“Nehru was not a dynast” – Yet another canard from Prof Ramachandra Guha

July 6, 2018

Of course, Jawaharlal Nehru (JN) was a SECOND generation dynast and, quite a bit of (what we would now call) brazen nepotism happened in his personal case too, in the late 1920s. And of course, there are SOLID evidences for this.

So, it is NOT that he himself was not a product of dynastic succession and that he only promoted his daughter and other relatives in his time.

See, I respect Motilalji (the father of Jawahar) – a splendid person that he was – and of course, I do not want to randomly rubbish JN either.

But I don’t feel the necessity to worship JN or to obsessively defend all his actions – I am not a Court or a Self-appointed historian who does shoddy work, indulges in panegyrics and writes glowing hagiographies. Nor do I feel the need to compulsively tweet on sundry thingies to titillate nitwits & to be in circulation among fellow-liberals; in short, I am not an yet another Professor Ramachandra Guha. Mommee! No, sir. Sorry.

…All I am saying is, perhaps JN was only a normal, fallible human being, like many of us (though he was charismatic, brilliant, had really worked for Indian independence and had rather naively believed in Ruski type socialism with wide-eyed-wonder) – but ‘somehow’ landed himself in the role of a Statesmen & the Top leader of a party and had to lead the nation, wage war, promote his dynasty and all that. Here’s where the issues begin. Or is it?

Let us investigate.


This is what illustrious Ram Guha tweeted on 2nd July 2018.

Now, there are three possibilities for this kind of a disinformative tweet:

A: Ram Guha specializes in completely fake and dishonest constructions of ‘alternative surreal histories’ – as in the grand cabals of Romila Thapars & Irfan Habibs. (‘Professor’ Ramachandra Guha’s latest blatant lies

B: Ram Guha is  sadly deluded, and has some form of systemic dementia or systematic amnesia that does not allow him to remember the basic, fundamental & important things.

C: Poor Ram Guha is merely ignorant.

To be charitable to the Professor Sahib, I would like to err happily and choose C. Thanks.

Prof Sahib, by the above tweet, means and disinforms on a couple of things:

X: JN would have NEVER approved of a fifth generation dynast (=Rahul Gandhi) in the democratically functioning INC party, with its hoary past.

Y: That, JN is a paragon of democratic virtues so he will be appalled at the current developments.

Z: Of course, considering X and Y – JN could not have been a DYNAST himself;, of course he was above all such pettiness. Thanks!

Now, to look at the above illustrious suggestions of Professor Sahib,

X: There is a whole lot of documented evidence for the ways in which he propped up and promoted his capable daughter Indira Priyadharshini, capable sister Vijayalakshmi Pandit and capable son-in-law Feroze Ghandy etc etc – but am sure he did all that in the best interests of the Nation and Socialism. I agree. A lot has been written about these things. So I let this pass.

Y: About JN’s democratic credentials (or lack thereof) a lot has been written, including by yours truly. (Ramachandra Guha’s usual selective amnesia, ‘democratic credentials’ of Nehru and venerable Dharampal – some notes

Z: This is the crux of this post. To prove that, JN himself was a product of dynastic principles. That, he was the SECOND dynast.


Motilalji was a great personality and was really bothered about India, its freedom. Of course, with his brilliance, erudition and attitude, he could have even gotten a Knighthood from the empire, if only he had indicated his willingness. But, he did not. He struggled for the cause of the Congress. And, India. Definitely.

But, from 1927 onwards, he started lobbying for his son. Of course his son JN was also a brilliant person. He had also slogged for the cause of Congress & India.

But the fact was that there were many such men; some even more capable.

So, at least JN should have protested his father’s, albeit well meaning, affectionate efforts. He did not.

FIRST attempt:

But Bapuji was not only a suave person, he was also very perceptive and politically sensitive; so, he clearly told Motilalji that it was NOT a great idea and (on 19th June 1927) that JN will have to wait.

JN was only 37 years young then. It is not out of place to mention here that, Vallabhbhai Patel was 52 then – well seasoned, dependable and equally capable.

Nehru came into politics in 1916. Patel in 1917.

Anyway, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed Ansari was nominated as the President of INC, by Bapuji in its Chennai session, for 1927-28.

Again Motilalji started his lobbying with Bapuji, in 1928.

SECOND attempt:

He says, in the following letter that, “The members [of the committee] have all gone to their respective homes leaving Jawahar and myself to prepare the report and we are now hard at work on it” thus building up a case for JN. (‘It  was a committee appointed by the ALL PARTIES CONFERENCE to draw up some kind of a constitution for India, dealing especially with communal problems, etc. The report that came out was called the “Nehru Report” because Motilalji was the Chairman of that committee.’)

