Nehru’s style

Today is Nehru’s 52nd death anniversary.


The ashes of Nehru were strewn in the sacred Ganges river as per his will – “A handful of ashes to be thrown in the Ganges, not because of religious sentiment, but because he “had been attached” to the river since childhood. The ashes of his wife, Kamala, who died 28 years before him was also immersed in Allahabad. He had kept a small casket of ashes in his bedroom since her death. Indian Air Force planes had scattered his remaining ashes “over the fields where the peasants of India toil”

Have a glimpse of his will at

As the ashes drifted in to the water, a single cannon was fired from Akbar’s fort and a military band on a floating barge played “Abide with me” a favorite christian hymn of Nehru’s. Twelve minutes before nine, Nehru’s teenage grandsons Rajiv and Sanjay emptied the ashes in to muddy waters. Indira Gandhi, and Nehru’s two sisters Vijayalakshmi Pandit and Krishna Hutheesing – all clad in white saris of mourning, emptied basket of rose petals and marigolds in to the water!

The pink khadi sari woven by Nehru when he was in jail is a family heirloom was worn by Indira on her wedding day, then by Sonia in 1968, and then by Priyanka in 1996!


Discarding the boater and harlequin jacket, Jawaharlal Nehru took to the swadeshi uniform of the Congress with all the passion of a new convert. From 1921 to 1947,  he wore the Khadi Dhoti-kurta. After 1947, the dhoti never re-entered his wardrobe, and was replaced by long achkan/sherwani and a tight churidhar. The distinguishing look was the “mandarin collar” and a signature style red rose in the buttonhole of his sherwani.


In the early 1970’s, the Beatles made it popular, and Sean Connery wore it in Dr No, and the villain Kamal Khan in Octopussy donned a similar jacket. Look at the Sears ad!




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