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Did you know: Nehru loved ‘555’ brand cigarettes so much that a special plane flew from Bhopal to Indore only to pick them up

Nehru-Gandhi family and their love for using national resources for personal pleasures: How the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree.

One can remember Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru for many reasons. You can remember him as the first Prime Minister of India, or father of the first woman Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi or a freedom fighter or someone who could not apprehend the importance of the army or a visionary who is apparently responsible for everything good that is happening now in India (at least Congress thinks so!). There were so many aspects of his life and stories associated with him that every once in a while, an interesting trivia will come up that will either shock or amuse you.

One such trivia is about his love for cigarettes. From countless photographs in which he was seen smoking, it is evident that our first Prime Minister had a thing for the poisonous cancer-causing stick. To be fair, in his time, smoking was considered a status symbol or a way to look ‘cool’, but in the end, it is a nasty addiction that is hard to get rid of. If people had known the adverse effects of tobacco during that time, Mukesh might have been alive.

The love for brand 555

Anyway, there is a story about former PM Nehru that can make anyone roll eyes even today. On one of his visits to Bhopal, he was scheduled to stay at Raj Bhavan. However, the staff realized that his favourite brand of cigarettes was not available in Raj Bhavan. It was, in fact, not available in Bhopal, and Nehru was fond of lighting a stick after his meals.

In general, one may think they might have offered him another brand. But no! According to Madhya Pradesh’s official website, stock of his favourite cigarettes were, wait for it, airlifted from Indore!

Screenshot of Raj Bhawan Anecdotes available on MP government’s website

Someone was given the job to buy some packs of ‘555’ brand cigarette and bring to the Indore airport. A plane flew from Bhopal to Indore to get the package, collected the cigarettes and flew back.

It seems the apple has not fallen too far from the tree as the Nehru-Gandhi family’s love for using national resources for their own private pleasures has been passed on through generations. Rajiv Gandhi, his grandson, as India’s Prime Minister, used the INS Viraat as private taxi for family vacation to ferry friends and family, including his Italian in-laws, to Lakshadweep. INS Viraat was deployed for protection of maritime borders of the country, but that was sent for transporting the Gandhi family who were going for holidaying.

That’s not all. The government employees and navy soldiers were deployed to organise all the facilities for the vacation. A special helicopter of the army was deployed their service 24×7, the entire administration was looking after the arrangement of entertainment of Rajiv Gandhi’s personal guests.

You can check more trivia about the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in our achieves here.

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B.Sc. Multimedia, a journalist by profession.

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