Today is the 103rd birth anniversary of Feroze Gandhi, the husband of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the son-in-law to Jawaharlal Nehru.
Feroze was born in a Parsi family at the Tehmulji Nariman Hospital in Bombay. His parents, Faredoon Jehangir and Ratimai lived in Nauroji Natakwala Bhawan in Khetwadi Mohalla in Bombay.
Article on India TV
Feroze was the youngest of the five children with two brothers and two sisters.
Feroze was very active in politics. As a journalist, he served as the publisher of the The National Herald and The Navjivan newspapers from Lucknow.
India TV brings to you interesting facts about Feroze:
1. Family of Feroze migrated to Bombay from Bharuch in South Gujarat where their ancestral home, which belonged to his grandfather, still exists in Kotpariwad.
2. In the 1920s, Feroze and his mother, after the death of Jehangir, moved to Allahabad. He attended the Vidya Mandir High School and then graduated from the British-staffed Ewing Christian College.
3. In 1930, the wing of Congress Freedom fighters, the Vanar Sena was formed. Feroze met Kamala Nehru and Indira among the women demonstrators picketing outside Ewing Christian College. Kamala fainted with the heat of the sun and Feroze went to comfort her.
4. In 1930, he abandoned his studies to join the Indian independence movement.
5. In 1930, Feroze changed the spelling of surname from Ghandy to Gandhi.
6. He was imprisoned in 1930 along with Lal Bahadur Shastri in Faizabad Jail for nineteen months. He was imprisoned twice, in 1932 and 1933, while working closely with Nehru.
7. He grew close to the Nehru family, especially to Indira’s mother Kamala Nehru. In 1933, Feroze proposed to Indira, but she and her mother rejected it, putting forward that she was too young, only 16.
8. After Kamala’s demise in 1936, Indira and Feroze grew closer to each. They married in March 1942 according to Hindu rituals.
9. Indira’s father Jawaharlal Nehru opposed her marriage and approached Mahatma Gandhi to dissuade the young couple. The couple were arrested and jailed in August 1942 during the Quit India Movement.
10. After independence, Feroze and Indira settled in Allahabad with their two young children — Rajiv and Sanjay. Feroze became Managing Director of The National Herald, a newspaper founded by his father-in-law and first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru.
11. In 1952, Feroze won independent India’s first general elections from Rae Bareli. He became a prominent force in his own right, criticizing the government of Jawaharlal.
12. In 1957, he was re-elected from Rae Bareli. He aggressively raised the Haridas Mundhra scandal involving the government controlled LIC insurance company. This was a huge embarrassment to the image of Jawaharlal.
He continued challenging the government on a number of other issues, and emerged as a parliamentarian well-respected on both sides of the bench.
Feroze died in 1960 at the Willingdon Hospital, Delhi, after suffering heart attack. He was cremated and his ashes interred at the Parsi cemetery in Allahabad.