Someone has sent me an email pointing me to this shocking lecture by Rajiv Dixit that makes the most astonishing claims about Nehru and Jinnah. I've been asked to provide an opinion on this talk by Rajiv Dixit.
My first step has been (given the many other things I'm working on) to investigate whether any of the facts indicated in the video can be confirmed.
Edwina, Jinnah and Nehru were classmates in Harris College, London
This claim is made at 4 minutes 50 seconds.
About Nehru, Wiki says the following:
Nehru went to Trinity College, Cambridge in October 1907 and graduated with an honours degree in natural science in 1910. During this period, Nehru also studied politics, economics, history and literature desultorily. Writings of Bernard Shaw, H.G Wells, J.M. Keynes, Bertrand Russell, Lowes Dickinson and Meredith Townsend moulded much of his political and economic thinking.After completing his degree in 1910, Nehru went to London and stayed there for two years for law studies at the Inns of Court School of Law (Inner Temple). During this time, he continued to study the scholars of the Fabian Society including Beatrice Webb. Nehru passed his bar examinations in 1912 and was admitted to the English bar.
What about Jinnah?
In 1892, Sir Frederick Leigh Croft, a business associate of Jinnahbhai Poonja, offered young Jinnah a London apprenticeship with his firm. Soon after his arrival in London, Jinnah gave up the apprenticeship in order to study law. The aspiring barrister joined Lincoln's Inn, later stating that the reason he chose Lincoln's over the other Inns of Court was that over the main entrance to Lincoln's Inn were the names of the world's great lawgivers, including Muhammad. Jinnah's biographer Stanley Wolpert notes that there is no such inscription, but instead inside is a mural showing Muhammad and other lawgivers, and speculates that Jinnah may have edited the story in his own mind to avoid mentioning a pictorial depiction which would be offensive to many Muslims. Jinnah's legal education at the Inns of Court followed the apprenticeship system, which had been in force there for centuries. To gain knowledge of the law, he followed an established barrister and learned from what he did, as well as from studying lawbooks.
What about Edwina?
Edwina Mountbatten, Countess Mountbatten of Burma was born Edwina Cynthia Annette Ashley in 1901.
Further there is no evidence that Edwina ever went to college.
Conclusion: Rajiv Dixit's claim that Jinnah, Nehru and Edwina were college mates is TOTALLY FALSE.
There was a gap of over 10 years of age EACH between the three of them, with Jinnah being the oldest, then Nehru, and then Edwina. Edwina was a little girl of 9-11 years when Nehru finished his college. The claim that they could have had any relationship at that stage is therefore TOTALLY FALSE.
The root cause of the enemity between Nehru and Jinnah was Edwina:
(see 16 minutes 15 seconds)
Based on the evidence provided (above), there is NO EVIDENCE to substantiate this claim.
Edwina's marriage to Mountbatten:
Rajiv Dixit claims (at 7 minutes 36 seconds) that Edwina was "gotten" married to Lord Mountbatten JUST BEFORE he came to India.
What does Wikipedia state?
Ashley and Mountbatten were married on 18 July 1922 at St. Margaret's, Westminster. Louis Mountbatten's relatives, the British Royal Family, were all present. The then-Prince of Wales and future King Edward VIII served as the best man. The Mountbattens had two daughters, Patricia (born 14 February 1924) and Pamela (born 19 April 1929).
Clearly, regardless of how good a man Rajiv Dixit was, he was no scholar.
Pamela pored over Nehru's letters to her mother, "and I came to realise how deeply he and my mother loved each other".
According to the author, it was a spiritual and intellectual relationship, not a sexual one.
"Neither had time to indulge in a physical affair, and anyway the very public nature of their lives meant they were rarely alone."
I chanced upon this article by Ramachandra Guha.
I'm very pleased that Indians – both a jury and the general public through net voting – have considered Amebedkar to be the greatest Indian since Gandhi. Maybe Rajaji should have taken that slot, but I'm happy for Ambedkar, a predominantly classical liberal thinker, to get this recognition.
What is heartening is that even though intellectuals (who are generally out of touch with reality) STILL consider Nehru to be the co-recipient of this status, the rest of India thinks that Nehru should come 15th!
I'd rate Nehru higher, but this at least tells us that Indians are no longer enamoured of Nehru's ideas.
In the jury vote, B.R. Ambedkar and Jawaharlal Nehru tied for first place; each had 21 votes. The online poll also placed Ambedkar in first place, but ranked Nehru as low as 15th, lower than Vallabhbhai Patel, Indira Gandhi, and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Even Sachin Tendulkar, A.R. Rahman, and Rajnikanth were ranked higher than Nehru by Net voters. [Source]
In the jury vote, the industrialist J.R.D. Tata and the social worker Mother Teresa were ranked immediately below Ambedkar and Nehru.
According to me, JRD's selection is JUST RIGHT.
I would rank thus:
2. Sardar Patel
4. JRD Tata
5. Nehru (for contributions to democracy)
6. Vajpayee (for contributions to democracy)
7. Jayaprakash Narayan
My blog posts on Ambedkar
Just to clarify my position, this snippet from a FB conversation:
I downloaded your book BFN and read upto 70+ pages , This is eye opening book for every indian . I also always thought the root cause of all present problems of india was Nehruvian Policies. This dyansty has eaten india's precious 60 years those were enough to put India on top of the world map.
Thanks, XX. It is not the dynasty issue that I'm talking about. That's an issue, but that's secondary. The main issue is socialist policies. And you'll note that in the book I point out that ALL political parties are godchildren of Nehru and follow his policies. BJP follows socialism, reservations, etc. Not ONE thing different to what Nehru said.