Did you know about Nehru’s tribal ‘wife’?

On 6th December 1959, Nehru had visited a West Bengal village to inaugurate a dam. The Damodar Valley Corporation had chosen a 15 year old tribal girl called Budhni Manjhiyan for Nehru’s welcome. While Budhni was extremely happy, little did she know, that her life was about to take an extremely troublesome turn.

During the inauguration, since this was the first dam being inaugurated by a tribal woman, Jawaharlal Nehru gave Budhni a garland as a mark of appreciation. He had wanted the dam to be inaugurated by someone who had worked on the construction of it.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

That night, the Panchayat of the Santhali society was called to discuss these ‘developments’. Budhni, to her horror, was informed that according to Tribal traditions she was now married to Jawaharlal Nehru, since garlands were exchanged. Also according to Tribal traditions, since Nehru, now declared her husband, was a non-tribal, she was boycotted by the Santhali community.

At that point of time, Budhni continued to work at the Damodar Valley Corporation but that didn’t last. She was soon, in 1962, thrown out of her job and found herself helpless.

She later moved to Jharkhand and struggled to make ends meet there for 7 years.

She even met a man, Sudhir Datta, whom she got close to. They wanted to marry but couldn’t because they feared the repercussions they might have to face in their society. However, they continued to live together and have three children together.

It is reported that in 1985, when Rajiv Gandhi came to know about Budhni, he tracked her down and Budhni even went to meet him. As a result of which, she got her job back with the Damodar Valley Corporation.

When asked in 2016 what her wishes were now, she said, “I appeal to Rahul Gandhi to get us a house and a job for my daughter, so we can spend the rest of our lives in peace.”

The person who inaugurated the dam along with Budhni, Ravod Manjhi had once spoken to BBC and said, “Jawaharlal Nehru had promised us free electricity and houses, but nothing happened”. When asked about Budhni, he said he didn’t want to recall the ordeal.

Share and Support:
Support OpIndia by paying for content

Most read articles recently

Here is why BJP lost elections, and of course, it was deliberate

What BJP supporters need to realise is this - no political party ever wants to lose and least of all, a party led by the two most politically aggressive politicians the country has ever seen.

India cannot turn into Islamic Nation, only Modi can understand gravity and do needful: Meghalaya HC

There should be uniform law for all Indian citizens, and anybody opposing the Indian laws and constitution cannot be considered as citizens of the country, Meghalaya High Court noted

BJP’s real woes: Lessons from the electoral semi-finals

The prolonged silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah on election results was very telling. The results were clearly unexpected and possibly led to prolonged internal discussions on the future course of action.

‘Will not develop areas which did not vote for me’: Rajasthan Congress MLA shortly after winning

Rajender Singh Bidhuri fought and won a close battle against BJP MLA Suresh Dhakad with a margin of 1661 votes.

Ranchi: Court summons Rahul Gandhi for his defamatory remarks against Amit Shah

The petitioner submitted that the statement by Rahul Gandhi against Amit Shah had hurt his sentiments and tarnished the image of the party.
It is time for Congress and Gandhi Family mukt Bharat

Why Congress-mukt Bharat is still very much in progress

It is time BJP supporters understand the meaning of the term 'Congress-mukt Bharat'.

Can the BJP satisfy its online supporters? If only it were Congress

BJP supporters online, also known as the ‘right wing’, are first to attack the party and write it off after electoral setbacks.

BJP may be weaker than it was in 2014, but Congress is not as strong as projected either

If Congress has not forgotten the 1996 elections, they would very well know they are on a sticky wicket here.

Mayawati extends support to Congress for Madhya Pradesh, may consider Rajasthan ‘to keep BJP out of power’

She said to defeat BJP in Rajasthan, too, BSP will extend support to Congress.

Has PM Modi sounded the start of slog overs with the new RBI Governor’s appointment

Shaktikanta Das, who is currently a member of The Finance Commission and Former Finance Secretary (the one who presided over Demonetisation), has been appointed as the new RBI Governor by the Modi government

Latest articles

Connect with us

125,578FansLike
97,612FollowersFollow
6,060SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these