Former Prime Minster and freedom fighter Jawaharlal Nehru is a well respected figure in India. The fame and him being a political figure has also resulted in fake news churning around him. Few years ago, a series of photos of Nehru and few women were spread on social media to discredit his image. Despite it being debunked by several fact checkers, certain claims do rounds on social media frequently to defame Jawaharlal Nehru.
A photo has been going viral on social media that shows, a lady kissing Jawaharlal Nehru on his cheek. The claim attached to the photo states that Nehru receives a kiss with Muhammad Ali Jinnah as the witness amidst the freedom struggle.
The message attached to the photo reads:
“आज़ादी की भयंकर लड़ाई में, बायीं गाल पर गोली खाते नेहरू…..
गवाह… मो. अली जिन्नाह
“In the fierce battle for independence, Nehru shot at the left cheek…. Witness … Mo. Ali Jinnah Rare picture”
Photo 2 and 3
A photo of Nehru lighting a woman’s cigarette and another image of Nehru standing besides group of woman wearing the same costume went viral with the message attached that this is the real face of Nehru. The pictures with Nehru and the woman in costume has text in Hindi added on the image that roughly translates to ‘So much lust in those eyes that even a dog would feel shy. During the fight for independence there’s a limit to being a rascal’.
— Poonam Chauhan 🇮🇳 (@pc_p) April 11, 2016
This was one of the many other photos that was circulated to portray Nehru as a womanizer.
See Nehru 's love for woman part 3 … He was a Guru YES, N D Tiwari's Guru pic.twitter.com/tGRrax5MXB
— Truth Prevails (@Anurag4Bharat) October 29, 2013
Photo 5 and 6
These two photos of Nehru with a woman had been extensively shared to portray Nehru in bad light.
The photo attached below was also shared with derogatory message attached to it.
This is another photo that was doing rounds on social media questioning Nehru’s political image and equating him to a play boy figure.
This was a image that went viral on various social media with various captions which made a comment at Nehru’s behavior towards women. In the photo, Nehru is seen holding a woman around her shoulder.
A photo of a man that looks like Nehru has been doing rounds on social media. In the photo the man is seen pressuring a woman. The claim attached states it is Nehru and questions how a man like this can be ideal for children.
The claim reads as follow:
“इतना बड़ा ठरकी आदमी बच्चों का आदर्श कैसे हो सकता है। इसको आदर्श बनाकर हम अपने बच्चों को क्या सिखाना चाहते हैं??? ये भारतीय इतिहास का काला दिन है।
Translation: “How can such a big player be the ideal of children. What do we want to teach our children by making this ideal??? This is the black day of Indian history.”
As you can see below, a collage of all the images mentioned in this article was also widely shared on social media to defame Nehru.
इतना बड़ा ठरकी आदमी बच्चों का आदर्श कैसे हो सकता है।इसको आदर्श बनाकर हम अपने बच्चों को क्या सिखाना चाहते हैं???ये भारतीय इतिहास का काला दिन है।😞#tharkidiwas #ठरकी_दिवस
The claim isn’t true. According to the claim, the photo was taken during freedom struggle and Muhammad. Ali Jinnah is said to be in the picture. Upon a basic reverse image and key word search, it was found that the picture was taken in 1955 when Nehru landed at London. The woman kissing Nehru, is his niece, Nayantara Sehgal and Jinnah is not the one in the photo since he passed away in 1948. You can spot Nayantara Sehgal’s mother, Vijaylakshmi Pandit who was the High Commissioner to UK then in the original video and photo which is shared below.
Source: British Pathé
Photo 2 and 3
Photo 2 is of Jawaharlal Nehru lighting a cigarette with Mrs. Simon, the wife of the British Deputy High Commissioner, on board the first BOAC flight in India. It is a very famous image captured by Homai Vyarawalla known as India’s first female photo journalist. The image is real but it proves nothing.
Attached below is an article by The Hindu that features the image in an article published in tribute of Homai Vyarawalla.
Source: The Hindu
Photo 3 is actually edited and fake. In the real picture, Nehru is not present. Putting the image on a simple reverse image search showed that the image has appeared in numerous websites and blogs. The photo appears with the reference of “Chorus Girls”. Chorus Girls was a theatrical musical in the United States which was inspired from dance forms like ballet and burlesque. This photo claim was debunked by several fact checkers.
Attaching the original image below.
The photo that was circulated to show Nehru in bad light is actually of Nehru bidding goodbye to Mountbatten’s youngest daughter, Pamela Mountbatten and her parents at New Delhi.
Source: World Entertainments Center
Photo 5 and Photo 6
Both the photos is of Nehru with his sister, Vijaylakshmi Pandit and not any random woman.
Photo 5 is the image is of Jawaharlal Nehru kissing his sister, Vijayalakshmi Pandit during his 1949 US visit. Attaching below the screenshot of the photo featured in Outlook.
Photo 6 is of Nehru hugging his sister. This photo is one of the many Nehru photos taken by the first female photo journalist of India, Homai Vyarawalla.
Source: The Indian Express
This photo doesn’t have any twisted angle to it like claims state. The photo is of Nehru applying tilak for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ (The First Lady of the United States) forehead. Attaching an image from The Indian Express’ archive.
Source: The Indian Express
This is just an image of Nehru sharing a lighter moment with Edwina Mountbatten in public. Nehru and Edwina are said to had a really good relationship with each other. They had a deep love and respect for each other but they didn’t share any carnal relationship, Edwina’s daughter Pamela wrote in her book.
Source: India Today
There are no dark secrets behind the photo of Nehru holding the woman around the shoulder. The woman in the picture is Mrinalini Sarabhai, a famous Indian classical dancer. Nehru had close relationship with Mrinalini Sarabhai’s husband Vikram Sarabhai and mother Ammu Swaminadhan. This photo was taken in Delhi where Nehru is congratulating Mrinalini for her performance. In an article by Mint Sarabhai told them, “In those days, Kathakali was not approved of and not many people appreciated it, especially in Delhi. But Jawaharji came for the performance and afterwards he came to see me. He hugged me and congratulated me. There is a photograph of us together.” She didn’t know that 70 years later, someone would share this picture to malign her and Nehru.
It was found that the photo was a scene from the drama named “Drawing the Line” by Howard Brenton. The play is about Cyril Radcliffe and his role in India’s partition. The picture going viral is of actors Silsa Carson and Lucy Black who played the role of Jawaharlal Nehru and Edwina Mountbatten. The same image was found Theartsdesk.com which mentions the photo is a part of the play which was performed at London’s Hampstead Theatre. Attaching below the screenshot and link of the same.
All the above claims are examples of how old and unrelated images has been used with false and demeaning captions to criticize Jawaharlal Nehru.