Feroze Gandhi is often identified as the husband of the former Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, and the son-in-law of Jawahar Lal Nehru. However, he had an individuality of his own that people on large are not aware of.
Born on 12 September 1912, Feroze Gandhi was an Indian freedom fighter, politician, and journalist.
Ferone has been the prominent face of the Indian Independence Movement since 1930. He later changed his surname from Ghandy to Gandhi, influenced by the Mahatma, the original Gandhi. Indira and Feroze, who knew each other since their younger days, got married in 1942. However, their relationship was a complicated one, says Swedish author Bertil Falk who wrote the biography Feroze, The Forgotten Gandhi. He says that love for nature was the only thing that was in common between them.
Elected to Parliament on a Congress ticket in 1952 from Rae Bareli in the first general election of independent India, Feroze was a sane and sensible debater, whose passionate interventions against a government of his party were coveted by the opposition. Feroze played a key role in uncovering a scam in the newly nationalised LIC, earning a reputation as an anti-corruption crusader.
Feroze also handled the work of The National Herald, a newspaper founded by Pandit Nehru.
Right after independence, the crony capitalism raised its ugly head with business houses trying to influence government policies. In December 1955, Feroze pointed out gross irregularities by the Dalmia-Jain company and proved how the monopolists exploited the people. Feroze revealed how Ramkrishna Dalmia, in his capacity as chairman of a bank and insurance company, used his position for the acquisition of Bennett and Coleman.
While there are plenty of roads, hospitals, airports, and bridges named after Nehru, Indira and Rajiv Gandhi, the only institution bearing Feroze’s name worth mentioning is the Feroze Gandhi Memorial College in Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh. He started it as Rae Bareli Degree College a few months before his death on September 8, 1960.