English, Fake News

Nehru did not say that he is a Muslim by culture and a Hindu only by accident of birth


An image of a daily newspaper with a quote (‘By education I am an Englishman, by views an internationalist, by culture a Muslim and a Hindu only by accident of birth’) attributed to Jawaharlal Nehru is being shared on social media. Let’s check the claim made in the post.

The archived version of the post can be found here

Claim: Jawaharlal Nehru said that he was an Englishman by education, an Internationalist by views, a Muslim by culture, and a Hindu only by accident of birth.

Fact: The statement was not made by Nehru. N. B. Khare, a Hindu Mahasabha leader, first made these comments claiming that Nehru made these comments in his autobiography. But no such statement was found in Nehru’s autobiography. The ‘Deccan Chronicle’ has also issued a correction that they have wrongly attributed the quote to Nehru. They also mentioned that it was an allegation made by Khare. So, the claim made in the post is FALSE.

When searched with the keywords, it was found that Gaurav Pandhi, a Congress leader, had tweeted regarding the same photo of the ‘Deccan Chronicle’ newspaper on 24 November 2018. In his tweet, he asked the ‘Deccan Chronicle’ to issue an apology for wrongly attributing the quote to Nehru. On 25 November 2018, he tweeted the photos of a ‘Correction’ published by ‘Deccan Chronicle’ with respect to the quote. In the correction, ‘Deccan Chronicle’ mentioned – ‘The quote was erroneously attributed to Jawaharlal Nehru on the ‘360’ page published on Nov 19. It was an allegation made by Hindu Mahasabha leader N.B. Khare in 1959. We deeply regret the error’

FACTLY has found that these words first made their appearance in an article titled – ‘The Angry Aristocrat’ (which is a part of a compilation called – ‘A Study of Nehru’), written by a Hindu Mahasabha leader N. B. Khare in 1959. In the article, he claimed that Nehru made these comments explaining himself in his autobiography. But, when searched for the quote and other relevant keywords in ‘An Autobiography’ by Nehru, nothing relevant to the mentioned quote was found. So, there is no evidence to show that it is Nehru’s quote.

Also, Shashi Tharoor, a Congress leader, in his book ‘Nehru: The Invention of India’, mentioned the quote and said that the false allegations were made by N. B. Khare on Nehru to insult him, but in fact, it was a tribute.

To sum it up, the quote (‘I am Englishman by education, Muslim by culture and Hindu merely by accident of birth’), which is being falsely attributed to Nehru,  is actually an allegation made by N. B. Khare on Nehru in his article ‘The Angry Aristocrat’ in 1959.

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