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The Love Saga Of Gandhi Family

By Staff

The most celebrated love stories in India through decades is that of the Gandhi family. The most unexpected twists have made people awe in disbelief and displeasure. Let's take a closer look on their love lives.

Indira Gandhi and Feroze Khan

Feroze Khan was the son of the family grocer, who supplied things like wine to Anand Bhavan. But Indira Gandhi and Feroze Khan met each other only during the years in continental Europe and the UK. Indira Gandhi grew up with the sole care of her mother, who was sick and alienated from the Nehru household. As her grandfather and father were involved in politics and freedom struggle most of the

time, Indira developed a strong protective instincts and a loner personality. Feroze Khan, the grocer's son was then in England and he was quite sympathetic to Indira. When he returned, he grew close to the Nehru family, especially to Indira's mother Kamala Nehru and Indira herself. Feroze helped nurse the ailing Kamala too.

Indira liked Feroze's openness, sense of humour and self-confidence. Nehru did not like the idea of his daughter marrying Feroze and sought Mahatma Gandhi's help to dissuade their love relationship. The lady in love was adamant. The inter religion marriage was like a hot cake to the newspapers those days. The orthodox Brahmins considered it an insult to let Indira marry a Muslim (Feroze Khan's father, Nawab Khan, was a Muslim, and mother was a Persian Muslim). If paparazzi were to be believed then, it is said that Feroze Khan married Indira in a Masjid in London. Well-known English newspapers publicized this event. When the couple returned to India, a Vedic style marriage was also arranged. Feroze Kha's named was changed to Feroz Gandhi by an affidavit in England later. It had nothing to do with change of religion, from Islam to Hinduism. It was just a case of a change of name by an affidavit.

Well! the love story, with some odds did bloom to its finest features for few years, until the birth of their two sons, Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi. Later the couple lead a separated life due to some conflict, until 1958. Shortly after re-election, Feroze suffered a heart attack, which dramatically healed their broken marriage. But the love did not last for many years as Feroze died in September 1960. This is just one version of their love story.

Sanjay Gandhi And Maneka Gandhi Maneka and Sanjay first met each other in 1973 at a cocktail party given by her uncle Major-General Kapur to celebrate their son Veenu Kapur's forthcoming marriage. As Sanjay was Veenu's school friend, he was present to meet his destined love. Those days he was engaged in trying to make a career in an automobile industry. Maneka was then 17 years old, a fine featured beautiful lady who had even won a college beauty contest and modelled for a firm of towel manufacturers.

It was love at first sight. They spent that evening talking to each other. The two agreed to meet the next day. The first meeting made them glue together often again. Since Sanjay was shy of being in the public, they usually met either in her house or in the Prime Minister's house. In 1974, when Sanjay had to undergo a hernia operation. After attending college in the morning, Maneka spent her afternoons and evenings with her fiance in the private ward of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. A few weeks after their discharge the families decide to tie the nuptial knot.

The wedding was typical Indian style, Indira welcomed her daughter in law, with great wide arms with all the costliest gifts. However the mother-in -law and and the daughter-in-law relationship grew sour after few years. Maneka Gandhi was forced to live a life away from the family, with her son Although their marriage life was great canvass of love, it did not last long as Sanjay died in a air crash in June,1980.

Read the Rajiv Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi's love story in the forthcoming article.

Story first published: Thursday, January 24, 2008, 17:52 [IST]
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