Difference Between Gandhi and Nehru

Gandhi vs Nehru

Difference between Gandhi and Nehru is not much considered since they are both accepted as heroes in the Indian history. An Indian would salute both leaders as Gandhi and Nehru are two great leaders that worked for the freedom of India from the British rule. They both had different personalities although they worked for the same goal. Gandhi was more into a life with fewer needs while Nehru was a strong political leader. Nehru not only was with Gandhi, but he also took the responsibility of governing India after its independence. They were both well-educated men. They had both gone to England for higher studies.

Who is Gandhi?

The full name of Gandhi is Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. He is also known as Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma is a sanskrit word, which means venerable or high-souled. So, you understand that the term Mahatma was used as an honorary term for Gandhi.

Mahatma Gandhi was born on October 2, 1869 in the district of Porbandar in the state of Gujarat, in India. The birthday of Mahatma Gandhi is celebrated in India as Gandhi Jayanthi. Also, Gandhi’s birthday is celebrated worldwide as the International Day of Non-Violence. Gandhi was 20 years older than Nehru. Gandhi is often described as the ‘Father of the Nation.’ Mahatma Gandhi took part in the independence struggle of India. He was the architect of several movements in India that led to the independence of the country. Some of the movements started by Mahatma Gandhi include Quit India Movement, Civil Disobedience Movement, Dandi March, and the like. People followed him wherever he went. Gandhi advocated the principle of non-violence. He put forward the principle of Satyagraha. Jawaharlal Nehru participated in these movements. Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated on 30th January 1948.


Who is Nehru?

Nehru is the short form of his full name Jawaharlal Nehru. Jawaharlal Nehru was affectionately called ‘chacha,’ which means ‘an uncle.’ Jawaharlal Nehru was born on November 14, 1889 in the district of Allahabad, in the state of Uttarpradesh. Nehru was very fond of children. This is the reason his birthday is celebrated in India as Children’s Day. Nehru participated in the struggle for independence of his country, India. Nehru became the first Prime Minister of Independent India.Nehru is often described as the architect of modern India for he laid the foundation for the industrial and the agricultural development in the country. Daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi, is also well-known as she was the third Prime Minister of India. Jawaharlal Nehru passed away on 27th May 1964.

Difference Between Gandhi and Nehru

What is the difference between Gandhi and Nehru?

Both Gandhi and Nehru are well-educated men. They even had British Higher Education. Both of them loved children very much. Both of them participated in the struggle for independence of their country. Gandhi was the mentor of Nehru. However, they differ very much in their ideologies and lifestyle.

• When we consider the outlook of the two, we can see that Gandhi’s outlook was oriental. He was inspired by the cultural heritage of India. Nehru, on the other hand, was westernized in his outlook. The western education has a huge impact on the way Nehru looked at things. His ideas were pragmatic.

• Gandhi’s idea of a democracy was spiritualized. He envisaged a society without hypocrisy and corruption. In order to attain that, a society where property and position had no importance had to be created. Gandhi believed manual work to be the basis of such a society.

• Nehru believed in a parliamentary democracy. He had faith in the institutions. For him, the basis of such a democracy was universal adult suffrage.

• For a self-sufficient economy, cottage industry (hand spinning, hand weaving, Khadi) was an idea of Gandhi. Nehru as his ideologies followed democratic socialism. He believed in massive industrialization, scientific and technological advancement, etc. for a strong economy for India.

• While Gandhi believed India should not interfere in the affairs of other countries Nehru believed in having good relationships with other countries and helping the world as much as one could. He believed this was essential to uplift India in the world.

• Gandhi’s ideas, as we discussed earlier, was more spiritual. He never compromised with his principle of truth, non-violence and purity. On the other hand, Nehru was not so much spiritual as Gandhi. He was always the pragmatic one. If the situation demanded, he was ready to compromise. That was how he became a good leader to the newly independent India.

• Gandhi always chose traditional methods to win his goals while Nehru was open to the new ways.

• Gandhi was named the Father of the Nation because he was a hard working, compassionate man and also someone who agreed with what traditional India brought forth. Nehru was known as the architect of modern India because he was a man of pragmatic thought and a dream to modernize India.


Images Courtesy: Gandhi and Nehru via Wikicommons (Public Domain)