Indian History

Midnight Visitor- Myth or reality? – Pure love or disgrace?

Lord Louis “Dickie” Mountbatten was the last British Viceroy and first Governor-General of independent India when he and his wife Edwina became and remained close friends of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and other leading members of the Indian Cabinet. There were thousands of letters written by Jawaharlal Nehru and Edwina Mountbatten but all the letters with Indian Govt are not made public increasing the speculation on the extent of this relationship. The published book which was approved by Indian Govt says the relation was spiritual and no sex involved. The set of letters exchanged between Jawaharlal Nehru and Edwina Mountbatten, Jinnah had indicate sexual relationship. There were many mentions detailing the extend of this relationship, detailed narration by Khushwant Singh who was Jawaharlal Nehru’s PRO in London and closely witnessed him during his frequent personal visits to London after independence. Indian Govt and Congress who ruled India for more than 60 years never wanted this topic to be discussed in public because of the speculative damage to the party and secondly speculations about Nehru’s compromised policy due to the influence of his relationship with Edwina.

After death of these two prominent personalities, the truth can be uncovered only when these letters will be made public. However here is an account of statements on the news which clarify that there was no propaganda against Nehru (he never had any active opposition in his entire life) but there are strong reasons to believe Nehru had extremely passionate relationship with Edwina.

1) Pamela Mountbatten (daughter of Edwina and Louis Mountbatten) said during interview, “I strongly believe that they were essentially two lonely people. His wife was dead, his sister was posted abroad, his daughter was either looking after her husband or was away with the women’s movement. I think he was very alone and my mother was a very introvert character herself. Suddenly, they found they were two, who would communicate with each other.

“Someone actually described it to me as a brief encounter. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the film Brief Encounter? In the film, two people are wildly attracted to each other who know it is going to be impossible. After we left India they saw each other once a year — twice a year perhaps — but the relationship remained as intense.”

Edwina, wife of undivided India’s last viceroy, fell madly in love with the country and with Pandit Nehru, the first prime minister after independence, says Pamela.

2) Soon after Independence, the mother and daughter were regular visitors to India. They stayed at the Prime Minister’s house in Teen Murti, New Delhi, as government guests and sometimes went on tour with him. When Nehru visited the UK, he was a welcome guest at the Mountbatten family estate, Broadlands, in Hampshire.

3) Excerpts from her just released book Daughter of Empire published in Friday’s Daily Mail say Lord Mountbatten was aware of his wife’s fondness for Nehru but did not interfere.

4) The-shocking-love-triangle-Lord-Mountbatten-wife-founder-modern-India article states:

  • Nehru, like both Mountbattens, had bisexual tendencies
  • Beside her bed was a collection of his letters
  • When parted, they wrote to each other constantly – and Edwina made no attempt to keep the letters secret from her husband

5) There’s an interesting tale told by S S Pirzada, later foreign minister of Pakistan, that Jinnah had been handed a small collection of letters that had been written by Edwina and Jawahar which state:

  • “Dickie will be out tonight – come after 10:00 o’clock,” said one of Edwina’s.
  • “You forgot your handkerchief and before Dickie could spot it I covered it up.”
  • “I have fond memories of Simla – riding and your touch.”

6) On another occasion, when Jawahar and Edwina were staying together in Nainital in the Himalayan foothills, the governor’s son was sent to summon the guests for dinner. Unwittingly, he opened the door of the prime minister’s suite, and was confronted by the sight of Jawahar and Edwina in an embrace.

7) A controversial Hollywood film starring Cate Blanchett and Hugh Grant named “Indian Summer” was planned on the relationship between India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Edwina Mountbatten, the wife of Britain’s last Viceroy. The Indian government had given permission for the movie to be filmed but ONLY IF physically intimate scenes were removed. Universal Pictures postponed/cancelled the plan of this film in 2009.

8) Alex von Tunzelmann, author of Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire,published by Simon & Schuster India, was interviewed on Nehru’s persona and his intimate relationships.

Even Padmaja Naidu (daughter of Sarojini Naidu) shared a very intimate relationship with Nehru. Did it not spark jealousy? There is some evidence that Padmaja Naidu was jealous of Edwina Mountbatten, including a story that she once smashed a framed picture of her in Nehru’s house. But the two women later became good friends!

Also Nehru had an affair with a sanyasin from Benares named Shraddha Mata in 1949, in a convent in Bangalore. A son was born and he was kept at a Christian Missionary Boarding School. His date of birth is estimated to be 30th May, 1949. As described by M. O. Mathai (PA of Nehru) in his “Reminiscences of the Nehru Age”, page 206. Mathai writes: “In the autumn of 1948 (India became free in 1947 and a great deal of work needed to be done) a young woman from Benares arrived in New Delhi as a sanyasin named Shraddha Mata (an assumed and not a real name). She was a Sanskrit scholar well versed in the ancient Indian scriptures and mythology.

9) Nayantara Sahgal, daughter of Nehru’s sister Vijaylakshmi Pandit, sparked off yet another debate on Nehru’s relations with Edwina Mountbatten when she said Sonia was against the publication of the first prime minister’s letters to the last viceroy’s wife. Sahgal told Clement she had spoken to Sonia, telling her that it is a pity not to publish the letters. “(But) I think Sonia was afraid and I could see her point. She felt that the political opposition might try to gain advantage out of it.”

10) In his letters, Nehru often sought Edwina’s advice on matters of governance and strategy, according to British author Janet Morgan who was given access to the correspondence by the Mountbatten family. Morgan was given a small box weighing more than five pounds. The box contained all the letters Nehru wrote to Edwina between 1948 and 1960. A few of them even had a rose pressed between the pages.

11) Lady Mountbatten died in her sleep at age 58 of unknown causes in 1960 in Jesselton, British North Borneo while on an inspection tour for the St John Ambulance Brigade.In accordance with her wishes, Lord Mountbatten buried her at sea off the coast of Portsmouth from HMS Wakeful on 25 February 1960; Nehru sent two Indian destroyers to accompany her body; Geoffrey Fisher, the Archbishop of Canterbury, officiated.

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References:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1216186/The-shocking-love-triangle-Lord-Mountbatten-wife-founder-modern-India.html
http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/the-great-charmer/
http://www.dayafterindia.com/detail.php?headline=content&catid=1529
http://noveladventurers.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/legacy-of-romance-nehru-and-lady.html
http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/1r9W3AfwfoJBulvX6zwzqK/Excerpt–Public-and-private-relations.html
http://www.outlookindia.com/article/nehru-was-generally-happy-to-be-among-either-mountains-or-interesting-women/292519
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/india/6392593/Film-about-Nehrus-love-affair-with-Edwina-Mountbatten-shelved.html
http://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/the-great-charmer/2/
http://blogs.tribune.com.pk/story/16592/nehru-and-edwina-a-subcontinental-love/

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-sonia-holding-back-nehru-s-letters-to-edwina-vijaylakshmi-pandit-1338138

https://nehrufamily.wordpress.com/

YouTube Video Link Nehru-Edwina Relations– http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRN1YY6ECpw

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwina_Mountbatten,_Countess_Mountbatten_of_Burma

 

 

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4 thoughts on “Midnight Visitor- Myth or reality? – Pure love or disgrace?

  1. Childrens day should be celebrated on Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam birthday. He brings Indian technology to the great hieghts and want to make every student and children of India to be a great inovetor.

    Liked by 1 person

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