Nehru, Motilal (mōˈtĭləl nāˈrō, nĕˈ–) [key], 1861–1931, Indian political leader, father of Jawaharlal Nehru. A successful attorney, he joined the Indian National Congress and served as its president in 1919. In 1923, however, he entered the national legislature as leader of the Swaraj [independence] party, formed to wreck the constitution by obstruction from within. After returning (1926) to the Congress party, he was chairman of an all-party commission to draft a constitution for India; its report (1928), which proposed dominion status for India and ruled out separate Hindu and Muslim electorates, was rejected by the Indian Muslim leaders.
See his selected speeches, ed. by K. M. Panikkar and A. Pershad (1961); biographies by B. R. Nanda (1964) and B. Lamb (1967).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.