Nehru–Gandhi family

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Nehru–Gandhi family
Political family
Current regionDelhi, India
EtymologyNehru: from Hindi nehr, canal[1]
Gandhi: originally Ghandy, "perfume seller," from gandh, "scent"[2]
Place of originKashmir, India
MembersRaj Kaul
Vishwanath Kaul Nehru
Mansaram Nehru
Laxminarayan Nehru
Gangadhar Nehru
Nandlal Nehru
Motilal Nehru
Swarup Rani Nehru
Brijlal Nehru
Rameshwari Nehru
Jawaharlal Nehru
Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
Uma Nehru
Krishna Hutheesing
Indira Gandhi
Braj Kumar Nehru
Nayantara Sahgal
Feroze Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi
Sanjay Gandhi
Arun Nehru
Sonia Gandhi
Maneka Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi
Priyanka Vadra
Varun Gandhi
Robert Vadra

The Nehru–Gandhi family is an Indian political family that has occupied a prominent place in the politics of India. The involvement of the family has traditionally revolved around the Indian National Congress, as various members have traditionally led the party. Three members of the family—Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi—have served as the prime minister of India, while several others have been members of parliament (MP).

The Guardian wrote in 2007, "The Nehru brand has no peer in the world—a member of the family has been in charge of India for 40 of the 60 years since independence. The allure of India's first family blends the right to rule of British monarchy with the tragic glamour of America's Kennedy clan."[3]

The Gandhi surname came from Feroze Gandhi, a politician of Gujarati Parsi ancestry, who after joining the independence movement, changed the spelling of his surname from Ghandy to Gandhi, to match that of Mahatma Gandhi despite not being related familially.[4][5] Indira Priyadarshini Nehru, daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, married Feroze Gandhi in 1942 and adopted his surname.[6]

Family trees[edit]

Earliest record[edit]

Anand Bhavan, ancestral home of the Nehru-Gandhi Family in Allahabad, now a museum.
  • Raj Kaul (late 1600s to early 1700s) a Kashmiri Pandit. He is the earliest recorded ancestor of the Nehru family. He is believed to have moved from Kashmir to Delhi in 1716 AD. A Jagir with a house situated on the banks of a canal was granted to Raj Kaul, and, from the fact of this residence, 'Nehru' (from Nahar, a canal) came to be attached to his name. Kaul was the original family name; this changed to Kaul-Nehru; and, in later years, Kaul was dropped out and the family name became only "Nehru".[7]
  • During the early part of the 19th century, Gangadhar Nehru's father, Lakshmi Narayan Nehru, worked as a clerk in Delhi for the East India Company.[8][9] Lakshmi Narayan Nehru was the son of Mansa Ram Nehru who was the son Vishwanath Kaul Nehru who in turn was the son of Raj Kaul.[10][11]

First generation[edit]

Second generation[edit]

  • Bansi Dhar Nehru, Gangadhar's eldest son. He worked in the judicial department of the British Government and, after being appointed successively to various places, was partly cut off from the rest of the family.
  • Nandlal Nehru (1845–1887), older brother of Motilal Nehru. He was the Diwan (prime minister) of the princely state of Khetri in Rajputana.
  • Motilal Nehru (1861–1931), patriarch of Nehru–Gandhi family. He was a lawyer and a prominent leader of the Indian independence movement. He also served as the president of Congress twice, 1919–1920 and 1928–1929.
  • Swarup Rani Nehru (1868–1938), wife of Motilal Nehru. She played a prominent role in India's freedom movement in the 1920s–30s as an advocate of civil disobedience against the British Raj and its salt laws.

Third generation[edit]

Nehru family, standing (L to R) Jawaharlal Nehru, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, Krishna Hutheesing, Indira Gandhi and Ranjit Sitaram Pandit; Seated: Swaroop, Motilal Nehru and Kamala Nehru (circa 1927)

Fourth generation[edit]

  • Indira Gandhi (1917–1984), only daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru. She became the first woman prime minister of India.
  • Feroze Gandhi (1912–1960), husband of Indira. He was a politician and journalist.
  • Braj Kumar Nehru (1909–2001), son of Brijlal Nehru. He served as the Indian diplomat and ambassador to the United States and as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. He later served as Governor of several Indian states and was an adviser to his cousin Indira Gandhi.
  • Magdolna Nehru (1908–2017), nicknamed Fori, wife of Braj Kumar Nehru.
  • Balwant Kumar Nehru (1916–1996), son of Brijlal Nehru and brother of Braj Kumar Nehru. Engineer and corporate manager who rose to become the deputy chairman of ITC and the president of the All-India Management Association.
  • Sarup Nehru, wife of Balwant Kumar Nehru.
  • Harsha Hutheesing (1935–1991) and Ajit Hutheesing (1936–2017), sons of Krishna Nehru Hutheesing and Raja Hutheesing
  • Chandralekha Mehta, the eldest of the three daughters born to Jawaharlal Nehru's sister, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
  • Nayantara Sahgal (born 10 May 1927), the second of the three daughters born to Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
  • Rita Dar, the youngest of the three daughters born to Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
  • Ratan Kumar Nehru (1902–1981), civil servant and diplomat, son of Mohanlal Nehru, grandson of Nandlal Nehru.
  • Shyam Kumari Khan (1904–1980), daughter of Uma Nehru she was an Indian lawyer, freedom fighter, politician and social worker. She was a member of the Rajya Sabha from 1963 to 1968. She married Abdul Jamil Khan.

