Saturday, March 28, 2009

Feroze Gandhi : The Forgotten Gandhi of India


More than fifty years ago, a young elegant 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.

He started: “A mutiny in my mind has compelled me to raise this debate. When things of such magnitude, as I shall describe to you later, occur, silence became a crime…..”

It went on, when with several counter arguments with the then Finance Minister T.T. Krishnamachari, while the Lok Sabha heard it with pin drop silence. Indian democracy was first experiencing this shocking situation. “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,” continues Feroze
The scam was on the Life Insurance Corporation’s shabby deal with a businessman Haridas Mundhra. Feroze exposed with all documents, how Mundhra manipulated the LIC to purchase shares in his little known companies. This first scam in India is now known as ‘Mundhra deal, which resulted the resignation of the Finance Minister, termination of the Finance Secretary and imprisonment of Mundhra.

‘Feroze Gandhi – The Political Biography’, the recently released book by veteran parliamentarian Shashi Bhushan is a real tribute to the ‘forgotten’ Gandhi of Indian politics. The book enumerates the struggles lead by Feroze Gandhi and his bombarding speeches in Lok Sabha against the corruption.

The speeches of Feroze on the corruption against the Dalmia – Jain gives the outline of how the corporate men grow over public money. It is unthinkable for a politician to bring the corruption charges against media barons. Feroze exposed Dalmia- Jain’s take over of Bennett and Colman by siphoning the funds of Gwalior Bank and Bharat Insurance. They were the directors of these banking and insurance companies and transferred the money for their own company, which lead to the immediate collapse of the public institutions.

No corporate men saved from Feroze’s hard hitting against corruption. Birlas, Goenka (“not the one running a newspaper, this is another Goenka running banks,” Feroze once clarified”) were exposed by Feroze for using public money by running banks and insurance companies and transferring it to their own business.

When some alleged that Feroze was doing these all for Tata’s, as both were Parsis, next came against Tata. Feroze found Telco was making money from railways by supplying locomotive engines at an exorbitant rate. With evidence Feroze exposed Telco for charging more than double for an engine to railways, which lead to exit for Tata and formation of locomotive workshops in public sector.

While immersed in the political crusades and fight against the post-independence monopoly of corporates, he continued his association with journalism as a Managing Director of National Herald and also associated with the Indian Express editorial team.

As a true socialist, Feroze was the mentor of most of the public sector undertakings in India, including the nationalization of LIC, Indian Oil. Born in a rich family, he went to jail at the age of 18. he can’t be a mute spectator, when freedom struggles were going outside the fortress of his bungalow. The young revolutionary was ‘nuisance’ to his aunt, who was the head of the medical services in Allahabad. She has to file apologies to British government, as and when the nephew was caught.

Fed up with the son’s activities, mother met Gandhiji and requested to advice feroze to concentrate on studies. Hearing the complaints, Gandhiji said : “Your son is a revolutionary. If I get seven persons like him, India would be free in seven days”.

The author Shashi Bhushan made a good effort to bring out the political biography of a person who was son-in-law, husband, and father of three prime minister’s of India. The 230-page book dedicated to Rajiv Gandhi is mainly focusing on the political life of the "real young turk" of India. It had only few pages on the controversial personal and married life of Feroze Gandhi and it completely in a gazette nature.

Describing the jovial mood of the marriage ceremony, author end the chapter abruptly :
“Indiraji too was full of responsibility in the political field. She also had to take care of her father. Both of them were actively involved with their political responsibilities”. Author gives only few lines on the revolutionary love affair of Feroze and Indira and literally silent how Nehru approved it. With single line,‘ they travelled in a ship from London to India back in 1940’, writer leaves everything back to the reader.

