Nehrus: Where Did They Come From?
The Truth Detector
Incredible though it may seem, it still is a fact that the people of India know very little of the Nehrus. The origins of the Nehrus have been kept a secret from the vast majority of Hindus of India; and those few who knew parts of the Nerhu background, kept it to themselves for whatever reason. The end result was the incredible situation where a country was ruled incognito not only by a Nehru but by the members of the whole dynasty, one after the other, until the original Nehrus were all gone; and now, in the name of the Nehrus, attempts are being made to foist an Italian maid-servant as India's new Rashtra-bahu of an alien faith! Even the story of Frankenstein appears more plausible!
Unlike most Hindu families where the genealogical record is carefully preserved, in the case of Jawahar Lal, said to be the son of a Kashmiri Brahmin, such a family tree, has been mostly unknown. In fact, in its stead a number of untruths were deliberately spread to enhance the prestige of the future prime minister of India.
Just a few of these canards will clarify the point. It has been said that Pandit Nehru was born in the Anand Bhavan, the family residence in Allahabad. This is not true. Jawahar Lal was born in a brothel house in Mir Ganj, the red light district of Allahabad. The building which is known as the Anand Bhavan was not even owned by Motilal, Jawahar's father, at the time of his son's birth. The building was there of course, but it had a different name. It was known to be Ishrat Manzil or Pleasure House in Persian. The owner was a Moslem lawyer or munshi whose name was Mobarak Ali. It was under Mobarak Ali that Motilal learned to become a munshi. This eventually stood him in good stead as he did earn a lot of money later as a qualified lawyer and purchased the Ishrat Manzil from his boss, Mobarak Ali and renamed it Anand Bhavan.
This name of Ishrat Manzil used to cause some trouble in the matter of delivery of letters and other mail. It was so because there was another Ishrat Manzil in the same town of Allahabad; this one belonged to Akbar Illahabadi, a prominent Moslem resident of the town. Often letters to the two Ishrat Manzils got mixed up.
Although Jawahar was born in that building in the red light district of Mir Ganj, the rented house of Motilal, Jawahar did not grow up there. No records have been kept for the first eight years of Jawahar's life. No one knows where he grew up. Only conjectures were made. There are no photographs of the kid or friends with whom he used to play. Jawahar just disappeared from his father's house in the red light district Mir Ganj of Allahabad, for a period of eight years.
In other countries, the nation preserves the birthplaces of their first prime ministers or presidents. Take the United States for instance. Everyone knows that President Abraham Lincoln was born a poor man's son, in a log cabin. Even to this day, that log cabin has been preserved with a lot of love and care by the American nation, for future generations to see.
Abraham Lincoln, as soon as he became the president of the United States, did not destroy that log cabin where he was born. But things were different for Pandit Nehru. Soon after he became the first prime minister of India, he arranged to demolish that building where Motilal had lived for many years and Jawahar was born. And the canard was floated that Pandit Nehru was born in the Anand Bhavan and our people bought that story, although there was no such Anand Bhavan then in the whole of Allahabad!
Well, it all happened this way. Jawahar Lal's father's name was Motilal Nehru and Motilal's father's name was Gangadhar Nehru. Gangadhar Nehru was a police officer in Delhi (and not Kashmir) under the British. He fought AGAINST the freedom fighters of 1857.
He was just a small police officer; he lived near a nullah or canal in Delhi. In Persian a nullah is called nehr. And thus the family surname became Nehru (one who lives on the banks of a nehr). Gangadhar perhaps had a previous family name (all Hindus have) before but that was supplanted by the name Nehru.
Gangadhar's son was Motilal Nehru. He did not have much of an education or profession. Motilal was still in his teens when a marriage was arranged for him. Soon after the marriage, he had a son. But the wife and the son died leaving Motilal a widower and single, again.
Writes K.N. Rao in his book, The Nehru Dynasty, on pages 48-49:
"Jawaharlal was described as the only son of Motilal which was incorrect. He was the only surviving son. (Underline mine) His father Motilal had married while still in his teens, and had a son. But both his wife and son died. Motilal married again, this time Swarup Rani, whose first child, a son, did not live long. Then on 14 November 1889 was born Jawaharlal...
"Jawaharlal was the third son of Motilal, and the second son from Swarup Rani. The first son of Motilal from the first wife had died along with his mother. The first son of Swarup Rani too had died. Jawahar was to be the sole surviving son of Motilal and Swarup. Strangely in 1905 another son was born to Motilal, by a sheer coincidence, on 14 November 1905, but he too did not survive. Thus Motilal had four sons, one from the first wife and three from the second. The only son of his who survived was Jawaharlal..."
