The Nehru–Gandhi family is an Indian political dynasty 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 the parliament.

The Guardian wrote in 2007 "The Nehru Gandhi 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 Jehangir Ghandy, who changed the spelling of his surname after joining the freedom struggle. He was not related to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Indira Priyadarshini Nehru (the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru) married Feroze Gandhi in 1942 and adopted his surname.[4]

Anand Bhavan, ancestral home of the Nehru-Gandhi Family in Allahabad, now a museum.

Family trees

Earliest record

  • Raj Kaul (late 1600s to early 1700s) a Kashmiri Pandit, he is the earliest recorded ancestor of the Nehru–Gandhi 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 thea family name became only "Nehru".[5]
  • 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.[6]

First generation

  • Gangadhar Nehru (1827–1861), a direct descendant of Raj Kaul, he was the last Kotwal of Delhi (equivalent to Chief of Police), 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.

Second generation

  • Bansi Dhar Nehru, Gangadhar's eldest son 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.
  • 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 served as the Congress President twice, 1919–1920 and 1928–1929.
  • Swarup Rani Nehru (1868–1938), wife of Motilal Nehru.

Third generation

Fourth generation

  • Indira Priyadarshini Nehru (later 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 and the namesake of the dynasty. 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

Fifth generation

  • Arun Nehru, (1944-2013), great grand son 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 7th Prime Minister of India after Indira's death.
  • Sanjay Gandhi (1946–1980), second son of Indira and Feroze Gandhi. 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 is the incumbent President of the Indian National Congress 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 governments. Currently she serves as the Indian Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development in the BJP led Government.
  • Subhadra Nehru, wife of Arun Nehru.
  • Sunil Nehru (b.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 (b.1946 née Neena Heble) -- wife of Sunil Nehru. Artist, poet, architect.
  • Nikhil Nehru (b.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 (b.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 DC and then Distinguished Practitioner-in-Residence at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

Sixth generation

  • Rahul Gandhi (1970), son of Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. He is the current president [2017] of the Congress party.[7] He was the Chairman of the Congress coordination panel for 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
  • Priyanka Vadra (née Gandhi, 1972), daughter of Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. Priyanka is married to Robert Vadra, a businessman.
  • Varun Gandhi (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.[8]
  • Yamini Gandhi, wife of Varun Gandhi.

Seventh generation


See also


  1. ^ Traditional muslim wedding for Priyanka Gandhi Archived 13 September 2013 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
  2. ^ Mrs Gandhi Hindu daughter in law says Retrieved 16 July 2013.
  3. ^ "The making of the Gandhi dynasty News guardian.co.uk". Guardian. 2007-05-09. Retrieved 2012-08-01. 
  4. ^ Lyon, Peter (2008) Conflict Between India and Pakistan: An Encyclopedia. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. p. 64. ISBN 978-1576077122. "Feroze Gandhi was no relation of Mahatma Gandhi."
  5. ^ Shashi Tharoor. "Nehru: The Invention of India". 
  6. ^ Pranay Gupte (February 2012). Mother India: A Political Biography of Indira Gandhi. Penguin Books India. pp. 138–139. ISBN 978-0-14-306826-6. 
  7. ^ Gandhi, Rahul (20 January 2013). "Rahul Gandhi gets bigger role in Congress, appointed party vice-president". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 January 2013. 
  8. ^ http://www.firstpost.com/politics/5-facts-about-varun-gandhi-bjp-youngest-general-secretary-680086.html
  9. ^ Priyanka kids

External links