BJP’s IT Cell head Amit Malviya has tweeted a collage of photos showing former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru with his sister and niece, and with some dignitaries. Malviya comments that the photos show that Hardik “has more of Nehru’s DNA”, referring to the claim that Hardik is like Sardar Patel. Malviya rather bizarrely draws a parallel of these public photos of Nehru with morphed footage of Gujarat patidar leader Hardik Patel allegedly showing him in compromising positions with women. In the make-believe world that BJP inhabits, the attempt is to say that Nehru and Hardik Patel share similar attitudes towards women. The Hardik Patel video has been dismissed by all as a desperate attempt by the dirty tricks department of the BJP to retrieve a losing electoral battle in Gujarat. But what’s with the Nehru photos?
The nine-photo sequence, as explained by AltNews, has two where Nehru is hugging his sister Vijay Laxmi Pandit, once on his arrival in US where she was India’s Ambassador, and the other in Delhi where Pandit, then Ambassador to USSR was being received by her brother. One photo shows Nehru being kissed by Nayantara Sehgal, his niece and VijayLaxmi Pandit’s daughter when he landed in London, as traced by Quint. So – three of the photos are of Nehru in affectionate poses with his close family. But for the BJP it doesn’t matter. To smear Nehru, anything goes - which is more revealing of the perverted mentality of Malviya and the BJP than anything else.
What about the other photos? One shows Nehru putting a ceremonial tilak (mark on forehead) of Jacqueline Kennedy, wife of John F. Kennedy, US President. Another shows him laughing with Edwina Mountbatten, wife of Lord Mountbatten who is standing next to him on a public occasion in Delhi. One shows him with the Mountbatten family, bidding them good bye at New Delhi. Two photos show him smoking. And one photo shows him hugging the dancer Mrinalini Sarabhai after her dance performance. The Sarabhais were close family friends and Mrinalini later appreciated Nehru’s coming for her performance.
In short, the photos are little more than glimpses of public affection. It takes considerable depths of depravity, and political opportunism, to propagate them as sexual escapades or philandering on Nehru’s part. But then, the BJP – and the RSS – have always been known for their modesty with truth. It is unsurprising that they are also the ones, who want to impose dress codes on women, prefer that women remain inside homes and look after their children, think that rapes happen because women do not dress properly, and believe in Manu’s edicts that women are not to be trusted.
Amit Malviya, nurtured in this tradition, is simply displaying the same attitude towards women by suggesting that no man (in this case Nehru) can have anything but lust for any woman. It is not just insulting to Nehru or his family and friends. It is an insult to all women.