Prime Minister Narendra Modi stirred a fresh controversy by digging out some old deeds of the Gandhi family on Monday. He reminded people of how Navy’s warship INS Virat was once used like a private vehicle for Rajiv Gandhi and family during their vacations.
In 1998, Rajiv Gandhi and family including his in-laws had boarded on INS Virat to reach one of the islands in Lakshadweep cluster to spend a vacation. However the tradition of using Navy’s properties for personal purposes was started long before Rajiv Gandhi. The credit for this tradition goes to none other than country’s first PM, Jawaharlal Nehru himself.
At a time in 1950, when the entire country was trying to recover from the scars of partition, PM Nehru used INS Delhi, which was a light cruiser built for the Navy in 1933 and was known as HMS Achilles in the British Raj, in 1950 to vacation with his family.
This was not the only instance when Navy ships had the fortune of personally serving members of the Nehru-Gandhi family. In fact, PM Nehru had sent a warship INS Trishul to pay tribute in the funeral of a lady with whom many of believe he had an affair with, Lady Mountbatten.
As per her wishes, Lady Mountbatten was buried deep inside the sea, and INS Trishul was used as one of escorts. Lady Pamela Hicks, daughter of Lady Mountbatten remembers, As her bereaved family steamed away from the scene after casting wreaths at the spot, the Indian frigate INS Trishul “quietly took our place and, on Panditji’s instructions, marigolds were scattered upon the waves”.