresome had it not been charged with so much history and had not Nehru himself been almost audibly thinking and learning in the process. One can sense in these letters the gropings of a restless spirit and the ticking of an inquisitive mind.
April 2006, volume 30, No 4