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Five generations of the Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty

The Nehru-Gandhi dynasty has been in the forefront of Indian politics since the 19th century

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The Nehru-Gandhi dynasty has been a part of modern Indian politics since the late 19th century with Motilal Nehru and has reached its fifth generation with Rahul Gandhi, now the president of Indian National Congress Party.

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First generation

Motilal Nehru (1861-1931)


A leader of the freedom movement for India, Motilal Nehru served as the Congress president twice and was a lawyer by profession. He is considered the founder patriarch of the Nehru-Gandhi family. The massacre of scores of Indians by the British Army in 1919 was when he fully entered the movement led by Mahatma Gandhi, giving up his career in law, and his anglicized lifestyle, which was common to wealthy Indian families at the time. 

Second Generation

Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964)


Working shoulder to shoulder with Mahatma Gandhi and his father Motilal, Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of independent India and also served as Congress president after his father's term. He was also a lawyer by profession and played an important role in Indian politics before and after independence. 

Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit (1900-1991)

An international diplomat and politician, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit was Jawaharlal's sister. Following family, she joined the nationalist movement before independence. 

Vijaya Laksmi Pandit

With the coming of Indian independence, Pandit led the Indian delegation to the United Nations (1946–48, 1952–53) and served as India’s ambassador to Moscow, Washington, Mexico, London and Dublin over a period of 15 years. In 1953, she became the first woman to be elected president of the UN General Assembly and was also appointed the Indian representative to the UN Human Rights Commission in 1978. 

Third generation

Indira Gandhi (1917-1984) 


Indira was the only child of Jawaharlal Nehru and got married to Feroze Gandhi, a fellow member of the Congress party. She served as Prime Minister of independent India for over a decade (1966-1977) and then for a fourth term from 1980 until her assassination in 1984. 

Fourth Generation

Sanjay Gandhi (1946-1980)

Sanjay Gandhi

Sanjay Gandhi was Indira Gandhi's chief political advisor and her intended successor to the helm of the party. The younger of her sons, Sanjay died from head wounds in an air crash in 1980 near Safdarjung Airport in New Delhi. His widow, Maneka Gandhi, and his son, Varun Gandhi, are leading members of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the rival party to the Indian National Congress.

Rajiv Gandhi (1944-1991)


After his elder brother's early death, Rajiv was pushed to the forefront of Indian politics to be his mother's successor. He married Italian-born Sonia in 1968 and served as Prime Minister from 1984 to 1989 after his mother's death. Rajiv himself was assassinated in 1991 when he was in Tamil Nadu. 16 party members including Rajiv were killed by a bomb concealed in a bouquet of flowers. 

Sonia Gandhi (1946 - )

Italian-born, Sonia Gandhi, got Indian citizenship 11 years after her marriage to Rajiv Gandhi. After Indira Gandhi's death, she campaigned for Rajiv but chose to remain in the background, while working on restoring and preserving India’s artistic treasures.Sonia

However, after Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, party leadership was automatically offered to her which she initially refused. In 1998, she took over presidency of the party. She has stayed away from becoming Prime Minister of the nation because her foreign-birth was a controversial political issue. 

Maneka Gandhi and Varun Gandhi

Maneka Gandhi

Sanjay Gandhi's widow, Maneka Gandhi (born in1956), and his son, Varun Gandhi (born in1980), are leading members of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the current rival party to the Indian National Congress. Maneka Gandhi currently serves as Cabinet Minister for Women and Child Development, and has served as a minister in four governments as of now.

Varun Gandhi is the youngest General Secretary in the history of BJP and is also a member of the Lok Sabha (lower house of the parliament).

Fifth Generation

Rahul Gandhi (1970 - )


Sonia's only son, Rahul Gandhi, took charge as the president of the Congress party on Saturday (December 16). Rahul Gandhi entered electoral politics in 2004. He was appointed as the party general secretary in 2007 and was elevated as its vice president in January 2013.

He also has a sister, Priyanka Gandhi, who was active in politics for a short while.