Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the maker of modern India played a key role in building the nation as we perceive it today. No doubt that Nehru Ji, or we might better call him by his title Chacha Nehruwas a peace loving man. He was fond of children too, and that’s why he is known as Chacha Nehru. But very few really know about what was Nehru like in his personal life.
Jawaharlal Nehru married to Kamala Nehru in 1916. Indira Priyadarshini Nehru was born to them in 1917. Kamala Nehru was diagnosed with tuberculosis and despite her treatment in Switzerland, she could not make through her disease and died on February 1936. After the death of Kamala Nehru, Jawaharlal Nehru devoted all of his strength and time as a freedom fighter.
Apart from fulfilling duties, this handsome widower shared a deep bonding with a beautiful woman Edwina, Lady Mountbatten, wife of chief representative and last viceroy of India. Pamela Mountbatten, daughter of Lord and Lady Mountbatten, writes in her book “India Remembered” about the healthy relationship that her mother and Nehru shared. In a section titled ‘A special Relationship’ she writes: “My mother had already had lovers. My father was inured to it. It broke his heart for the first time, but it was somehow different with Nehru… ”.
She also quoted a letter which Lord Mountbatten wrote to her elder sister in June 1948, “She and Jawaharlal are so sweet together, they really dote on each other in nicest way and Pammy and I are doing everything we can to be tactful and help. Mummy has been incredibly sweet lately and we have been such a happy family.”
So, there existed an excellent harmony among the three, and indeed they carried of their relationships very well. If rumors are to be believed, then it is also said that Edwina was totally flattered by the way Nehru spoke and wrote English. Pamela also included a letter written by Nehru to Edwina in March 1957. “Suddenly I realized (and perhaps you also did) that there was a deeper attachment between us, that some uncontrollable force, of which I was dimly aware, drew us to one another, I was overwhelmed and at the same time exhilarated by this new discovery. We talked more intimately as if some veil had been removed and we could look into each other’s eye without fear or embarrassment.”
Well, it seems as if these lines are written by a veteran poet, and maybe that explains the reason why he was a charmer in Edwina’s eyes. Pamela further describes their relationship was “platonic” and “although it was not physical, it was no less binding for that. It would last until death.”
And somehow Pamela’s words sound true. When 58 year old Edwina died in 1960, collection of Nehru’s letters was found beside her bed. And it was not all, as the body was taken by Royal Navy to its sea burial; Prime Minister Nehru finally made his public declaration of his devotion, by sending his own Indian Navy to cast wreath into water on his behalf.