Jawaharlal Nehru was a central figure in India during the middle-third of the 20th-century. He was a principal leader of the Indian independence movement in the 1930s and 1940s. Upon India's independence in 1947, Nehru served as the country's prime minister for 17 years. He promoted parliamentary democracy, secularism, and science and technology during the 1950s, powerfully influencing India's arc as a modern nation. In international affairs, he steered India clear of the two blocks of the cold war. A widely admired author, his books written in prison, such as Letters from a Father to His Daughter, An Autobiography, and The Discovery of India, were read around the world.
The son of Motilal Nehru, a prominent lawyer and Indian nationalist, Jawaharlal Nehru was educated in England—at Harrow School and Trinity College, Cambridge, and trained in the law at the Inner Temple, becoming a barrister. He returned to India, enrolled at the Allahabad High Court and soon began to take an interest in national politics, which eventually became a full-time occupation. A committed nationalist since his teenage years, he became a rising figure in Indian politics during the upheavals of the 1910s.