Pandit Motilal Nehru was an Indian lawyer, activist and politician belonging to the Indian National Congress. He was a member of the Nehru-Gandhi family and the father of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India.⁣

He was born on 6 May 1861. The Nehru family had been settled for several generations in Delhi, and Gangadhar Nehru was a kotwal in that city.⁣

Motilal passed the lawyer examination in 1883 and began practising as a lawyer at Kanpur. In 1909 he reached the pinnacle of his legal career by gaining the approval to appear in the Privy Council of Britain.⁣

He was the first Chairman of the board of directors of The Leader, a leading daily published from Allahabad. On 5 February 1919 he launched a new daily paper, The Independent, as a counterblast to The Leader, which was much too liberal for his standard and articulate thought in 1919.⁣

Under the influence of Mahatma Gandhi in 1918, Nehru became one of the first to transform his life to exclude western clothes and material goods, adopting a more native Indian lifestyle.⁣

Motilal Nehru twice served as President of the Congress Party, once in Amritsar (1919) and the second time in Calcutta (1928).⁣

Motilal was arrested during the Non-Cooperation Movement. He later joined the Swaraj Party.⁣

In 1923, Nehru was elected to the new Central Legislative Assembly of British India in New Delhi and became leader of the Opposition. Later he returned to the Congress party.⁣

Motilal Nehru chaired the famous Nehru Commission in 1928, a counter to the all-British Simon Commission. The Nehru Report, the first constitution written by Indians only, envisioned a dominion status for India within the Empire.⁣

The entry of Motilal’s son Jawaharlal Nehru into politics in 1916, started the most powerful and influential Indian political dynasty. Although Jawaharlal had opposed his father’s preference for dominion status, and had not left the Congress Party when Motilal helped found the Swaraj Party.⁣

He was arrested and imprisoned with his son during Salt Satyagraha but his health gave way and he was released.⁣