Humanism of Nehru

Nehru is a thinker of immense national and international importance. Through his writings, speeches, statements in Parliament, public platforms, international gatherings and elsewhere, he unleashed seminal and impregnated thoughts for the reordering of a developing democratic society. Corliss Lamont defines humanism as ‘a philosophy of joyous service for the greater good of all humanity in this natural world and advocating the methods of reason, science and democracy.’ Of the two varieties of humanism, liberal and Marxist, Nehru was much closer to the liberal humanism. For despite being influenced by Marxian ideas, such as the polarity of opposing forces, the Gandhian influence was so deep and pervasive that Nehru could not subscribe to the violence implicit in the Marxist view of conflict resolution. Especially valuable for him was Gandhi’s ethics of ends and means, with its emphasis on right means as the only way to secure right ends.

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