Lady Mountbatten, who was politically astute and no mere social ornament, lobbied strongly for her lover Nehru’s causes and would communicate her feelings back to her influential friends in London.
Rumours of their affair were soon being whispered among the remaining members of the stiff, tradition- bound British Raj as well as the high caste Indian establishment.The newspaper lost the case and was forced to make a grov- elling apology.But the irony was that the paper had fingered the wrong man.Lady Mountbatten herself enjoyed a fashionable and privileged life that was almost totally dedicated to the pursuit of pleasure.It was said that after marrying Lord Mountbatten at the age of 20 she embarked on two decades of frivolity.But they were no ordinary couple aroused by the passions of India.
He was Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister.
Then one day the couple were caught in compromising circum- stances.
The sequel is that the society woman has been given hints to clear out of England for a couple of years to let the affair blow over.”This was understood to implicate Lady Mountbatten in an affair with the american singer and actor Paul Robeson.
It was also the first time in the history of the British Raj that a woman was actually a player at such a level of administra- tion – and not just some decoration.“The Great Game” was always played by men with bullets, swords and lances.