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Video Shows Jawaharlal Nehru Receiving an Award and Not Citizenship of England

Nehru was conferred the ‘Freedom of the City' award and enrolled as a 'citizen of London', but it was honorary.

Updated
WebQoof
4 min read
Video Shows Jawaharlal Nehru Receiving an Award and Not Citizenship of England
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A black and white video is circulating on social media which shows the former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru arriving at a public venue and later being honoured in an official ceremony.

The video is being passed on to claim that Nehru received 'citizenship of London' in 1956 and has been 'true to the Queen' ever since. This comes after the death of Queen Elizabeth II on 8 September 2022.

In the background of the video, the narrator says, "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."

While it is true that Nehru was indeed conferred the ‘Freedom of the City of London’ award and was enrolled as the 'citizen of London' in 1956, but it was an honorary citizenship and it does not mean that he became a citizen.

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CLAIM

Several social media users, including right-wing commentator, journalist, and academic Madhu Purnima Kishwar, shared this video to claim that Nehru took London's citizenship.

An archive can be seen here

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

The Quint also received a query about this video on our WhatsApp tipline.

Similar claims can be seen here, here and here.

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WHAT WE FOUND OUT

On conducting a reverse image search of some of the keyframes of the video, we came across a video uploaded by British Pathé, a page featuring news agency Reuters' historical collection.

The description stated that former Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru and former Prime Minister of New Zealand Sidney Holland received the 'Freedom of the City of London' at the Guildhall.

This video was uploaded on 13 April 2014.

British Pathé's website also carried the same video with a summary that read, "Two Prime Ministers, Mr Nehru and Mr Holland receive freedom of the City of London."

British Pathé website carries the same video.

(Source: British Pathé/ Screenshot)

On performing a Google search using relevant keywords, we found the official website of the city of London, which stated that Nehru has been a previous recipient of the Freedom of the City of London award.

It added that "Honorary Freedom is the highest honour the City of London can bestow."

We also came across a video explaining that the tradition is one of the oldest surviving ceremonies, which is still in existence. It is believed to have started in the year 1237.

Next, we searched for archives from news agencies which led us to Associated Press (AP)'s video.

In this video, the narrator stated that Nehru was presented with the 'Freedom of the City' at Guildhall and was accompanied with his daughter, Indira Gandhi.

This video was the longer version of the viral video and also showed Nehru addressing the audience. In his address, Nehru speaks about his early days in London. He then goes on to talk about India and outlines the progress India made since Independence.

We looked for archives of old newspapers on Google News and found an archive of English newspaper Indian Express from 4 July 1956.

The headline of the report read, "NEHRU RECEIVES FREEDOM OF LONDON CITY."

Newspaper clipping from 1956.

(Source: Google newspapers archive/ Screenshot)

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The City of London's official Twitter account also tweeted about Nehru receiving this award in the past. More recently, the regional head of the State Bank of India’s UK operations, Sanjiv Chadha, received the award in 2019.

WHAT ABOUT THE OATH TO THE QUEEN? 

While going through the 'City of London' website, we found a declaration, which is to be signed by the recipients of the award.

Screenshot of the declaration.

(Source: City of London/Screenshot)

In one of the videos, uploaded by the City of London Corporation, we could see the same declaration signed by other recipients, indicating that it is a custom. (Can be seen at 2:33 minutes)

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Clearly, an honour that Nehru received in 1956 is being shared with a misleading claim now.

(Update: The story has been updated to reflect that the 'Citizen of London' title along with the 'Freedom of the City of London’ award, was an honorary one.)

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read and Breaking News at the Quint, browse for more from news and webqoof

Topics:  Jawaharlal Nehru   Fact Check   Webqoof 

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Published: 
Edited By :Padmashree Pande
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