Feroze Gandhi

Firoz Gandhi was an Visionary politician and journalist.Feroze Gandhi was born in Mumbai on 12 August 1912 into a Parsi family. He was the son of Jehangir Gandhi and Ratimai.
He moved to Allahabad early on and attended the City Anglo-Vernacular High School and Ewing Christian College. Later, he was to study at the London School of Economics. He abandoned his studies in 1930 to join the struggle for Indian independence. Firoz Gandhi grew close to the Nehru family, especially Indira’s mother Kamala Nehru and Indira herself. Indira and Firoz married in March 1942 according to Hindu rituals.

The couple were arrested and jailed during the Quit India Movement less than six months after their marriage, he was imprisoned for a year in Allahabad’s Naini Central Prison.
They had two sons, Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi.
After independence, Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India. Firoz and Indira settled in Allahabad with their two young children, and Firoz became the Managing Director of The National Herald, a newspaper founded by his father-in-law. He was also the first chairman of Indian Oil Corporation Limited.
Firoz Gandhi contested election to the Parliament of India in 1952 , independent India’s first general elections from Raibareli constituency in Uttar Pradesh. Indira Gandhi came down from Delhi and worked as his campaign organizer, and he won. Firoz soon became a prominent force in his own right, criticizing the Government of his father-in-law and beginning a tirade against corruption.
In the years after independence, many Indian business houses had become close to the political leaders, and now some of them started various financial irregularities. In a case exposed by Firoz Gandhi in December 1955, he revealed how Ram Kishan Dalmia, as chairman of a bank and an insurance company, used these companies to fund his takeover of Bennett and Coleman started transferring money illegally from publicly-held companies for their own benefit.
In 1956, the Parliamentary Proceedings(Protection of Publication) Act was passed, at the initiative of late Firoz Gandhi. It gave immunity to the Press in regard to a faithful reporting of parilaimentary proceedings of either House of Parliament unless the publication is proved to have been made with malice.The Act permits the press to report defamatory statements in Parliament without commintting a breach of privilage of Parliament, and by implication no libel action for the publication of any such statement referring to any outsider would lie.This Act applies to only to the proceedings of Parliament.
In 1957, he was re-elected from Raebareli.In the parliament, in 1958, he raised the Haridas Mundhra scandal involving the government controlled LIC insurance company. This was a huge embarrassment to the clean image of Nehru’s government and eventually led to the resignation of the Finance Minister T.T. Krishnamachari.
Firoz Gandhi also initiated a number of nationalization drives, starting with the Life Insurance Corporation. At one point he also suggested that Telco be nationalized since they were charging nearly double the price of a Japanese Railway engine. This raised a stir in the Parsi community since the Tatas were also Parsi. He continued challenging the government on a number of other issues, and emerged as a parliamentarian well-respected on both sides of the bench.
Firoz Gandhi initiated a Trust to promote education in Raebareli seeing the bad condition of education in Raebareli and the region. The trust started Raebareli Degree College on August 8, 1960, just one month before his death. Later on, its name was changed to Firoz Gandhi College which is pioneer in higher education in the region.
Firoz Gandhi suffered his first heart attack in 1958. Indira took him to recuperate in Kashmir, where with their young boys, they were together. However, he died on 8 September 1960 of a second heart attack.