If there was ever a
Gandhi from the Nehru-Gandhi clan who could stand against what’s wrong and who
expressed views uninfluenced by the greed for power and who upheld what was
right and just even though it was against his own kith and kin.  This Gandhi we are talking here is not the
Gandhi who wanted power and who was capable of doing everything possible to
retain it, this is also not the Gandhi who won the highest ever majority in the
parliament and could still not bring the revolution from paper to reality and
it is not even the Gandhi who in the disguise of sacrifice runs a pseudo
government. This Gandhi in discussion is Feroze Gandhi, a man worth
    On December 16, 1957, to be exact — there
took place in the Lok Sabha one of those memorable debates that have, alas,
become a thing of the past. A young man stood up in the Lok Sabha and started
speaking, better to say roaring. He was exposing out the first scam in the
parliamentary democracy of India, though he belong to the Treasury bench. His
father-in-law, the then Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru was hearing
the thundering words. Nothing prevented Feroze Gandhi from exposing
corruptions. The scam in question here is touted as the first ever financial
and corruption scandal of Independent India which is known as ‘Mundhra
Scandal’.  In June 1957 the public-sector
Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) had bought 1.24 crore, or 12.4 million rupees,
worth of fraudulent stock in six companies owned by Haridas Mundhra, a
Calcutta-based businessman. The investment was the largest that LIC had made in
its short history, but contrary to regulations, its investment committee had
not been consulted on the decision. Ostensibly, the shares were purchased by
LIC to stabilize the market; in reality, they had the effect of bailing out a
suspect businessman, and the puzzling order to do so seemed to have come from
within the highest reaches of government. The crusade to demand an explanation
for LIC’s decision was led, in an odd soap-operatic twist, by Feroze Gandhi,
son-in-law to Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. In his speeches in the Lok
Sabha, Mr. Gandhi charged that the principal finance secretary, H.M. Patel, and
the finance minister, Mr. Krishnamachari, had pushed LIC’s investment through.
   Feroze Gandhi was quoted saying in the house,
“Mr. Speaker, there is going to be
some sharp shooting and hard hitting in the House today, because when I hit I
hit hard and expect to be hit harder. I am fully conscious that the other side
is also equipped with plentiful supplies of TNT.”
 The hit was so hard that it resulted in the
resignation of finance minister, termination of finance secretary and
imprisonment of Mundhra.  This glimpse of
Feroze Gandhi’s life shows an exemplary example of being a Parliamentarian in
true spirit and fight against injustice and corruption inspite of the fact that
it is against one’s own party or family.
   It is indeed a sad situation that this man
today stands as a forgotten Gandhi inspite of the fact that he was one Gandhi
who could not reconcile with injustice and corruption which in the present day
are associated with the family and party that he once belonged to. He never took
the pride in being the son-in-law of prime minister unlike the Gandhi’s today
who are said to have excellent credentials only based on their legacies.  According to Chalapathi Rao, a well known journalist
and friend of Feroze “He was a bundle of impulses but bound together by
idealism”. So let’s remember this Gandhi who is worth remembering for the
kind of standards that he has set in being a parliamentarian and not taking
pride in legacies.


About The Author:-

    Manoj Reddy 
   3rd Year, BBA-LLB (Hons.)
   FOL, IFHE Hyderabad

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