Nehru-Gandhi family’s sexual dalliances have been the stock of many a novel and films. Everyone knows about flirtatious Nehru, lonely yet exploring Indira and wild Sanjay. But the story of the family’s romantic history is far wider and deeper.
Feroze was a Parsi (real name – Feroze Jehangir Ghandy). In 1930, when Kamala Nehru and Indira were picketing outside the Ewing Christian College, Kamala Nehru fainted. It was Feroze who went to comfort Kamala. So impressed was the young man with Kamala that he left his studies and joined the independence movement.
Throughout her married life, she was mocked by Nehru and his sister for not being as cultured as the Nehru family was. Kamala had seen how her husband had attraction to other women as well.
Kamala Nehru, in her 30s at that time, with her sleeveless blouses and coy but attractive looks was an attractive young lady, who was surrounded by men with passion and energy. Feroze, on the other hand, was a womanizer. It is said that even when he was meeting Indira in England, he had a girlfriend there as well.
Feroze’s friend, Nikhil Chakravartty, believed that Feroze was “loose with women”, “had a girlfriend in England even when he visited Indira every weekend, had many affairs and could not resist relationships, which Indira knew about”.
So when Feroze the philanderer met Kamala, the subdued and wronged young and beautiful lady whose own husband was a philandering man, they developed a close relationship. The affair last many years, until Kamala Nehru suddenly died from tuberculosis.
Although, as is the wont, many a Congress loyalists have tried to twist the relationship as a “spiritual one”, those who knew of it closely thought it was anything but. Katherine Frank wrote in her book “Indira: The Life of Indira Nehru Gandhi”
Frank writes: “Throughout his life, Feroze was a womaniser—a fact that is hard to square with his devotion to the ethereal, austere, and by her Bhowali days, intensely religious Kamala Nehru. What Kamala’s feelings were for Feroze is far from clear. Their unlikely relationship has been explained as a spiritual, Dante-Beatrice one, with Feroze as the admirer of the saintly Kamala. But a Congress leader and jail mate of Nehru’s named Minoo Masani… reported rumours about an affair between Kamala and Feroze, who was twelve years Kamala’s junior.”
Glenys Roberts wrote in Daily Mail said this of the romance between Kamala Nehru and Feroze Gandhi.
Many people are convinced Kamala and Feroze conducted a long and satisfying affair.
One is obviously not sure of the extent and the depth of their relationship, but despite the managing of the whole story that Congress paid historians in India have done, some snippets of their affair had come out.
Of course, the same Feroze Gandhi went on to marry Indira Gandhi, Kamala’s daughter. Even while he was having other affairs while he was dating Indira.
Infidelity and sexual tensions have run deep in the Nehru-Gandhi family.