About Motilal Nehru
- Motilal Nehru was born in Agra to Gangadhar Nehru, a Kotwal of Delhi and his wife Jeorani.
- Gangadhar Nehru died three months before Motilal was born.
- Raised by an elder brother who moved the whole family to Allahabad in order to practice law there.
- Motilal studied in Allahabad and in 1883, passed his High Court exam. He then went to Cambridge University and studied to become a barrister.
- Returning to India, he started his legal practice in Kanpur and later shifted to Allahabad.
- He westernised completely in his attire and lifestyle. Later, In 1920, under Gandhi’s influence, he renounced his western ways.
- He died in 1931 aged 69.
His Contribution toward National Movement
- After joining the INC, he became involved in the freedom movement.
- He served as the organisation’s president twice, for the first time in 1919 (Amritsar) and then in 1928 (Calcutta).
- He was even the president of the Allahabad branch of the Home Rule League started by Annie Besant.
- In 1918, he broke away from the moderate faction of the INC and began advocating more radical reforms from the government. He still favoured only constitutional means to achieve this purpose.
- Motilal later joined the He was arrested for his involvement in the non-cooperation movement along with Jawaharlal Nehru. Although initially close to Gandhi, he openly criticised Gandhi’s suspension of civil resistance in 1922 due to the murder of policemen by a riotous mob in Chauri Chaura in Uttar Pradesh.
- When Gandhi cancelled the movement because of the Chauri Chaura incident, he parted ways with the INC and formed the Swarajya Party along with CR Das.
- Swaraj Party, which sought to enter the British-sponsored councils. Motilal had been elected to the United Provinces Legislative Council where he staged the first walk-out in protest of the rejection of a resolution he had moved.
- He became a member of the Central Legislative Assembly in 1923 serving as the Leader of the Opposition.
- Nehru Report: In the aftermath of the Indian leaders’ opposition to the Simon Commission, the Secretary of State for India, Lord Birkenhead dared Indians to draw up a constitution, indirectly insinuating that Indians were not up to the challenge as they could not find a common path. The Indian leadership took up the challenge and formed a committee for this purpose cutting across party lines. Motilal was the chairman of this committee. This report was submitted at the all-party Lucknow session in 1928 becoming one of the earliest attempts by Indians to frame a constitution.
- In 1929, he resigned from active politics due to ill-health.