Thursday, May 5, 2011


Dr.V.S.Gopalakrishnan Ph.D., IAS Retd.
I dislike Nehru-baiting, if not Nehru-baiters. The baiting could be in respect of his socialistic policies and massive State sponsored projects, or in respect of his personal character. Do you remember what Buddha said to a grieving woman: “Bring me a fistful of mustard from a house where no one has died”? Similarly, no human being could be perfect. We should assess a person in an over-all context. Considering how colossal were his stature, sacrifices, leadership qualities, scholarship etc his minor peccadilloes deserve to be simply brushed off.  Secondly, as regards the Nehruvian policies, the criticisms arise usually from ignorance or misunderstanding. When India  attained Independence , the private sector was too emaciated to undertake big infrastructure projects.
Let me say that Jawaharlal Nehru was a person that I always adored and still adore. I was surprised to receive an email forward a few days back that carried excerpts from a book called “Nehru Dynasty” allegedly written by K.N.Rao. Many unflattering “facts” have been given therein about Motilal down to Sanjay. I was amazed at these “facts” of which I was ignorant. So I went into a frenzy of internet browsing for hours and hours. It looks like we should find impartial historians to sift pure truths including “inconvenient” truths for the benefit of posterity. Hiding “inconvenient” truths or facts will be an anti-historical action.
What does K.N.Rao have to say and who is he? Well, he is known as a great Vedic astrologer. Why should he slander the Nehru family which is not an astrologer’s business? Well, the real title of his book is, “The Nehru Dynasty – Astropolitical portraits of Nehru, Indira, Sanjay and Rajiv” (published in 1993 by  Windows Publication; 276 pages). I should like to get a copy and read it, if available. I may not understand the jyotish part of it. (I have read the works of Nehru and not the books on Nehru (by Stanley Wolpert, M.J.Akbar, M.O.Mathai and others).
What are the rarely known “facts” that K.N.Rao brings out? I shall briefly render them as follows.
Indira Gandhi’s husband was actually a Muslim called Feroze Khan. Feroze Khan’s father named Nawab Khan was a grocer in Allahabad and supplied wines etc to the Motilal household. Nawab Khan’s wife was a Parsi with the surname Gandhy and she converted to Islam before marriage. Indira was lonely and Feroze Khan came close to her in England . Indira became a Muslim and married Feroze in a London mosque. Jawahar and wife Kamala did not approve of this. At Mahatma Gandhi’s suggestion, Feroze Khan changed his name to Feroze Gandhi (Gandhy was mother’s first surname). [Some other authors say that Gandhi adopted Feroze as a son and gave him his own surname, but this is generally not accepted]. The married couple came to India and had an arranged “Vedic” marriage (1942).
Rajiv was born in 1944 and Sanjay in 1946. As per K.N.Rao, Sanjay was really the son of Mohammad Yunus and not Feroze Gandhi. (Wikipedia also mentions this.) My extensive browsing revealed that there could be truth in this. Sanjay’s name was really Sanjiv. It seems that he was caught stealing a car and the British police took away his passport. The kindly Krishna Menon, India ’s High Commissioner, got a new passport issued in the name of “Sanjay”! Sanjay’s marriage to Maneka Anand took place in Mohammad Yunus’s house! When Sanjay died in an aircrash, it seems that Yunus was the person to weep the most.
It is alleged that Rajiv became a Catholic before marriage to Sonia Maino. Rajiv became Roberto. The children Rahul and Priyanka are really Raul and Bianca! Well, our K.N.Rao's revelations are ended here.
A google search throws more interesting lights on the Nehrus. It seems that Jawaharlal’s father’s father “Ganga Dhar” was a kotwal in Bahadur Shah’s court when the British took over Delhi in 1857. Even the Delhi Police website ( says it. It appears from the Moghul records that there was no Hindu Kotwal then but a Muslim Kotwal called Ghiyasuddin Ghasi who had to flee to Agra to save himself from the British who were after the lives of the Delhi Muslims. This Muslim Kotwal, while fleeing, changed his name/identity to the Hindu name Ganga Dhar, the father of Motilal. (The word/surname Nehru was invented by Motilal later). Another interesting “fact” is that Motilal allowed his wife to stay with his employer called Mobarak Ali, who owned the bungalow “Irshad Manzil” which was renamed  “Anand Bhavan” later on when Motilal bought it from him. Jawahar was born not in Anand Bhavan but at 77, Mirganj, where Motilal lived in a small rented house initially in the middle of a red-light area. Now you know why there is no touristic visit to the house where Jawahar, the first PM of India , was born. J.Nehru  in his book recalls seeing “a picture of his grand father Ganga Dhar which portrayed him as a Moghul Nobleman”. Is this corroborative of something? Again, in that picture it appears that Ganga Dhar was having a long  and very thick beard and was wearing a muslim topee and was having two swords in his hands!
Well, I stop here. My admiration for Nehru has not diminished one bit. I agree with many of my friends who say "how does it matter if ancestry was intermingled with Christianity, the Zoroastrian  religion, Islam or Sikhism?" Indeed, I say, any of us may have, in different degrees and permutations and combinations, a part of the blood and genes of the original Aryans, Greeks, Sakas, Parthians, Hunas, and many other categories of foreigners who made India their home and intermixed freely in the Indian society.

Let the text books on Nehru stay as such. Nehru is a nation builder, and a great motivator for all. But history is history and for posterity the “full and real facts” could be properly established by impartial historians. I believe like many others believe, that it would be much more fascinating if Nehru really had had the widest religious ancestry !
Dr.V.S.Gopalakrishnan Ph.D., IAS Retd.

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