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The Nehru-Gandhi parivar wedding album

Last updated on: March 17, 2011 12:02 IST

The Nehru-Gandhi parivar wedding album

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Varun, the only Gandhi to represent the Hindutva view of politics, recently took his wedding vows with graphic designer Yamini Roy Chowdhury in a temple on the banks of the Ganga in Varanasi.

Interestingly, the Gandhi parivar chose to stay away from the nuptial of Indira's youngest grandchild and Sanjay Gandhi's son.

Yamini, who is from Shantiniketan in West Bengal and has studied in Delhi's St Stephens College and in France, wore a pink sari, which had been gifted by Indira to her daughter-in-law Maneka, 40 years ago.

Family equations aside, let's take a look at the wedding album of India's First Family. Click on NEXT to see the album...


Image: Varun with Yamini

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The Nehru-Gandhi parivar wedding album

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Priyanka first met Robert, son of businessman Rajinder Vadra, six years before their wedding at a party organised by their Italian friends.

The relationship was accepted with open arms by both families. The Gandhi family decided to keep the marriage a strictly private affair. The guest list was limited only to l50 members, including close relatives and friends, apart from the President, Vice-President, prime minister, Congress president and some constitutional functionaries.

The civil marriage at 10, Janpath on February 18, 1997, followed semi-Vedic rites. Priyanka wore the same khadi wedding sari that her mother and grandmother had worn at their weddings.


Image: Robert Vadhra with Priyanka

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The Nehru-Gandhi parivar wedding album

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Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia first met in Cambridge, England. Their friendship had developed into a serious relationship. Rajiv had introduced Sonia to his mother Indira Gandhi when she went to London in 1965 for the Nehru Exhibition. Sonia and Rajiv had made up their mind to marry; Indira felt that Sonia should come to India for a few months to see things for herself before taking the final decision.

Sonia's father was not particularly keen on Sonia marrying Rajiv, not because he did not like Rajiv, but his daughter going to a distant land and culture must have worried him

Sonia thus waited to complete her 21st birthday in December 1967 and arrived in Delhi in early January 1968. She was put up with the Bachchans at their Willingdon Crescent house, though she spent the day at 1, Safdarjung Road.

After a week or two, Indira realised that both were very serious and there was not much point in waiting; their going around would only encourage gossip. Towards the end of January, their engagement took place and the wedding was fixed for February 25, 1968.


Image: Rajiv Gandhi with Sonia

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The Nehru-Gandhi parivar wedding album

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Sanjay Gandhi first noticed the photogenic 17-year-old Maneka while she was modelling for Bombay Dyeing.

According to Khushwant Singh, who in his autobigraphy From Truth Love & a Little Malice wrote about the Sanjay-Maneka affair, Sanjay was not a restaurant going man and was shy of being seen in public where he would be recognised; he preferred to see Maneka either in her home or bring her to his own.

The renowned journalist adds, "Early in 1974 he invited Maneka to a meal. Maneka was understandably nervous of meeting the prime minister (Sanjay's mother Indira Gandhi) and, when she did, she did not know what to say. It was Mrs Gandhi who broke the ice. 'Since Sanjay has not introduced us, you better tell me what your name is and what you do,' she said."

"Amteshwar Anand (Maneka's mother) claims that she did her best to discourage her daughter from entering into what she felt would be a misalliance, and she sent Maneka away to Bhopal to spend some days with her grandmother, Lady Datar Singh. In July 1974 Maneka returned from Bhopal. On the 29th of the same month a formal engagement ceremony took place in the prime minister's house at 1, Safdarjung Road, followed by a lunch where members of both families were present. Mrs Gandhi gave her daughter-in-law-to-be a gold and turquoise set and a Tanchoi saree."

Eventually, Sanjay and Maneka were married through a civil ceremony on September 23, 1974 at the house of Mohammad Yunus (a close associate of Indira).

"Indira was generous in the wedding presents she gave her new daughter-in-law: twenty-one expensive sarees, two sets of gold jewellery, a lehnga, and perhaps the most precious of all, a khadi sari made out of yarn spun by her father Jawaharlal Nehru when he was in jail."


Image: Sanjay Gandhi with Maneka

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The Nehru-Gandhi parivar wedding album

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Indira first met Feroze, a Parsi, during her stay in Europe.

After returning to India, Feroze grew close to the Nehru family, especially to Indira's mother Kamala Nehru and Indira herself.

Indira liked Feroze's openness, sense of humour and self-confidence. The couple eventually decided to take the nuptial vows.

Jawaharlal Nehru didn't like the idea of the marriage, but Indira was adamant and the marriage took place in March 1942 according to Hindu rituals.


Image: Firoze and Indira's wedding was as per Hindu rituals

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The Nehru-Gandhi parivar wedding album

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At the time of his wedding on February 8, 1916, Jawaharlal was 26.

Nehru, who had completed his studies in London and had travelled across other European countries, was greatly Westernised in style and mannerism, thinking and behaviour.

By his parents' arrangement, Nehru married Kamala Kaul, then 17.

Kamala came from a well-known business family of Kashmiris in Delhi


Image: Nehru with Kamala after their wedding

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