Gangadhar Nehru

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Gangadhar Nehru
Kotwal of Delhi
Monarch Bahadur Shah II
Personal details
Born 1827
Died February 1861
Spouse(s) Jeorani
Children Bansidhar
Parents Lakshmi Narayan Nehru

Gangadhar Nehru (1827 – February 1861) was an Indian police officer, who served as the last kotwal of Delhi (Chief of police) in the court of the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II, before the position was abolished following the Indian Rebellion of 1857. He was the father of freedom fighter Motilal Nehru and grandfather of India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and thus part of the Nehru–Gandhi family.[1]


During the early part of the 19th Century, Gangadhar's father, Lakshmi Narayan Nehru, worked as a scribe in Delhi for the East India Company.[2] Gangadhar was appointed the Kotwal (a rank similar to Chief of police) of Delhi in the court of Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah II.[3] He was the last person to hold that post, as the institution was soon abolished as a result of the Indian Rebellion of 1857.[4] Later when the British troops began shelling their way into the city, he fled to Agra along with his wife Jeorani and their four children (two teenage sons, Bansidhar and Nandlal, and two daughters, Patrani and Maharani). The daughters' marriages into suitable Kashmiri Brahmin families were arranged soon after their arrival in Agra. Gangadhar died in February 1861 and his youngest child, Motilal, was born posthumously, three months later.[5][6]

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, Nandlal, 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.[5]


  1. ^ Phadnis, Shekhar (23 April 2012). "The Founder of the Nehru Dynasty". Navhind Times. Archived from the original on 25 November 2013. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Pranay Gupte (February 2012). Mother India: A Political Biography of Indira Gandhi. Penguin Books India. pp. 138–139. ISBN 978-0-14-306826-6. 
  3. ^ Sahgal, Manmohini Zutshi (1994). An Indian Freedom Fighter Recalls Her Life. M.E. Sharpe. pp. 3–4. ISBN 9781563243394. 
  4. ^ "History of Delhi Police". Delhi Police. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Pandit Motilal Nehru (1861-1931), President- Amritsar, 1919; Calcutta, 1928". Congress Sandesh. Indian National Congress. Archived from the original on 17 November 2009. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  6. ^ Rau, M. Chalapathi (1967). Nehru for Children. Children's Book Trust. p. 7. ISBN 978-81-7011-035-4. Retrieved 17 September 2013.