Both clearly want to hog the occasion for themselves. In October the government reconstituted the committee set up for the anniversary by the Manmohan Singh government. Modi heads the committee, which has no members of the Gandhi family. The Congress, in response, has decided to invite 54 world leaders for its conference, but has neglected to Narendra Modi.This tussle over the ownership of Nehru is new, even if the process of building him into a myth is not. Much of this begins with photography, as is evident in the iconography that litters textbooks and government offices. As India’s first prime minister, Nehru’s life post-Independence was particularly well-documented. But Nehru, who studied at Harrow and Cambridge, also came from a privileged family that had access to photography even as it was a nascent form in India.

These photographs of Nehru from his childhood to his death show his transition from a barrister in India to a nationalist and finally a prime minister who travelled the world.

Jawaharlal Nehru in cadet uniform at Harrow School in England. Photo credit: Creative Commons.

Jawaharlal Nehru at the Allahabad High Court. Photo credit: Creative Commons.

Jawaharlal Nehru with his wife Kamala and daughter Indira in 1918. Photo credit: Creative Commons.

 Abdul Ghafar Khan, Nehru, and Sardar Patel in Simla for the independence conference, 1946. Photo credit: Kulwant Roy.

Field Marshal Montgomery talks with Nehru. Photo credit: Creative Commons.

A news bureau photo of Nehru and the new flag, July 1947. Photo credit: Creative Commons.

Nehru addresses a meeting. Photo credit: College Durocher Saint-Lambert.

Nehru in Srinagar. Photo credit: Creative Commons.

Nehru and Indira Gandhi visit Albert Einstein in 1949. Photo credit:Creative Commons.
Nehru rides a yak on a visit to Bhutan. Photo credit: Creative Commons

Nehru hands out sweets to students at Nongpoh in Meghalaya. Photo credit: Creative Commons.