Even after so many years of independence, the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, is often targeted for his political affairs and personal life. A short clip from one of his interviews with American television host Arnold Michaelis shot in 1964 is doing rounds on social media. The 1-minute-long clip is shared claiming Jawaharlal Nehru decided on India's partition.
The clip is shared with the same narrative, captioned in the Hindi language, "विभाजन का निर्णय मैंने ही लिया था" -जवाहरलाल नेहरू
मई 1964 में दिए गए अपने अंतिम साक्षात्कार (Interview) में नेहरु ने स्वीकारा कि मुसलमानों व हिंदुओ में विभाजन का निर्णय उन्होंने ही लिया था।
[English translation: "I decided on partition" - Jawaharlal Nehru. In his last interview given in May 1964, Nehru admitted that he had decided on the partition between Muslims and Hindus.]
The last traces of the same clip on the internet dates back to 2019. A Twitter user shared the clip on December 19, 2019.
Jawaharlal Nehru admitted in an interview that he decided on India's partition.
The Logical Indian Fact Check team verified the claim and found it misleading. The viral clip is a small portion of a lengthy interview of Jawaharlal Nehru and is shared with a misleading context.
We found that the viral clip is a part of the 45-minutes-long interview of Jawaharlal Nehru, which is available on the YouTube channel of the Indian government's Prasar Bharti Archives. The video is titled "Jawaharlal Nehru's last TV Interview - May 1964".
According to the video's description, it was the last significant interview of JL Nehru before his death, taken by American television host Arnold Michaelis. The interview aired in New York on May 18, 1964.
The portion of the viral clip begins from the 14:34 mark in the full interview video.
At 14:34, Michaelis asks, "Well, now you and Mr Gandhi and Mr Jinnah, you were all involved at that point and before the point of independence and then partition in the fight for the independence of India from British domination".
At 14:51, Nehru replies, "Mr Jinnah was not involved in the fight for independence at all; in fact, he opposed it. The Muslim League was started about 1911, I think. It was started really by the British encouraged by them so as to recreate factions in our...and they did succeed to some extent. Well, ultimately, there came the partition."
At 15:23, Michaelis counters, "And had you and Mr Gandhi been in favour of that?"
At 15:27, Nehru responds, "Mr Gandhi was not in favour of it, right to the end. Even when it came, he was not in favour of it. I was not in favour of it either, but ultimately I decided like others did, many others, it is better to have partition than this constant trouble. And you see, the leaders of the Muslim league were big landlords the like who did not like land reform. We were very anxious to have land reform which we did have afterwards, and that was one reason we agreed to partition because we thought that if they remained with us apart from this trouble continuing, they would oppose our measures, many of our measures. And we said its better to have a part of India and go ahead with our program of reforms et cetera than to be tied up with those leaders who would coming in the ways of these reforms".
At 16:49, Michaelis says, "And yet you would have many many centuries of fraternal living with the Muslims here in India, hadn't you".
Based on Nehru's response, it is clear that he was not in favour of India's partition, but he had to take this decision to end the constant trouble and move ahead with their program of reforms.
Further, to better understand India's partition and Jawaharlal Nehru's role in the same, we contacted Professor Syed Nadeem Ali Rezavi, former chairman of the Department of History of the Aligarh Muslim University.
Professor Rezavi told us that "Congress and its allies tried to stop the partition till the end but were compelled by the circumstances created by the Imperial power, which led to the country's division". Rezavi said that the partition resulted from the British propaganda, which they have run since the beginning and is still carried on under the Narendra Modi-led Bhartiya Janata Party government. He told leaders such as Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and Mohammad Ali Jinnah were victims of British propaganda of 'Divide and Rule'. "Hindu Mahasabha and Muslim league were equally responsible for country's division, but Congress and its prominent leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Azad, Vallabhbhai Patel, etc. had to accept it," concluded Rezavi.
To sum up, a small portion of a 45-minutes-long interview of Jawaharlal Nehru is shared with a misleading context that he took the decision of India's partition. The short clip has existed on the internet since 2019 and gets revived time and again with the same narrative.
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