Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pop History Moment: The Death of Nehru

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On this day in 1964 Jawaharlal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India, died suddenly of a suspected heart attack; he was succeeded on an interim basis by Gulzarilal Nanda until, 13 days later, Lal Bahadur Shastri was elected to lead the Congress Party.

Following his lying-in-state, Nehru was cremated according to Shantivana rites on the banks of the Yamuna River near the capital of New Delhi, a ceremony watched by tens of thousands of mourners. The subject of numerous books and films, he was probably most notably portrayed by Roshan Seth, who played him in Richard Attenborough's 1982 film Gandhi.

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