Jawaharlal Nehru was born on November 14, 1889 in Allahabad, central India. His father Motilal Nehru was a prominent advocate and early leader of the Indian independence movement. The younger Nehru graduated from Cambridge University, and returned to India in 1912. Over the next thirty years, he rose to become the top political leader of the Indian National Congress Party and its struggle for independence from Britain. He was jailed seven times.
After independence he served as India
first Prime Minister from 1947 until he died in May, 1964. He was also a great internationalist, and one of the founders of the non-aligned movement.
Nehru was a renowned orator. He could give many extemporaneous speeches in a single day. His most famous speech is the "Tryst With Destiny" address to the Constituent Assembly of India in New Delhi on the night of August 14th and 15th, 1947.
In a few moments, India was to become independent after centuries of colonial invasion and rule:
"Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.""