Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

In Jawaharlal Nehru: The Brahman from Kashmir, Emil Lengyel portrays Nehru as a Western-educated aristocrat who placed his intelligence, education, and personal magnetism at the service of Indians of all castes and religious persuasions, in the interest of the common goal of a free India. A prologue dramatizes Nehru’s phenomenal popularity with the masses as head of the emerging nation. Ten subsequent chapters trace the course of Nehru’s development from the pampered son of a wealthy attorney to the socialist leader of a newborn Third World nation.

A description of Motilal Nehru’s position as an intelligent Brahman lawyer with lucrative contacts in the Anglo-Indian community sets the scene for the privileged but lonely childhood of his son, Jawaharlal. The first four chapters narrate Jawaharlal Nehru’s early education in Indian literature and culture, his years at Harrow and Cambridge, his return to India and traditional marriage, and his meeting with Mahatma Gandhi, who confirmed Nehru’s stirring vision of an independent India. Nehru’s intellectual perception of injustice was fanned by British imperial mismanagement in the blatant injustice of the Amritsar Massacre in 1919. These early chapters end with his first in a series of jail terms for speaking out against British rule.

Chapters 5 through 8 deal with the ebb and flow of the struggle for Indian home rule in the context of world events, the rise of Adolf Hitler, and...

(The entire section is 469 words.)