Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Words worth pondering from Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 - 1964)

Nehru was the first Prime Minister of India (1947-1964) following that country's independence from the British Empire.

He and the last British Viceroy of India  (Louis Mountbatten) respected each other greatly and their amicable relationship led to a peaceful transition from Imperial rule to Independence.

(That transition was marred by the "civil war and massacres" which led to the partition of  the sub-continent into Pakistian and India, with divided Kashmir as a never concluded flashpoint. ALSO - in due course East Pakistan) fought to become the country known as Bangladesh).

(Incidentally that old Imperialist Winston Churchill was bitterly opposed to Mountbatten's appointment as Viceroy by Clement Atlee (British Premier 1945-1951) , and he blamed Mountbatten for the loss of the Jewel in the Crown  (India) from the Empire.)

Nehru and Louis Mountbatten's wife Edwina developed a tender and semi-romantic friendship,  Most historians claim that it was ever platonic.

When the Mountbatten's went to India they took with them their younger daughter Pamela Mountbatten  (now known as Lady Pamela Hicks).

Pamela learned so much in that time in India.  Like her mother she respected Pandit Nehru, and they kept up a correspondence post-independence.  He wrote the to Pamela shortly after she returned with her family to Great Britain.  Here are some of his words worth pondering.

"........  "It is a fascinating business not only to grow in every way but to be conscious of that growth". .............  "Unhappily we have to pay in life for everything worthwhile. If we want experience, depth and an understanding  of life's infinite phases we have to suffer shock and sorrow and then, is we are strong enough to rise above them, life is a curious bittersweet affair.  Too much of its bitter aspect is of course terrible, but too much of unalloyed sweetness can also be bad enough"

(Quotation from "Daughter of Empire My Life As A Mountbatten"  by Lady Pamela Hicks,  Simon and Schuster 2013)

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