Rare photos of Jawaharlal Nehru from the archives of photojournalist Kulwant Royhttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/nehru-archival-images-through-the-lens-of-photojournalist-kulwant-roy-4797353/

Rare photos of Jawaharlal Nehru from the archives of photojournalist Kulwant Roy

A selection of historical images of Jawaharlal Nehru from Kulwant Roy's work, as documented by Aditya Arya in the valuable visual archive History in the Making.

Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) was among the handful of Indian photojournalists who lived and worked through the exciting times before and after India’s Independence, yet his contributions seemed all but lost in the annals of time until relatively recently. His valuable archive of unpublished prints and negatives lay forgotten in boxes for more than 20 years after his death in ’84 until they were discovered by the man who was a close family friend and to whom Roy had left his work.

While Roy’s photographs which allow us into old cities and towns when they were less crowded, to ride in outmoded means of transport (Royal Enfield motorcycle or a car with a short license plate: DLB 300), to listen to a giant radio set or discuss old sartorial trends in India’s diverse society, are fascinating in its entire breadth, it is politics which Aditya Arya describes as the spinal cord of his story. Roy’s photographs recorded and captured events preceding and following India’s independence, in the true spirit of the medium, without reconstruction, manipulation or staging. “Kulwant’s Roy’s photographs never make us feel that history is headed in the wrong direction,” writes historian Indivar Kamtekar, “On the contrary, they declare that the world was progressing. In doing so, they embody the optimism of the first decades of independent India”.

Here is a selection of  historical images of Jawaharlal Nehru from Roy’s work, as documented by Arya in the valuable visual archive History in the Making.

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Jawaharlal Nehru with M. A. Jinnah at Simla (1946). Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.
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Jawaharlal Nehru with members of the INA inquiry committee at the Constitution Club, New Delhi (1945). Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.
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Nehru at Meerut Congress Session, 1946. Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit: Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.
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Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.
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Nehru at Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan’s reception at the Meerut Congress Session. 1946. Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.
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Seated From R to L: Lord Mountbatten, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Acharya Kriplani (1947). Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.
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Nehru at the podium (undated). Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.
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Nehru addresses the Jaipur Congress Session (1948). Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.
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Committee Meeting at Gandhinagar, Jaipur Congress Session (1948). Image shows Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel, Govind Vallabh Pant and Jagjivan Ram. Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation
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Deliberations of the Constituent Assembly (undated). Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation
Jawaharlal Nehru felicitated at Lady Irwin College, New Delhi. Undated. Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.
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Jawaharlal Nehru sets off on horseback to meet the Dalai Lama in Mussoorie (1959). Photo by Kulwant Roy (1914-1984) and photo credit : Aditya Arya Archives, Chairman & Trustee, India Photo Archive Foundation.

Kulwant Roy gifted his work to Aditya Arya, who has since archived them under the aegis of the India Photo Archive Foundation. Arya can be reached at adityaarya@adityaarya.com