Fact Check: No, the voice in Preamble recitation doesn't belong to Nehru

By Editor, The Nehru Blog

On 26 January 2022, The Nehru Blog shared a video on its Twitter and Instagram profiles. The video showcased a Preamble recitation voice-over with some visuals. It was claimed that the voice-over belonged to Jawaharlal Nehru himself.

We took that video from Youtube channel of the National Herald, a newspaper founded by Jawaharlal Nehru. We shared the video with due credits to the National Herald. The video was published on Nov. 13, 2016 with title, 'The soul of the Constitution, in Jawaharlal Nehru's voice'. The video can be accessed here:

This video is a re-engineered version of another video shared separately on the same Youtube channel. Both videos have different visuals but share same audio. This video was published on Nov. 10, 2016 with a title, 'We, the people of India'. Link to the video: 

The video was previously published on Youtube channel of Indian National Congress on Nov. 14, 2014 with a title, 'Pandit Nehru's speech on Republic of India'.

Not in the voice of Jawaharlal Nehru

In our investigation, we find that the video published by National Herald and Indian National Congress in various formats has been derived from a documentary film Nehru directed by Shyam Benegal and Yuri Aldokhin in 1984. The film was produced by the Film Division, Government of India. According to archival catalogue of Film Division, the film is a biographical film on Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India and is divided into three parts - The Awakening, The struggle and Freedom. It is a first person biography relying for its text entirely on Nehru's writings and speeches.

The film traces the evolution of Nehru from his birth through his life. His emergence as a staunch but not necessarily an unquestioning disciple of Gandhi, the intensifying process of his nationalism and the widening perspective of his world view, his part in the successful fight for the freedom of his country and against colonialist and imperialist forces, his role as the first Prime Minister in laying the foundations of economic and social development and modernisation, his lifelong passion for world peace which found expression in the leading part he played in founding the non-aligned movement. This film also deals with the effect of history on Nehru and in turn his impact on the world of our times.

The film relies on sources given below:

  • An Autobiography
  • Discovery of India
  • Glimpses of World History
  • Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru (Series 1, Vol. 1-15)
  • Speeches of Jawaharlal Nehru (1946-1964)

The documentary film has been uploaded on Youtube channel of Film Division in four parts as Nehru 1, Nehru 2, Nehru 3, and Nehru 4

In Nehru 3, we find that the Preamble to the Constitution of India was being recited at 31:50 by the narrator of the documentary film. Same voice can be heard in the whole documentary. 

The documentary was produced in 1984, twenty years after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru. The narrator of the documentary was Saeed Jaffrey as enunciated at the start of the documentary.

In a nutshell, it can be said that the video clip published by National Herald and Indian National Congress on their Youtube channels in various formats has been taken from a 1984 documentary Nehru directed by Shyam Benegal and Yuri Aldokhin. The voice-over in Preamble recitation video does not belong to Jawaharlal Nehru but to Saeed Jaffrey.

We regret the error on our part and tender our apologies to our readers and fellow Nehruvians. 

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