“It seems Hardik has more of Nehru’s DNA, contrary to what @shaktisinhgohil claimed,” tweeted BJP’s IT cell head Amit Malviya along with a collage of pictures of Jawaharlal Nehru with different women. Even though Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always paid lip service to Nehru, the views of his party colleagues about India’s first Prime Minister have been no secret. Social media is full of derogatory statements and morphed pictures of Nehru circulated by his party supporters. Malviya seems to be offended by these nine pictures that led him to make insinuations linking Hardik Patel’s alleged sex CD to Nehru’s DNA. Let us take a closer look at these pictures to understand their context and see if there is anything offensive about them.
This is not the first time that these pictures of Nehru with women have found their way to social media. These published pictures that have been in public space for years are often used by BJP supporters to portray Nehru as a womanizer. Is Malviya offended because Nehru has been photographed with women? Is he offended that Nehru seems at ease in the presence of women? Is he offended because a few of them are showing affection towards him? Is he offended because he is seen as lighting a cigarette? We are unclear what goes on in a so-called nationalist mind when he looks at these pictures. Let us look at them one by one…
The woman giving Nehru a peck on his cheek in full public view is none other than his sister Vijaylakshmi Pandit. In 1949, Pandit was India’s ambassador to the United States. In the picture she is seen as welcoming her brother on his state visit to the US. As IT cell head, does Malviya not know that this is a picture of Nehru’s sister or is he deliberately hiding this fact?
This is a picture of Nehru sharing a lighter moment with Edwina Mountbatten in public. Is that not allowed as per Malviya’s rule-book?
Here is Nehru’s sister Vijaylakshmi Pandit once again. The picture is of the time when she was the Ambassador to Russia and is being received by her brother at Delhi Airport.
Nehru is seen as smoking here. We are unclear what prompted Malviya to link his smoking with Hardik Patel’s DNA.
This is a picture of Nehru is congratulating Mrinalini Sarabhai after the Manushya performance in Delhi in 1948. As outlined in an article by Mint, “Mrinalini Sarabhai had a double connection with Jawaharlal Nehru—her mother Ammu Swaminadhan was a freedom fighter and a politician who knew Nehru well; her husband Vikram Sarabhai’s family too had a close association with him”. Sarabhai told Mint “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.” Little did she know that 70 years later, some perverted minds will circulate this picture to malign her and Nehru.
Jacqueline Kennedy visited India in 1962. In this picture, Nehru is applying a ceremonial “tilak” to American First lady Jacqueline Kennedy. Is that also offensive to Amit Malviya?
So we know from picture 4 that Nehru smoked. Here he is lighting a cigarette for Mrs. Simon, the wife of the British Deputy High Commissioner, on board the first BOAC flight in India.
Nehru is seen in this picture with Edwina Mountbatten’s 18 year-old daughter. Mountbatten’s youngest daughter Pamela Mountbatten is with her parents, bidding good bye to Pandit Nehru in New Delhi.
In this picture, Nehru is being given a kiss by his niece Nayantara Sehgal on his arrival at London airport in 1955. You can also see Sehgal’s mother, Vijaylakshmi Pandit who was the High Commissioner to UK at that time.
To sum up the collage, three pictures where women are seen as showing affection towards Pandit Nehru by hugging or kissing him are pictures of his sister and niece. They point to nothing more than a natural and close family bond. It takes a sick mind to make insinuations using these pictures. But this, Ladies and gentleman, is no random social media troll that we are talking about. The person is no other than Amit Malviya, the Head of the IT wing on India’s ruling party. With office bearers of the ruling party indulging in such attempts to malign India’s past prime ministers, it is no wonder that the level of political discourse in India is considered at an all-time low.
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