How Motilal named his only son
It is very interesting to learn how Motilal chose his son's name. One morning, Motilal and Swarup Rani were on their way to the Ganges for the morning dip in the holy water. Swarup was heavy with her child. On the way, a Hindu sadhu (monk) saw them and he flew into a rage at the sight of the couple. Motilal approached the sadhu and asked what the problem was. The sadhu, quite angry, advised him to get an abortion done for, in the opinion of the sadhu, Motilal's wife was carrying a demon, one if allowed to live, will do untold harm to the country. He suggested even killing the mother by using poison or zaher (in Hindi). Then the sadhu left.
Motilal returned to his wife who was quite perturbed. Swarup, being at a certain distance did not fully hear the conversation with the sadhu but was aware of the fact that the monk was somehow not happy at all. She did hear the word zaher meaning poison. Motilal hid the facts from Swarup and said that the sadhu was insistent on the child's name. When Swarup asked why was the sadhu talking about zaher, Motilal lied and told her that the sadhu wanted the child's name to be Jawahar (Hindi for Jewel) and not zaher, for it was going to be a baby boy. It was thus that the son's name was chosen to be Jawahar and Lal (from Motilal's own name).
Mobarak Ali's boon?
In India, like in many other countries, all parents long for sons. In the case of Motilal, however, he seemed quite incapable of fathering a son. After failing two consecutive times, Motilal is said to have offered Swarup to his boss, for two reasons. One was to pay his boss who was teaching him the profession of a munshi or a lawyer as well as to earn his blessing in the form of son, or 'boon' like in olden times. Mobarak had a son; his name was Manzur Ali. He too was educated in England.
In any event, at the time when Motilal gravitated to Mir Ganj, the red light district of Allahabad, he was financially in a very straitened circumstance. It is not positively known if Motilal and Swarup Rani were even married in accordance with Hindu rites. With his meager earnings as an apprentice lawyer, he dabbled in part-time brothel keeping. And to let Swarup Rani out to sleep with Motilal's clients was nothing unusual. Motilal's other girls were doing the same for him anyway. Can anyone imagine why should a newly married couple rent a house in Mir Ganj?
It is often said that Motilal had fathered many sons elsewhere. It is said that among his sons were Sayed Hussain, Rafi Ahmad Kidwai and even Shaikh Abdullah. But that the man was an inveterate womanizer, of that there is no doubt. In fact, Sayed Hussain's relationship of a half-brother to Vijaya Lakshmi, forced Motilal to oppose that marriage. There was no other reason for this agnostic personality, who had a great number of Moslem friends, to stand in the way of this wedding. However, that Motilal could not have a son of his own can be imputed to his philandering habits. In medical terms, Motilal's profligacy prevented him from acquiring adequate sperm count to have a son; it was mostly too low.
This son should really have been born in Mobarak Ali's own house, Ishrat Manzil. But Mobarak Ali, who was aware of the true paternity of the forthcoming child of Swarup's, did not want to share his property between Motilal's offspring (a bastard for Mobarak Ali) and his own son, Manzur Ali; in Islamic law even bastards have equal shares in property of the natural father. Thus, Jawahar Lal was born in that brothel building. However, to make amends later, within a few weeks of the birth, Jawahar Lal was removed from that house of ill repute.
The so called son of Motilal was brought up in the harem of the Nawab of Oudh till he was eight years-old. It was then that Jawahar was returned to Motilal and Motilal had by about that time procured Mobarak Ali's house and named it Anand Bhavan. It is thus a fact, that although Jawahar Lal was born in that brothel house at Mir Ganj, he was not reared there. To remove the thought of that house where he was born, Jawahar Lal Nehru, as soon as he became the prime minister of the unhappy land, destroyed the building. His propoaganda machinery was activated to proclaim that Jawahar Lal was born in the Anand Bhavan. What is amazing is that this fact of Jawahar's birth at Mir Ganj, is known to many in India but the common people do not know it.
Jawahar, a son without a father
Soon after his return to Motilal, Jawahar was sent to Britain for higher studies. Although at the time, Motilal was earning high fees by milking the widow of a Rani of a native state, it is said that Mobarak Ali shared the expenses for Jawahar's education in England; aftr all, he was his son too!
In all these comings and goings, Jawahar never did have a proper family life at an age when children's characters are formed. The earliest picture of Jawahar that one can see today is the one featuring in an oil painting hanging in the Lucknow Legislative Assembly Hall. It shows the Nawab of Oudh and an eight-year-old boy by his side. Jawahar Lal Nehru is that eight-year-old boy standing by the side of the Nawab. It is immensely surprising that there does not exist a single picture of Jawahar taken between his birth (on Nov. 14, 1889) and the age of eight years or so. The reason is that inside a Moslem harem, picture taking is verboten. It is still unknown who are the ladies that suckled Jawahar during his eight-year-stay inside the harem of the Nawab of Oudh! His education, till then, was really of no consequence. His mother tongue was NOT Kashmiri, the language spoken by most Kashmiri pandits but Urdu spoken in Oudh.