But a mention by Jawaharlal Nehru is enough for the reader to assess the personal life of Feroze, who passed away in 1960 at the age of 48. Seeing the huge crowd, assembled for cremation, Nehru said : “I did not know that Feroze was so popular”

Technical Details :
Title : Feroze Gandhi – a Political Biography
Author : Shashi Bhushan
Publisher : Frank Bros & Co.
Page : 230
Price : Rs.450


[This article was written by the writer on Sept 21, 2008 in The Pioneer daily]

14 comments:

  1. who is the father of feroz gandhi?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Google and you will find a biography of Feroze Gandhi.

      i am aware that some Nehru baiters, haters and political scroundels keep spreading canards that Feroze Gandhi was a Muslim.

      An unfounded, fabricated, falsehood -- nothing could be further from the truth.

      Feroze Gandhi was a Parsi Zoroastrian born to Faredoon Gandhi and Ratimai (nee Commisariat).

      They lived in Khetwadi area of Bombay at Navroji Natakvala Bhavan. Feroze was born at Tehmulji Nariman Hospital.

      When his father died in early 1920s he and his mother went to Allahabad to live with his mother's sister Shirin Commisariat who worked as a surgeon at Lady Dufferin Hospital.

      He met Indira Gandhi in Allahabad. She often attended the Navroz celebrations of the Parsi Zoroastrian community with Feroze and his relatives.

      Delete
  2. dear gopi,

    lovely article...remembering a great man, away from the nasty political history...
    i like to give you another scoop, to shock the cricket world... will you give me ur mail id?

    premji..
    jithpremji@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well a nice article. Feroze was not a partisan minded and fear less crusader against exploitation and corruption. We in Hyderabad have a park and a residential settlement called Feroze Gandhi Nagar in Mallepalli Hyderbad. He was not a selfish politician. Long live his genre of politics.
    Dr. Vasudeva Reddy
    Hyderabad
    Telangana

    ReplyDelete
  4. what I understand from I.O.Mathai's book was the Feroze Khan was changed to Feroze gandhi by MK Gandhi. pl. clarify.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Is Froze was Ghandi(Parsi)or Khan (Nawab)clarify

    ReplyDelete
  6. sir,

    It is a wonderful article.

    Still the common man in India do not know anything about this great man. They only know that he is Indira Gandhi's husband. We need to educate the common man who he was and all. The Congress Party is not at all interested in saying a word about him.

    I cant understand the fact how this great man's children got involved in scams.

    Firoz can be rightly called as- 'A great Soldier of Justice '.

    yours truly,
    Nebil Nizar,
    Government Law College- Thiruvananthapuram,
    India

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Gopi,

    Thanks for all information related to Mr. Feroze Gandhi. I was not aware about A..B..C.. of this gentle man. I am really appreciate the initiative and great man with +iv attitude.

    We can say in full confident that, the history of this gentle man has been demolished by his own people only because of their own interest.

    Thanks,

    Shourabh Tiwari

    ReplyDelete
  8. lovely article...remembering a great man, away from the nasty political history...
    i like to give you another scoop, to shock the cricket world... will you give me

    http://goo.gl/5h9PpY
    http://goo.gl/2csMwk

    ReplyDelete
  9. lovely article...remembering a great man, away from the nasty political history...
    i like to give you another scoop, to shock the cricket world... will you give me

    http://goo.gl/5h9PpY
    http://goo.gl/2csMwk

    ReplyDelete
  10. Well a nice article. Feroze was not a partisan minded and fear less crusader against exploitation and corruption. We in Hyderabad have a park and a residential settlement called Feroze Gandhi Nagar in Mallepalli Hyderbad. He was not a selfish politician. Long live his genre of politics.Well a nice article. Feroze was not a partisan minded and fear less crusader against exploitation and corruption. We in Hyderabad have a park and a residential settlement called Feroze Gandhi Nagar in Mallepalli Hyderbad. He was not a selfish politician. Long live his genre of politics.


    see more

    http://goo.gl/o9XcoJ
    http://goo.gl/0GUCMN
    http://goo.gl/7V4g2V

    ReplyDelete
  11. see corruption place in india and how we can remove there's corruption..
    http://bjpsanjaysingh.blogspot.in/2015/04/normal-0-false-false-false-en-us-x-none.html

    ReplyDelete
  12. After all he was a PARSEE ZORASTRIAN !.

    ReplyDelete