THIS IS AN EXCERPT FROM MY BOOK “DEMYTHSIFYING MYTHS” available on Amazon, Flipkart, Infibeam and on www.1914book.com
Feroze (Gandhi) was the husband of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the father of two sons – former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi.
Born in September 1912 as Feroze Jehangir Ghandy to a Parsi family at the Tehmulji Nariman Hospital in Bombay, his parents, Faredoon Jehangir Ghandy and Ratimai (formerly Ratimai Commissariat), lived in Khetwadi Mohalla in Bombay.
The family had migrated to Bombay from the Bharuch district of Gujarat, where their ancestral home still exists in Kotpariwad village, in Bharuch.
In the early 1920s, after the death of his father, the young Feroze moved with his mother to Allahabad to live with his unmarried “mausi” (mother’s sister), Shirin Commissariat, a surgeon at the Lady Dufferin Hospital. Feroze’s biographer, Katherine Frank, has speculated that Feroze was in fact the biological son of Shirin Commissariat.
Sometime in 1930, Feroze met with Kamala Nehru (wife of Jawaharlal Nehru) and Indira Priyadarshini Nehru (the only legitimate child of India’s first PM). He was inspired by them and therefore joined the Indian independence movement.
There are many references that Feroze changed the spelling of his surname from “Ghandy” to “Gandhi”, as he was inspired by “Mahatma” Gandhi. However, there is no evidence whatsoever to prove this.
Feroze proposed to Indira in 1933, but her mother Kamala rejected it, saying she was too young (just 16 years old at the time).
He grew close to the Nehru family, especially to Kamala Nehru, accompanying her to the TB sanatorium at Bhowali in 1934, helping arrange her trip to Europe when her condition worsened in April 1935, and visiting her at the sanitarium at Badenweiler (Germany) and finally at Lausanne (Switzerland), where he was at her bedside when she died in February 1936.
In the years following Kamala Nehru’s death, Indira and Feroze grew closer to each other, while in England. They married in March 1942 as per Hindu rituals.
Jawaharlal Nehru opposed her marriage and approached MK Gandhi to dissuade the young couple, but to no avail. A majority of Indians criticised this inter-faith wedding.
The couple were jailed in August 1942, during the Quit India Movement. The coming five years were of comfortable domestic life and the couple had two sons, Rajiv and Sanjay, born in 1944 and 1946 respectively.
It must be mentioned here about the fact that there have been stories that, soon after the birth of their first son Rajiv in 1944, Feroze and Indira had become estranged. However, to protect the “dynasty/family”, they had to keep this a secret.
The book, “The Nehru Dynasty,” by author KN Rao, states that “the second son of Indira (Sanjay Gandhi) was a love child with her close aide Mohammed Yunus.”
Interestingly, Sanjay Gandhi’s marriage with Maneka (Minister in the Narendra Modi Government) took place in Mohammad Yunus’ house in New Delhi. In Yunus’s book, “Persons, Passions & Politics”, one can discover that Sanjay was circumcised as a baby, following Islamic customs.
Feroze allegedly had affairs with freedom fighter and Congressi Tarakeswari Sinha (Deputy Finance Minister of India from 1958 to 1964), Mehmuna Sultana (whosoever she was), as well as freedom fighter and Congressi Subhadra Joshi (four-term Lok Sabha MP from 1952 to 1977), amongst many others.
After India’s independence in 1947, Feroze became Managing Director of National Herald, a newspaper founded by his father-in-law Jawaharlal Nehru, and recently the subject matter of a humongous real estate scam, in which Feroze & Indira’s Italian-born daughter-in-law Sonia, and her son Rahul, are in the dock.
After being a member of India’s provincial parliament (1950–1952), Feroze won the Lok Sabha elections in 1952 (he was re-elected in 1957), from the Rae Bareli constituency in Uttar Pradesh.
He soon became a prominent political voice in India, often criticizing his father-in-law Nehru’s government and beginning a fight against corruption.
In December 1955, Feroze had revealed (inside Parliament) how Ram Kishan Dalmia, as Chairman of Bharat Bank and Bharat Insurance in 1947, had used these companies to fund the takeover of Bennett Coleman (parent company of the Times of India Group) and transferred the money illegally from the publicly-held companies. Dalmia was sentenced to a two years’ term in Delhi’s famous Tihar Jail.
In 1958, Feroze Gandhi raised the Haridas Mundhra scandal in Parliament, which involved government-owned LIC insurance company. This was a huge embarrassment to Nehru’s government and led to the resignation of the then Finance Minister, TT Krishnamachari.
His rift with Indira also became public knowledge and added to the media interest in Feroze Gandhi.
At one point, he also suggested that Tata Engineering and Locomotive Company (or TELCO, now Tata Motors) should be nationalized, since they were charging nearly double the price of a Japanese railway engine. He continued challenging the government on a number of other issues, and emerged as a parliamentarian well-respected on both sides of the aisle (bench).
Feroze had a heart attack in 1958 and died in 1960, after suffering a second heart attack. He was cremated and his ashes interred at the Parsi cemetery in Allahabad. How can there be any question about his religion?
In fact, his son, Late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, is supposed to have declared publicly (in London) that he (Rajiv) was a Parsi and not a Hindu.
If Rajiv Gandhi was a declared Parsi like his father, and his wife Sonia a Roman Catholic, how on earth is Rahul Pappu Gandhi a janeudhaari Brahmin?