New Delhi, May 27: Several leaders paid homage to the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, on his 44th death anniversary across the country on Tuesday. Vice Presdient Hamid Ansari and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi paid floral tributes at 'Shantivan', the memorial of Pandit Nehru, as priests recited hymns from sacred texts.
Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, Petroleum Minister Murli Deora, Minister of State for Urban Development Ajay Maken, Chairman of National Commission for Scheduled Caste Buta Singh and senior Congress leaders Motilal Vohra and J P Aggarwal were also present on the occasion. An all religion prayer meeting was organised in the premises of the memorial. A speech given by the late Nehru was also played at the end of prayer. A pivotal figure in independence movement, Nehru was born on November 14, 1889 in Allahabad. He was also a key figure in international politics in the post-war period, and was one of the founding figures of the non-aligned movement.
Nehru graduated from Cambridge University, and returned to India in 1912. Popularly referred to as Panditji, Nehru was also a writer, scholar and amateur historian. The son of wealthy barrister and politician Motilal Nehru, Nehru became one of the youngest leaders of the Indian National Congress. He was jailed seven times.
After independence, Nehru served as the country's first Prime Minister from August 1947 to May 1964. His most famous speech is the "Tryst With Destiny" address to the Constituent Assembly in New Delhi on the night of August 14 and August 15, 1947. Nehru passed away in 1964.