He says that though Vallabhbhai was the first choice for being the next President of INC, and JN the second choice – the sooner the ‘men of Jawahar types’ are brought in, the better it is!

Now, Subhas Chandra Bose (who could have been a strong contender for the post) was rooting for Motilalji’s Presidentship for 1928 INC elections – as in the extract below.

Because of these kinds of opinions and recommendations, Bapuji convinced that Motilalji should become the President of INC for 1928-29.

So it was Motilalji for 1928-29

THIRD attempt:

But then, Motilalji started again, earnestly campaigning for JN to become the INC president for 1929-30!

He followed up.

This time, indeed, JN became the President!  Bapuji approved of it and actually proposed his name.

It is not that JN was not at all deserving of this post, but 1) there were many other well qualified individuals, who could/would not compete because they were under  the impression that Bapuji was going to be nominated/elected and 2) the way, the baton was handed down from the father and son via a last minute recommendation from Bapuji, was a difficult proposition.

But, to give credit to JN, he recorded his feelings with remorse, in his Autobiography as under.

He did feel that (at least he recorded it this way) he “did not come to it [the INC Presidentship] by the main entrance or even a side entrance; I appeared suddenly by a trap-door and bewildered the audience into acceptance.


Now, I would like to sincerely believe that, JN would have anyway gotten the Presidentship even without the heavy push and recommendations of his father. But, of course it was not true.

There were AT LEAST three other able, famous & stellar individuals – leaders in their own right. Vallabhbhai Patel, Madan Mohan Malaviya and Subhas Chandra Bose. There were of course, many other such great leaders in the freedom movement / INC.

But, none of them had the advantage of a great persona like Motilalji pushing for them rather relentlessly.

Of course, JN could have refused and rejected his father’s overflowing parental affection for his son and his concern for the son’s well being. He could have if he were not a fair-weather democrat.



No wonder, after having been crowned a leader, thanks in no small measure to his being the SECOND dynast – in his later years, as the first PM of India, he continued to promote the THIRD dynast – Indira Ghandy.

So much for the nasty dynasty thingies.

Now dear reader of the blog,  are you NOT amazed that, as a self-respecting historian, Professor Sahib should ALSO point these out and then NOT say that (Jawaharlal) Nehru would have been appalled at the anointing of Rahul Gandhi as the FIFTH dynast?

However, now that the Professor Sahib did say that “Nehru would have been appalled at the fifth generation dynast heading the party” – do you think the Sahib will publicly apologize for his obfuscation, whitewashing, stonewalling and presenting an ‘altered’ history?

He won’t.

Because, if he were to do that, he cannot be a Court Historywallah anymore.

He cannot hob-nob with the fellow-liberals, who glibly lie through their teeth and reap their rewards in all kinds of sly ways.

May be then, he can’t even get any ‘crumbs’ for his despicable services, from the Durbar.



  1. An Autobiography, by Jawaharlal Nehru; published by John Lane, Bodley Head Ltd, London, 1936
  2. India Beyond Sixty: In Memoriam, by Chowdhary Ranbir Singh; published by Allied Publishers, Delhi, 2008
  3. A Bunch of old letters – written mostly to Jawaharlal Nehru and some written by him; published by Asia Publishing House, Delhi, 1958



4 Responses to ““Nehru was not a dynast” – Yet another canard from Prof Ramachandra Guha”

  1. nparamasivam1951 Says:

    I always consider him under your (a) category–completely fake historian. This blog confirms this.
    Thanks for exposing duplicates.

  2. ஆனந்தம் Says:

    //May be then, he can’t even get any ‘crumbs’ for his despicable services, from the Durbar.// I think you mean cong by the word Durbar. Does it mean Durbar will reward him for criticizing its own present leadership? Strange!

    • I meant the cabal of Durbar historians & habitual hagiographers. If he apologizes for his canard, then he would become a laughing stock of the cabal and not get any more crumbs. It is not that ANYONE in the cabal is given to even seeking apologies leave alone correcting themselves, anyway.

      Durbar historians like him did not have any problems with Rajiv or Sonia. They are making noises now because they feel slightly embarrassed because of the goofups of the young man because they consider themselves genteel, intellectual and elite — but otherwise their loyalty to the unruly-dispensation could not be questioned. Because they had / are benefited / benefiting from them in so many ways. Many of these benefits are downright nauseating.

      Again – whatever be the party in power, the cabal knows how to sustain and propagate itself. And proliferate. I would say that, even after a few years of the BJP rule, the stranglehold of the cabal on culture management is near total. They have all the culture tzar and tzarina positions to themselves. I find this strange.

      I was half expecting many of these folks to fulfill their promise to migrate away from India, if Modi comes to power. But, it was not to be. Nearly four years have passed by. Sad.


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