Viral post comparing Nehru and Savarkar’s jail cells is misleading
pic 1 : Nehru’s ‘prison’
pic 2 : Savarkar’s cell in cellular jail Port Blair
An image with two photographs of a small room is shared widely with the claim that one photo is the jail cell with facilities like a bed, mattress and chair where Former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was arrested and imprisoned, and another photo is the jail cell with no facilities where Savarkar was imprisoned in the jail. Some of the posts with such a claim can be seen here and here.
What is the truth?
This article is originally published in Tamil by Youturn on 20, March 2023.
We reverse-searched the viral image and searched for the photographs of the jail cells of Nehru and Savarkar.
Savarkar’s Jail Cell:
Savarkar was sentenced to life imprisonment in December 1910 in the Nashik District Collector’s murder case. Again in January 1911, a further life sentence was imposed taking the total to double life imprisonment.
Savarkar was taken to Andaman Cellular Jail on 11th July of that year. Then on 21, May 1921, Savarkar was transferred from Andaman to Ratnagiri Jail.
Among those imprisoned at Cellular Jail was the great Veer Savarkar. I visited the cell where the indomitable Veer Savarkar was lodged. Rigorous imprisonment did not dampen Veer Savarkar’s spirits and he continued to speak and write about a free India from jail too. pic.twitter.com/dbsyzuVUjA
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 30, 2018
The viral picture claimed as the jail cell of Savarkar is of the Andaman Cellular Jail where Savarkar was lodged. Prime Minister Modi visited Savarkar’s jail cell on December 30, 2018, and posted an image on his Twitter page. Similarly, Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s visit has been posted on BJP’s official website. His jail photos are also available on the ‘Alamy‘ website.
According to the BBC article, Savarkar wrote his first apology within a month and a half of being taken to the Andaman Jail and has issued six apology letters during his nine years there. Also, the article states that he received a pension from the British government.
Jawaharlal Nehru’s Jail Cell:
The photo claimed as Jawaharlal Nehru’s luxurious jail cell was indeed where Nehru was lodged in Ahmed Nagar Fort Jail. In November 2020, a video titled “Jawaharlal Nehru and Ahmed Nagar” was uploaded on the YouTube page ‘I Love Nagar’ which shows the same jail cell.
Nehru was arrested during the ‘Quit India Movement’ in 1942 and imprisoned in a part of Ahmed Nagar Fort. According to the Indian Ministry of Culture website, Nehru was in jail for the longest time during this time.
During the freedom struggle, Nehru was arrested nine times and spent 3259 days in various jails. When he was arrested for the ninth time, he spent 963 days in Ahmed Nagar Fort Jail, 72 days in Bareilly Central Jail, and 6 days in Almora Jail for a total of 1041 days. It was during this time that he wrote the book ‘The Discovery of India’.
Apart from these, he was arrested and imprisoned by the British government in many prisons like Lucknow District Jail, Allahabad District Jail, Naini Central Jail, and Dehradun Jail.
Savarkar was arrested in the Nashik District Collector’s murder case and sentenced to 50 years in prison as a double life sentence. But 30 years later, Nehru was arrested and jailed during the ‘Quit India Movement’. Comparing the two is not the right approach.
In our search, the photos being circulated as jail cells of Savarkar and Nehru are true. But, the comparison is wrong. Savarkar was imprisoned in the Andaman Cellular Jail from 1911-1921 for a double life sentence. It is to be noted that Nehru was imprisoned in the Ahmed Nagar Fort Jail in 1942 for taking part in the ‘Quit India Movement’.