Nehru - Toward Freedom (1936).pdf

At an early age he had estab lished himself as a

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At an early age he had estab lished himself as a successful lawyer, and he paid the price for this by becoming more and more a slave to his jealous mistress the law. He had no time for any other activity, public or private, and even his vacations and holidays were devoted to his legal practice. The National Congress 2 was just then attracting the attention of the English- knowing middle classes, and he visited some of its early sessions and gave it a theoretical allegiance. But in those days he took no great interest in its work. He was too busy with his profession. Besides, he felt unsure of his ground in politics and public affairs; he had paid no great attention to these subjects till then and knew little about them. He had no wish to join any movement or organization where he would have to play second fiddle. The aggressive spirit of his childhood and early youth had been outwardly curbed, but it had taken a new form, a new will to power. Directed to his profession, it brought success and increased his pride and self-reliance. He loved a fight, a struggle against odds, and yet, curiously, in those days he avoided the political field. It is true that there was little of fight then in the politics of the Na- 3 The Indian National Congress had been formed a few years before, in 1885, largely by Hindus of the student and professional classes, in protest against a number of dis criminatory measures adopted by the British Government. Ed.
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tional Congress. However, the ground was unfamiliar, and his mind was full of the hard work that his profession involved. He had taken firm grip of the ladder of success, and rung by rung he mounted higher, not by anyone's favor, as he felt, not by any service of another, but by his own will and intellect. He was, of course, a nationalist in a vague sense of the word, but he admired Englishmen and their ways. He had a feeling that his own countrymen had fallen low and almost deserved what they had got. And there was just a trace of contempt in his mind for the politicians who talked and talked without doing anything, though he had no idea at all as to what else they could do. Also there was the thought, born in the pride of his own success, that many certainly not all of those who took to politics had been failures in life. An ever-increasing income brought many changes in our ways o living, for an increasing income meant increasing expenditure. The idea of hoarding money seemed to my father a slight on his own ca pacity to earn whenever he liked and as much as he desired. Full of the spirit of play and fond of good living in every way, he found no difficulty in spending what he earned. And gradually our ways became more and more Westernized. Such was our home in the early days of my childhood.
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  • Fall '16
  • Alan Kolata

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