“The light is out.” Jawaharlal Nehru’s death was announced in Parliament on May 27, 1964. He was India’s first prime minister and served 17 years in office after playing an integral role in achieving its Independence. His midnight address on August 15, 1947, announcing India’s freedom to the world, is regarded as one of the most historic speeches made by a political leader. “At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom,” he said.
Widely regarded as the ‘Architect of modern India’, he helped shape the constitution before it was adopted by Parliament on January 26, 1950. Many of his policies, however, came under criticism after his death.
His daughter, Indira Gandhi, went on to become the first woman prime minister of the country. Mentored by Nehru during his days as Congress chief, she was a force to reckon with and was widely regarded as the ‘Iron Lady’ of India.
Born on November 14, 1889, his birthday is celebrated as ‘Children’s Day’ in India. He was fondly called “chacha Nehru” by children. Sunday, May 27, marks the 54th death anniversary of Nehru.
Sunday, May 27 marks the death anniversary of India's first PM Jawaharlal Nehru. Many political leaders have paid their tributes to him. Follow UPDATES here:
Nehru as a scholar
Prime Minister Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru receiving his doctorate degree in law in Dublin. (Express Archives/Undated photo)
Pranab Mukherjee's address
Speaking on the occasion, former president Pranab Mukherjee says, "Observations, comments on Jawaharlal Nehru can never come to an end." He adds, "He (Jawaharlal Nehru) is the architect of the modern democratic set up of India. India would have gone in the way many other newly liberated countries have gone but for his contribution to democracy and India’s democratic institutions. All of this under one Flag, one identity — Indian."
Book launched on Nehru
Pranab Mukherjee released a book on the first prime minister titled "Jawaharlal Nehru - An Illustrated Biography" at Speaker's Hall, Constitution Club in New Delhi along with Dr Manmohan Singh, who received the first copy. A special address by Hamid Ansari, accompanied the launch. The book has been edited by A Gopanna. (Express Photo by Renuka Puri)
Nehru memorial tablet in Germany
A memorial tablet dedicated to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru at its unveiling in West Germany. The text here in German translates to "In Memorium". Nehru had travelled to Germany on a state visit in 1956. (Express archives/photo undated)
Former president, vice president and prime minister lay flowers
Former president Pranab Mukherjee, former vice president Hamid Ansari and former prime minister Manmohan Singh lay flowers at the samadhi of first prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on his 54th death anniversary at Shanti Van in New Delhi. (Express Photos by Renuka Puri)
Bhupinder Singh Hooda pays tributes
Former chief minister of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda paid tributes to Nehru.
आजीवन लोकतांत्रिक सिद्धांतों का प्रचार कर समूचे विश्व को शान्ति का पाठ पढ़ाने वाले भारत के प्रथम प्रधानमंत्री पंडित जवाहरलाल नेहरू जी की पुण्यतिथि पर उन्हें शत् - शत् नमन। #RememberingNehru pic.twitter.com/y6yV1PpugA— Bhupinder S Hooda (@BhupinderSHooda) May 27, 2018
Siddaramaiah also pays tributes
Former Karnataka chief minister and Congress leader Siddaramaiah also paid tributes to the first prime minister.
ಅಭಿವೃದ್ದಿಯ ಮುನ್ನೊಟ ಮತ್ತು ಪುರೋಗಾಮಿ ಚಿಂತನೆಯೊಡನೆ ಸ್ವಾತಂತ್ರ್ಯೋತ್ತರ ಭಾರತವನ್ನು ಕಟ್ಟಿದ ಮತ್ತು ದೇಶಕ್ಕೆ ಜಾತ್ಯತೀತತೆಯ ಭದ್ರ ಬುನಾದಿ ಹಾಕಿಕೊಟ್ಟ ಹಿರಿಯ ಸ್ವಾತಂತ್ರ್ಯ ಹೋರಾಟಗಾರ ಮತ್ತು ಮಾಜಿ ಪ್ರಧಾನಿ ಪಂಡಿತ ಜವಾಹರಲಾಲ್ ನೆಹರೂ ಅವರ ಪುಣ್ಯ ಸ್ಮರಣೆಯ ದಿನ ನಾವೆಲ್ಲರೂ ಅವರನ್ನು ಸ್ಮರಿಸೋಣ.@INCKarnataka @INCIndia pic.twitter.com/BpWlTtdPyl— Siddaramaiah (@siddaramaiah) May 27, 2018
Sheila Dikshit pays tributes
Former chief minister of Delhi and Congress leader Sheila Dikshit pays tributes to Jawaharlal Nehru. "He was the architect of the dream called India," she wrote on twitter.
Rajnath Singh also pays respects
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also paid respects to Nehru. "My humble tributes to India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, on his death anniversary," he wrote on twitter.
भारत के प्रथम प्रधानमंत्री पंडित जवाहरलाल नेहरू की पुण्यतिथि पर मैं उन्हें अपनी विनम्र श्रद्धांजलि अर्पित करता हूँ. My humble tributes to India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, on his death anniversary.— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) May 27, 2018
Randeep Surjewala pays tributes
Congress national spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala paid tributes to Jawaharlal Nehru on twitter, addressing the first PM as "architect of modern India, foundation layer of myriad institutions, invaluable contributor in national movement, filled with democratic values and provider of speed, progress and advancement to India."
आधुनिक भारत के निर्माता, अनेकों संस्थानों की नींव रखने वाले, राष्ट्रीय आंदोलन में अमूल्य योगदान देने वाले, भारत को गति, प्रगति और उन्नति प्रदान करने वाले, लोकतांत्रिक मूल्यों से ओतप्रोत, पंडित जवाहरलाल नेहरू जी की पुण्यतिथि पर मेरे श्रद्धा सुमन 💐 pic.twitter.com/UGmgFX2yuT— Randeep Singh Surjewala (@rssurjewala) May 27, 2018
Congress leaders at Shanti Van
Many Congress leaders are present at Shanti Van today to pay tributes to Jawaharlal Nehru at his samadhi. Seen here beside party chief Rahul Gandhi are former president Pranab Mukherjee (right), former prime minister Manmohan Singh (extreme right) and former vice president Hamid Ansari (extreme left). (Express Photo by Renuka Puri)
Mamata Banerjee pays homage
West Bengal Chief Minister and president of the Trinamool Congress Mamata Banerjee paid homage to Jawaharlal Nehru. "Homage to the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, on his death anniversary," she said on twitter.
Homage to the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, on his death anniversary— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) May 27, 2018
Manmohan Singh pays tributes
Former prime minister and Congress leader Manmohan Singh paid tributes to Jawaharlal Nehru at Shanti Van (Photo: ANI/Twitter)
Modi pays tributes
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday morning paid tributes to Nehru. In a tweet, Modi said, "Tributes to our first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on his death anniversary."
Tributes to our first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on his death anniversary.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) May 27, 2018
Congress president Rahul Gandhi pays homage at Shanti Van
Congress president Rahul Gandhi pays homage to former prime minister and his great-grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru on his 54th death anniversary at Shanti Van in New Delhi on Sunday, May 27. (Express Photos by Renuka Puri)