Fifth generation[edit]

Indira Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi (circa 1949).
  • Arun Nehru (1944–2013), great-grandson of Nandlal Nehru. He was a politician and union minister during the 1980s.
  • Rajiv Gandhi (1944–1991), eldest son of Indira and Feroze Gandhi. He became the 6th prime minister of India after Indira's death.
  • Sanjay Gandhi (1946–1980), second son of Indira. He was also one of the most trusted lieutenants of his mother during the 1970s and was widely expected to succeed his mother as prime minister of India, but met with an untimely death in a plane crash.
  • Sonia Gandhi (née Maino 1946), widow of Rajiv Gandhi. She was born in Italy and took Indian citizenship, 11 years after marrying Rajiv Gandhi. She was the president of the Indian National Congress from 1998 to 2017, from 2019 to 2022 and has served as the Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance since 2004.
  • Maneka Gandhi (née Anand 1956), widow of Sanjay Gandhi. She is a noted environmentalist and animal welfare activist. She is a prominent member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. She has served as a cabinet minister in four government. She also served as the Indian Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development in the BJP led Government of 2014–2019.
  • Subhadra Nehru, wife of Arun Nehru.
  • Sunil Nehru (born 1946), eldest son of Balwant Kumar Nehru. Engineer and corporate strategist, senior company executive at Max India, adventurer, scuba diver, and ardent trekker.
  • Neena Nehru (born 1946 née Neena Heble), wife of Sunil Nehru. Artist, poet, architect.
  • Nikhil Nehru (born 1948), second son of Balwant Kumar Nehru. He had a stellar career in advertising, rising to become the president of McCann-Erickson and Chairman of Results International Group, India.
  • Samhita Nehru, wife of Nikhil Nehru.
  • Vikram Nehru (born 1952), third son of Balwant Kumar Nehru. Entered the field of international development with a career at the World Bank. Became the World Bank's Chief Economist and Director for Poverty Reduction, Economic Management, Private and Financial Sector Development for East Asia and the Pacific. Subsequently, became the chair in Southeast Asian Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C., and then Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

Sixth generation[edit]

  • Rahul Gandhi (born 1970), son of Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. He was the president of the Congress party from 2017 and 2019,[12] and was a member of Parliament from Amethi, UP from 2004 to 2019. He was the Chairman of the Congress coordination panel for 2014 Lok Sabha polls and the current MP from Wayanad, Kerala in the Lok Sabha.
  • Priyanka Gandhi (born 1972), daughter of Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. She is the General Secretary of the Indian National Congress. Priyanka is married to Robert Vadra, a businessman.
  • Varun Gandhi (born 1980), son of Sanjay Gandhi and Maneka Gandhi. He is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party, National Executive and the youngest National Secretary in the history of the party. He is a member of 2014 Lok Sabha, the lower house of Parliament of India, representing the Sultanpur constituency.[13]
  • Yamini Gandhi, wife of Varun Gandhi.
  • Avantika Nehru, elder daughter of Arun Nehru.
  • Radhika Vickram Tikkoo, younger daughter of Arun Nehru.

Seventh generation[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Story of the Nehru Surname". Housenama. 30 April 2016.
  2. ^ Mindfulness in the Modern World: How Do I Make Meditation Part of Everyday Life?. St. Martin's Publishing Group. 8 April 2014. ISBN 9781466847323 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ "The making of the Gandhi dynasty". The Guardian. 9 May 2007. Retrieved 1 August 2012.
  4. ^ Guha, Ramachandra (2011). India after Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy. Pan Macmillan. p. 33, footnote 2 (chapter 14). ISBN 978-0330540209.: "Feroze Gandhi was also from the Nehrus' home town, Allahabad. A Parsi by faith, he at first spelt his surname 'Ghandy'. However, after he joined the national movement as a young man, he changed the spelling to bring it in line with that of Mahatma Gandhi."
  5. ^ Vishnu, Uma (2010). Idea Exchange: Opinion Makers, Critical Issues, Interesting Times. Penguin Books India. p. 87. ISBN 978-0670084890.
  6. ^ Lyon, Peter (2008) Conflict Between India and Pakistan: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. p. 64. ISBN 978-1576077122. "Feroze Gandhi was not in relation between Mahatma Gandhi."
  7. ^ Shashi Tharoor (16 October 2007). Nehru: The Invention of India. Penguin Books Limited. ISBN 9789351180180.
  8. ^ Pranay Gupte (February 2012). Mother India: A Political Biography of Indira Gandhi. Penguin Books India. pp. 138–139. ISBN 978-0-14-306826-6.
  9. ^ "The Nehru-Gandhi family tree". MSN.
  10. ^ "The Nehru-Gandhi family tree". MSN.
  11. ^ "More family tree". 8 July 2015.
  12. ^ Ghandy, Rahul (20 January 2013). "Rahul Gandhi gets bigger role in Congress, appointed party vice-president". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 January 2013.[dead link]
  13. ^ "5 facts about Varun Gandhi, BJP's youngest general secretary". 31 March 2013.
  14. ^ Desk, India TV News (9 April 2013). "Rare pictures of Priyanka and Robert Vadra kids".

External links[edit]