Gandhi declared Nehru as his political heir. Once he called Nehru ears and eyes. Gandhi nursed the hope that after him, Nehru will carry forward his legacy. Nehru did it, though, in a limited sense.
Gandhi and Nehru both related politics to ethics. They tried to build politics of consensus and peace. They were pro-people. Both had indomitable courage, will to sacrifice, breadth of outlook and innate nobility of character. They were adherent votaries of democracy, liberalism and social justice. A progressive secular independent India was the vision Nehru borrowed from Gandhi. Denouncement of feudalism, Capitalism and imperialism was common to both. Nehru firmly believed in Gandhian non-violent struggle. Nehru firmly believed in Gandhian non-violent struggle. Nehru had impeccable faith in Gandhi’s leadership. He was the first to sign the declaration of Satyagraha proposed by Gandhi after Jallianwala Bagh tragedy. True to Gandhian legacy, he favoured rationality of mankind, empowerment of the masses and village development. He supported the Gandhian mode of struggle and social construction full fledged.
Gandhi and Nehru differed from each other in respect of philosophy of life, social and political philosophy and in regard to the shape of social, economic and political structure in India. As a young socialist Nehru was a revolutionary against Gandhian gradualism. His radical view in Madrass Congress (1928) deeply disturbed Gandhi. Nehru supported complete independence as opposed to dominium status, since, his baptism in politics.
He, as opposed to Gandhi preferred glory and power. He was in favour of westernization of India against Gandhi who Indianized the west by his philosophy. Nehru was deeply destructed with Gandhi’s call to stop Non-Cooperation Movement after the Chauri Chaura incident. He was opposed to Gandhian concept of trusteeship, scheme of education and importance to religion in politics. He favoured radical social reforms, rapid industrialization of India and had deep interest in scientific inventions.
Inspite of differences, Gandhi and Nehru understood each other. It was Gandhi’s greatness and Nehru’s wisdom that made Nehru’s loyalty to Gandhi true. Gandhi’s love for him was deep and strong. Nehru was content to follow Mahatma when he failed to understand his logic. Each reinforced the other. Nehru without Gandhi is ineffective and Gandhi without Nehur is incomplete.