(1900–1990), political leader and activist. On 18 August 1900, Vijayalakshmi Pandit was born Sarup Kumari Nehru to the Nehru family in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. Nicknamed Nan from nanhi (“little one”), Vijayalakshmi was the middle child between younger sister Krishna Kumari and older brother Jawaharlal, who became the first prime minister of independent India. The family was descended from high-caste Saraswat Brahmans of Kashmir, and Vijayalakshmi was raised in comfortable surroundings. Her father, the famed spokesman Motilal Nehru, was socially progressive for his time, hiring untouchables to work in his household as cooks and domestic servants. Neither Vijayalakshmi nor her sister received a formal education, instead studying with tutors and English governesses and listening carefully to political discussions that her parents held with the stream of prominent visitors who came to their home, known as Anand Bhawan. She took a special interest in studying Hindi with Mahavir Prasad Malaviya, a close friend of her mother.
From The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History in Oxford Reference.