No, Jawaharlal Nehru Did Not Take Up Citizenship Of London; Viral Claim Is False!

We found that the video showed a ceremony of the Freedom of the City of London award being bestowed on Nehru. The honour is entirely ceremonial and does not affect an individual's nationality or citizenship. Along with Nehru, several Indians, such as Lord Khalid Hameed and Sanjiv Chadha, have been awarded the honour.

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Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last week, a viral video making claims about Jawaharlal Nehru's alleged London citizenship is being rapidly circulated across social media.

Claim:

In the video, with a duration of 52 seconds, Jawaharlal Nehru can be seen attending an event hosted by London's Common Council, the primary decision-making body of the city. In the video, we can hear a man saying to Nehru, "It is my privilege as Chamberlain of this city to offer you both the right hand of fellowship and greet you, Mr Nehru, as a citizen of London."

The video is viral with the following caption, "๐—›๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐˜† ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚ ๐—ธ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ก๐—ฒ๐—ต๐—ฟ๐˜‚ ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ ๐—–๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐˜‡๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ฝ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—Ÿ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐Ÿญ๐Ÿต๐Ÿฑ๐Ÿฒ & ๐˜๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ ๐—ผ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ต ๐˜๐—ผ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐—ฒ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ค๐˜‚๐—ฒ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—˜๐—ป๐—ด๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ?"

The video is viral with similar captions as well.

"In 1956, Nehru took citizenship of London & took an oath to be true to the Queen Elizabeth."

The video is viral across Facebook with the same claim.

Image Credit: Facebook

Fact Check:

The Logical Indian fact-check team verified the claim and found it to be false. We found that the video showed a ceremony of the Freedom of the City of London award being bestowed on Nehru. The honour is entirely ceremonial and does not affect an individual's nationality or citizenship.

We used InVid's Keyframe Analysis Tool to isolate the keyframes of the viral video. We then conducted a reverse image search on the keyframes, which led us to this video on the YouTube channel 'British Pathรฉ' uploaded on April 13, 2014.

The YouTube video, titled 'London Honours Two Great Premiers (1956)', has the same footage as the viral video, from the 0.21 mark, showing Jawaharlal Nehru. From the 0.46 mark in the video, the City Chamberlain can be seen receiving an award known as the freedom of the City of London.

The description of the YouTube video reads, "Two great Prime Ministers, Mr Nehru of India and Mr Holland of New Zealand, receive the freedom of the City of London at the Guildhallโ€ฆ.

"The City Chamberlain speaking to Holland and Nehru: "It is my privilege as Chamberlain of this City to offer you both the right hand of fellowship and greets you Mr Nehru as a citizen of London and you Mr Holland..."

We conducted a keyword search for this ceremony that Jawaharlal Nehru was a part of. We came across this BBC report published on July 3, 1956. The report provided details about how the then prime ministers of India and New Zealand were provided with the status of Freemen of the City of London.

The two leaders were given the documents of the Freedom in a service presided over by the Principal Clerk to the Chamberlain. The BBC article also details that, until 1996, Freedom of the City was only provided to Commonwealth or British citizens. These citizens had to be of "good character" and over the age of 21.

"Any nationality is eligible through nomination. An average of 1,800 people per year were becoming freemen by 2002, although it no longer attracts any real privileges."

Image Credit: BBC

In our Fact Check, we went through archives of old newspapers dating back to July 1956. We came across this archived version of an Indian Express newspaper published on July 4, 1956. The newspaper contained an article titled, 'Nehru Receives Freedom of London City'.

Image Credit: The Indian Express

We conducted another keyword search for more information on the 'Freedom of the City' ceremony. As per the City of London website, the ceremony is one of the oldest surviving traditional ceremonies in London. The ceremony is estimated to have been first conducted in 1237.

The City of London website states, "The medieval term 'freeman' meant someone who was not the property of a feudal lord but enjoyed privileges such as the right to earn money and own land."

"Town dwellers who were protected by the charter of their town or city were often free โ€“ hence the term 'freedom' of the City," the website notes.

Besides Jawaharlal Nehru, we found reports that Lord Khalid Hameed and Sanjiv Chadha were awarded the honour. In a Times of India article published on July 29, 2012, it is noted that the Freedom of the City award is an honorary title. The Times of India article reads, "In contemporary society, the award of Freedom of the City tends to be entirely ceremonialโ€ฆ."

Image Credit: The Times Of India


Image Credit: Business Standard

In our Fact Check, we also came across a tweet by the City of London, stating that Sanjiv Chadha, the regional head of the State Bank of India's UK operations, received the Freedom of the City of London honour.

Conclusion:

In our Fact Check, we found that the video showed a ceremony of the Freedom of the City of London award being bestowed on Nehru. The honour is entirely ceremonial and does not affect an individual's nationality or citizenship.

Along with Nehru, several Indians, such as Lord Khalid Hameed and Sanjiv Chadha, have been awarded the honour. Thus, we can ascertain that the viral claim is false.

If you have any news that you believe needs to be fact-checked, please email us at factcheck@thelogicalindian.com or WhatsApp at 6364000343.

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Editor : Snehadri Sarkar
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Creatives : Jakir Hassan