Is Jawaharlal Nehru the step brother of – Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Sheikh Omar Abdullah?

False International Political

On August 20th 2019  a post was posted on Facebook by a user named  Sunil Dubey . In this post, many things related to Jawaharlal Nehru’s family have been allegedly taken from a book written by M.O. Mathai, being shared as truth. According to this post, it is being claimed that Jawaharlal Nehru, Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Sheikh Omar Abdullah were step brothers. Is it so? Let us know the truth of this post’s claim.


We found that the claim made in the above post is going viral on the internet in different languages since 2013. According to the claim made in the  post, these things are mentioned in the books written by M.O.Mathai during 1978-1979. This fact was checked by our Fact Crescendo Marathi Team on 22nd August 2019 where we found such claims to be false. Let us see the truth of this claim investigated by our Fact Crescendo team

Jawaharlal Nehru

Books written by M.O. Mathai

Read original book here  – Reminiscences of the Nehru Age (1978) | My Days with Nehru (1979)

Both the books showed that Mathai never claimed that Nehru had five wives and Nehru, Jinnah and Abdullah were step brothers. Neither there is any mention of Tushu Rehman Bai nor Mubarak Ali in the book. Also Mathai did not write anything objectionable about Motilal Nehru.  In particular, several cases have been written about Feroze Gandhi and Sheikh Abdullah. Feroze Gandhi was clearly a Parsi.The Nehru family was opposed to the Indira-Feroze marriage but it mentions in the book, that Nehru had to give up in the face of his daughter’s insistence. For more information, read the book written on  by Sashi Bhushan.

On my day with Nehru – Page 234. Mathai writes that the National Conference was held. After the establishment, Sheikh Abdullah came in conflict with Nehru for the first time. Abdullah did not believe in Jinnah. He was fascinated by Nehru’s secular policies. But he has nowhere written that Nehru had family relationship with Jinnah or Abdullah.

This means that no objectionable claim hav been made by Mathai about Motilal and Nehru families. 

Motilal Nehru

Further, it is said in the post that Motilal’s first wife was Swaroop Kumari Bakshi and second wife Thusu Rehman Bai (from whom Jawaharlal Nehru and Shayed Hussain were born). But various books on Jawaharlal Nehru showed the truth is different. Written by BR Nanda: The Nehrus: Motila and Jawaharlal (1963), Motilal Nehru’s father was Gangadhar. He was a Kashmiri Brahmin. He was the Kotwal of Delhi in the court of the last Mugal emperor Bahadur Shah II . However, after the revolt of 1858 Gangadhar lost his job and he settled in Agra. He died in 1861. Motilal was born on 9th May, three months after his father’s death.

Motilal’s first marriage took place at a very young age. However, after the birth of the child, both, the child and his first wife died. Motilal later married Swaroop Rani Thuru. Swaroop Rani was also a Kashmiri Brahmin. Motilal and Swaroop Rani  had a son on 14th November 1889 and he was Jawaharlal Nehru. Later they had two daughters, Vijyalakshmi (1900) and Krishna (1906). This means that Motilal’s second wife had three children. This research suggests that Motilal was not Jawaharlal’s stepfather.

For further references you can read a book called Pandit Motilal Nehru: His Life and Work (1931): written by Upendra Chandra Bhattacharyya, Shovendu Sunder Chakravarty and a book written by Vijyalakshmi Pandit : The Scope of Happiness : A Personal Memoir(1979) but it is not mentioned anywhere that Nehru had five wives.

Relations of Nehru with Jinnah and Abdullah 

Nehru was born in 1861. That means Motilal was 14 to 15 years old at the time of Jinnah’s birth.  According to the book written by Akbhar Ahmed , Jinnah’s father’s name was Jinnah Bhai Punja and he moved to Gujarat. Jinnah’s ancestors were Hindus and were from the Lahona community in Gujarat. However, Jinnah’s grandfather converted to Islam due to his exclusion from caste. This means that Motilal cannot be Jinnah’s father.

According to a book by Syed Taffazull Hussain-  Sheikh Abdullah-A Biography: The Crucial Period 1905-1939  Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah was born on 5th December 1905 in a village called Saura, Kashmir. His father’s name was Sheikh Mohammad Ibrahim and he was a Kashmiri Shawl manufacturer and seller. The news of his death was broadcasted by New  York Times. 

From this research it is clear to us that Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Sheikh Abdullah are not step-brothers of Jawaharlal Nehru. Motiwal Nehru was got married twice, not five times. Jahangir Sanjay Khan was not the real name of Feroze Gandhi. You can get a brief summary of Nehru family by looking at the family tree below. This family tree is given inbook written by Shashi Tharoor- Nehru: the invention of India (2003).  For more information you can visit the Nehru portal of the Government of India.

Result of investigation: From this research we came to the conclusion that the claim made in the above post that Jawaharlal Nehru Mohammad Ali Jinnah  and Sheikh Abdullah are step-brothers, is incorrect.


Title:Is Jawaharlal Nehru the step brother of – Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Sheikh Omar Abdullah?

Fact Check By: Ruchika M 

Result: False