How did Feroze become a Gandhi?

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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).

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