India’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru breathed his last on May 27, 1964. In these 57 years, much has been written and spoken about Nehru’s legacies, ideologies, contributions towards making India a modern and thriving nation, etc. However, there were many controversies surrounding the Congress leader’s political as well as personal life, which have been far less spoken about.
Here are a few theories and facts related to the life of the first Prime Minister of India that has surfaced time and again on the webspace.
The death of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and claims of him suffering from syphilis
If one searches the internet, multiple reports can be found declaring that Pandit Nehru suffered a heart stroke on the morning of May 27, 1964, and fell unconscious and soon passed away without having regained consciousness. A report by New York Times, had then, in medical terms, described the reason for Nehru’s death as coronary thrombosis.
Coronary thrombosis is defined as the formation of a blood clot inside a blood vessel of the heart. This blood clot may then restrict blood flow within the heart, leading to heart tissue damage, or a myocardial infarction, also known as a heart attack.
A report by The Guardian had quoted a family member of Pandit Nehru as saying that the cause of his death was internal haemorrhage, paralytic stroke and a heart attack. Likewise, many other media reports had confirmed the reason for Nehru’s death to be a heart attack.
Despite media declaring that Nehru died of a heart attack, there has been another theory that states Nehru was a womaniser and died because of Syphilis, a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Though there is no evidence of how far this theory is true, people have often argued that in case this claim is untrue then why hasn’t Congress ever refuted these accusations or publically spoken about Nehru’s illnesses.
According to the information present on the public forum, Nehru’s health started to deteriorate in the year 1962, post which, he spent months recuperating in Kashmir through 1963. Some historians attribute this dramatic decline of his health to India’s defeat in the Sino-Indian War, which he perceived as a betrayal of trust.
Upon his return from Dehradun on 26 May 1964 he was feeling quite comfortable and went to bed at about 11:30 pm, as usual. At around 6:30 am after he returned from the bathroom, Nehru complained of pain in the back. He spoke to the doctors who attended on him for a brief while and almost immediately Nehru collapsed. He remained unconscious until he died. His death was announced to Lok Sabha at 2 pm on May 27, 1964 (same day) and the cause of death was said to be a heart attack.
After Nehru’s death, some pro-Nehru supporters came up with several articles trying to dispel this hypothesis. However, in the last few decades, this belief has been debated and discussed quite significantly.
Claims about Edwina Mountbatten and Nehru’s relationship
Don’t know if you have heard about this or not, but in the year 2017, a man named Rajiv Dixit made shocking claims about Nehru, Mohammad Jinnah, and the last Viceroy of India Mountbatten’s wife, Edwina Mountbatten in one of his YouTube videos. He had claimed that Edwina had an affair with both Nehru and Jinnah. He furthered that Lady Mountbatten had blackmailed Nehru into signing the papers for the partition since she had some pictures as evidence of the affairs. Though there is no evidence about Rajiv Dixit’s hypothesis, it is true that due to Lady Mountbatten, a lot of fingers were raised on Pandit Nehru’s character.
Over the years, a lot has been spoken about the love affair between the two, which lasted until Edwina died. There is also a series on Netflix titled The Crown that talks about their relationship.
In fact, Edwina’s daughter Pamela had also accepted that her mother and Nehru were in a relationship. Though describing the relationship as completely plutonic, Pamela had written that her mother and Nehru shared a “profound relationship” that bloomed after Edwina arrived in India along with her husband and India’s last viceroy, Lord Louis Mountbatten in 1947.
In fact, it was this rumour of Pandit Nehru’s affair with Lady Mountbatten which fuelled speculations that Jawaharlal Nehru died of a sexually transmitted infection..
A Twitter user named Dr Vedika had in 2019, posted a Tweet in which she had pointed out the similarity between the circumstance in which Nehru, as well as Lady Mountbatten, died. Drawing equivalences, Dr Vedika wrote that both Nehru and Edwina Mountbatten had died of a heart attack and both had multiple love affairs in their lives.
Death of Edwina & Nehru, Similar how?— Dr. Vedika (@vishkanyaaaa) May 10, 2019
1) Did Nehru acquired STD from Edwina?or Vice Versa ?
2) Both had lots of Lovers.Her daughter states about her lovers in her book & in this link too https://t.co/Gquc78hCTE
3) Both suffered from Heart attack & Stroke & died due to same pic.twitter.com/XYijycVaTp
In her tweet, Dr Vedika describes the cause of death of Nehru as Syphillitic Aortic Aneurysm and explains that the heart attack might have been the consequence of STD, as it is a common aftereffect.
Apart from this, there are many blogs on the internet, which suggest that Syphilitic aortic aneurysm was the reason behind Nehru’s death. At the same time, there are no clear reasons for Edwina’s death. It has been written that she died in bed.
Was Nehru also in a homosexual relationship with Louis Mountbatten?
Besides being in a relationship with Edwina, Nehru’s alleged homosexual relationship with Louis Mountbatten, the last viceroy of British India, has also been a topic of wide discussions. A 2009 article published in DailyMail states that Nehru liked both the husband-wife duo as some suspect that he had bisexual tendencies.
While there are only speculations of Jawaharlal Nehru being bisexual, there are many reports on the internet that affirm that Louis Mountbatten was a bisexual. In fact, a book on the lives of the Mountbattens- The Mountbattens: Their Lives & Loves, written by Andrew Lownie, claimed to have accessed files of the US FBI that reported Louis Mountbatten was himself bisexual and had a “fetish” for “beautiful boys in school uniform”.
Lownie’s book also quotes Ron Perks, Louis Mountbatten’s driver in Malta in 1948, as saying Louis Mountbatten used to frequent a “gay brothel used by senior naval officers” in Rabat, Morocco.
Speculations that Jawaharlal Nehru dies of AIDS
Amongst all these speculations behind the real reason for Nehru’s death, one is also that Nehru died of the Sexually Transmitted Disease AIDS. However, there is no significant proof behind these claims. For the uninitiated, the first known case of HIV-AIDS was diagnosed in 1986, two decades after Nehru’s death.
The first case in India was diagnosed by Dr Suniti Solomon and her student Dr Sellapan Nirmala in 1986, amongst the female sex workers in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Later that year, many cases of women suffering the deadly disease were detected.
While all these are speculations with no definite proof, these controversies that revolve around the life of the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru cannot be ignored considering it keeps resurfacing on the internet and social media spaces time and again.