July 2007 News

Mountbatten used wife to influence Nehru on referring Kashmir to UN

17 July 2007
The Daily Times

Lahore: The youngest daughter of Louis and Edwina Mountbatten says her mother and Indias first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru were very much in love, but it was a platonic affair and no sex was involved. Lady Pamela Hicks said in a television interview that Lord Mountbatten, British Indias last viceroy, did use her mother to influence Nehru into going to the UN on the Kashmir row with Pakistan. But Hicks insisted in her interview to Karan Thapar in CNN- IBNs Devils Advocate programme to be telecast on Sunday night that Nehru and Edwina never got physical. If you long to believe that (they had sex), then dont let me prevent you. But I dont believe it, she said. I believe just that they loved being together ... they might like to hold hands or to hug or something like that. (But) I dont believe, I really dont believe, because of the fact that my father was so often around and that there was not a hint of that. Hicks gave the interview to mark the publication of her book India Remembered about the 15 months she spent in the country from March 1947 to June 1948. Pressed that it would have been natural for a widower that Nehru was to be attracted sexually to a beautiful woman that Edwina was, Hicks said: It could be and maybe everybody will think Im being very naive but the fact she had had lovers in the past, somehow this was so different. It really was. My mother was so happy with Jawaharlal ... my father knew that it helped her because a woman can, after a long marriage, and they had had their silver wedding so theyd been over 25 years together, a woman can feel perhaps frustrated, and perhaps neglected ... and so if a new affection comes into her life, a new admiration, she blossoms and shes happy ... It made my mother, who could be quite difficult at times, as many very extraordinary women can be ... lovely to be with her. There were no prickles. She said that both she and her father, Lord Mountbatten, handled the Nehru-Edwina affair with tact. Asked how easy that was, she responded: We just had to go out of the room. Hicks admitted that Lord Mountbatten did use his mother to influence Nehrus thinking. But he certainly wasnt going to throw her, he didnt say to her go become the prime ministers lover because I need you to intercede. It was a by-product of this deep affection. I think it could have been my father, just in dry conversation might have been able to get his viewpoint over. But with my mother translating it for Panditji and making, you know, appealing to his heart more than his mind, that he should really behave like this, I think probably that did happen, she said.


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