English, Fake News
 

The ‘Freedom of the City of London’ title conferred on Nehru in 1956 is an honorary one

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A post is being shared on social media with a claim that Jawaharlal Nehru took the citizenship of London in 1956. Let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.

Claim: Jawaharlal Nehru took the citizenship of London in 1956.

Fact: Jawaharlal Nehru was conferred with the ‘Freeman of the City of London’/‘Freedom of the City of London’ award in 1956. It is an honorary title. He did not renounce Indian citizenship and take the citizenship of England. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.

When we searched with some keywords on the internet, the same video was found to be uploaded by ‘British Pathé’ with the title – “London Honours Two Great Premiers (1956)”. In the description of the video, the following can be read – “Two great Prime Ministers, Mr Nehru of India and Mr Holland of New Zealand, receive the freedom of the City of London at the Guildhall.” Similar videos of the same event can be seen here and here. The remarks made by Nehru after receiving the honour can be seen in the videos.

On 03 July 1956, several newspapers have reported about the honour conferred on Jawaharlal Nehru of India and Sir Sidney Holland of New Zealand. Some of those news reports can be seen here and here.

The details regarding the ‘Freedom of the City’ honour can be read here, here, here, and here. Some of the other recent recipients of the award are Lord Khalid Hameed and Sanjiv Chadha. It is an honorary title. In ‘The Times of India’ article, it can be read that– “It is believed that the first Freedom of the City of London was presented in 1237. The award was originally a working title which enabled recipients to carry out their trade. In contemporary society the award of Freedom of the City tends to be entirely ceremonial.” He did not renounce Indian citizenship and took the citizenship of England.

To sum it up, the ‘Freedom of the City of London’ title conferred on Nehru in 1956 is an honorary one.

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