1st Indian PM – Jawaharlal Nehru: Reference to ‘Jesus in India’

Jawaharlal Nehru

Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 – 1964) was the first Prime Minister of India and crucial figure in the establishment of India as an independent nation in 1947. Nehru was a graduate of Cambridge University and the Inner Temple where he trained to be a barrister. Upon returning to India he enrolled at the Allahabad High Court and his career took more of a turn towards international politics.

Glimpses of World History

His book ‘Glimpses of World History’ is a compilation of letters written while in Prison by Nehru to his daughter, who would later become the Mrs Indira Gandhi – the 3rd Prime Minister of India. His core purpose for these letters was to directly teach her the realities of the world having expressed disappointment at how history was taught in schools – focusing on a narrow viewpoint or single nation. The now famous book contains 196 letters in total.

Jesus in India

In his letter on the subject of ‘Jesus and Christianity’ Nehru refers to the concept of Jesus having travelled to India during his youth (see The Missing Years) and learning in ‘the great universities of India’. Nehru gives a very balanced view on the topic. He accepts that most ‘authorities’ who have studied Jesus’ life do not believe he came to Asia, yet he mentions the strong traditions of Jesus having visited India, along with explaining that there is nothing ‘improbable’ about Jesus having come to India.

(Glimpses of World History, Jawaharlal Nehru, Pages 19-20)

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