Gangadhar Nehru

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Gangadhar Nehru(Ghiyasuddin Ghazi)
Kotwal of Delhi Police
In office
Personal details
Nationality India
Religion Hindu

Gangadhar Nehru originally Ghiyasuddin Ghazi (1827–1861) was an Indian police officer, who remained the last kotwal of Delhi (Chief police officer), prior to the Indian Rebellion of 1857. He was the father of freedom fighter Motilal Nehru and grandfather of Jawaharlal Nehru who was the first Prime Minister of India, thus part of the Nehru–Gandhi family.[1]


The Nehru family starts with the Mughal man named Ghiyasuddin Ghazi. He was the City Kotwal i.e. police officer of Delhi prior to the uprising of 1857, under the Mughal rule. After capturing Delhi in 1857, in the year of the mutiny, the British were slaughtering all Mughals everywhere. The British made a thorough search and killed every Mughal so that there were no future claimant to the throne of Delhi. So, the man Ghiyasuddin Ghazi (the word means kafir-killer) adopted a Hindu name Gangadhar Nehru and thus saved his life by the subterfuge. Ghiyasuddin Ghazi apparently used to reside on the bank of a canal (or Nehr) near the Red Fort. Thus, he adopted the name ‘Nehru’ as the family name.He was the last Kotwal of Delhi (a rank similar to Chief of police), appointed just before the Indian Rebellion of 1857.[2] Later when the British troops began shelling their way into the city, he fled to Agra along with his wife Jeorani and four children, where he died four years later, ca 1861.[3]

Gangadhar's eldest son, Bansi Dhar Nehru worked in the judicial department of the British Government and, being appointed successively to various places, was partly cut off from the rest of the family. The second son, Nand Lal Nehru, entered the service of an Indian State and was Diwan of Khetri State in Rajputana for ten years. Later he studied law and settled down as a practicing lawyer in Agra.[3]