Neither the great German theoretical physicist Albert Einstein needs an introduction, nor author and former Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Both the personalities have had a very extensive and unfathomable life. However, only a handful of us know that both of them shared a very cordial and friendly relationship.
Recently, a letter from Einstein to Nehru surfaced online which gives us a glimpse of the relationship the notable personalities shared. In the letter dated February 18, 1950, Einstein praised Nehru for penning the exemplary book ‘The Discovery of India’.
The physicist praised his writing skills that was not easy to read even for the Westerner. He wrote how impressed he was with Nehru’s analysis of the ‘tragic influence, forced economic, moral and intellectual decline by the British rule.’
Furthermore, he expressed his admiration towards Mahatma Gandhi and his work for ‘liberation through non-violence and non-cooperation’.
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Here’s what the OG letter read:
I have read with extreme interest your marvellous book The Discovery Of India. The first half of it is not easy reading for a Westerner. But it gives an understanding of the glorious intellectual and spiritual tradition of your great country. The analysis you have given in the second part of the book of the tragic influence and forced economic, moral and intellectual decline by the British rule and the vicious exploitation of the Indian people has deeply impressed me. My admiration for Gandhi’s and your work for liberation through non-violence and non-cooperation has become even greater than it was already before. The inner struggle to conserve objective understanding despite the pressure of tyranny from the outside and the struggle against becoming inwardly a victim of resentment and hatred may well be unique in world history. I feel deeply grateful to you for having given to me your admirable work. With my best wishes for your important and beneficent work and with kind greetings,
He concluded the letter by writing, “Please remember me kindly to your daughter.”
Earlier, a letter from Indira Gandhi to JRD Tata surfaced online. When I read typewritten letters like these, it takes me back to the good old days when sending and receiving letters to someone showed how much we cared and loved the person.
Have you ever written a letter to someone?