Nehru: Marxism, Capitalism, and Non-Alignment

Author: Jawaharlal Nehru joined the Indian National Congress and Mahatma Gandhi’s independence movement in 1919. After the British withdrew, Nehru became the first prime minister of independent India. In 1928, he became the president of the Indian National Congress. [1]

Context: This period in Indian history was a time of repression by the British government and increasing nationalist activity. Nehru joined the Indian National Congress, one of India’s major two political parties. Mahatma Gandhi was the party leader, and he advocated for change and independence from the British. Nehru went to prison several times where he studied Marxism.

Language: Nehru’s language is fairly simple, making it easy to understand. He describes his journey to his acceptance of socialism and communism.

Audience: This came from his autobiography, so his audience was the general public. Anyone who wanted to and had access to it could read it. He probably thought that those interested in Indian politics, Marxism, and capitalism would read it.

Intent: His intention was to describe how he came to be involved in Marxism, capitalism, and the politics of India. He wants people to understand the differences in violence between Soviet Russia and the rest of the world. Russia had progressed following Lenin. He also describes how the Central Asia had made great steps backward while Russia had made great strides.

Message: He wanted to convey the results of Lenin and Soviet Russia. He also wanted to describe the progress happening for India and the great economic development. He was happy that India was progressing because previously, India had faced much turmoil.

How do you think current Indian politicians would react to Nehru’s praise of socialism and communism?

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