Pandit Nehru Once Got An Unusual Request From Japanese Children - Send Us An Elephant

"It was October 2, 1949 when first PM Jawaharlal Nehru received letters from Japanese school children," wrote the Congress.

Pandit Nehru Once Got An Unusual Request From Japanese Children - Send Us An Elephant

A photo shared by the Congress on Instagram.

On former Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru's 56th death anniversary, the Congress shared several throwback photographs as a tribute to him. One of these photographs came with an interesting anecdote from Pandit Nehru's life. The black and white photo, which shows the first prime minister of independent India with an elephant, was shared with a note recalling an incident where Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru sent an elephant as a gift to children in Japan. According to the Instagram post shared by the Congress, Pandit Nehru received an unusual request in October 1949. Japanese schoolchildren wrote to him requesting an elephant.

"It was October 2, 1949 when first PM Jawaharlal Nehru received letters from Japanese school children requesting him for an elephant," wrote the Congress. In the letter, the children explained that Japan had lost two elephants during World War II and now had none.

Pandit Nehru sent an elephant to Japan as a gift - and with it a moving letter.  "Grown-ups have a strange way of putting themselves in compartments and groups. They build barriers of religion, caste, colour, party, nation, province, language, customs and of rich and poor," he wrote in his letter. "Fortunately, children do not know much about these barriers..."

He added that the elephant had been sent "on behalf of the children of India" and hailed it as a link between the children of the two countries.

Take a look at the Instagram post below:

It was October 2, 1949 when 1st PM #JawaharlalNehru received letters from Japanese school children requesting him for an #elephant. They explained how Japan had lost two elephants during the war and now had none. Nehru ji not only sent them an elephant as a gift from India but also wrote them a beautiful, moving letter - “Grown-ups have a strange way of putting themselves in compartments and groups. They build barriers of religion, caste, colour, party, nation, province, language, customs and of rich and poor. Fortunately, children do not know much about these barriers... Some months ago, the children of Japan wrote to me and asked me to send them an elephant. I sent them a beautiful elephant on behalf of the children of India. This noble animal became a symbol of India to them and a link between them and the children of India...” . . #IndiaThanksNehruji #Throwback

A post shared by Congress (@incindia) on

The post has collected over 4,700 'likes' since being shared this afternoon.

Earlier today, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had also shared a tribute to his great grandfather. "Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Ji was a brave freedom fighter, the architect of modern India and our first Prime Minister. A visionary, he is immortalised in the world-class institutions he inspired, that have stood the test of time. On his death anniversary, my tribute to this great son of India," Mr Gandhi tweeted.

Jawaharlal Nehru was born on November 14, 1889 in Allahabad. He became the General Secretary of the All India Congress Committee in September 1923 and was sworn in as  the first prime minister of India when the nation gained independence from the British empire in 1947. Serving till his death on May 27, 1964, Nehru remains India's longest-serving Prime Minister. 

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