Dalmia never lived at 10-Aurangzeb Road, writes daughter

Ramkrishna Dalmia's daughter Neelima Dalmia Adhar, in a letter to The Indian Express, has clarified certain points in the story 'As Jaswant book uncovers heat, quiet stands Jinnah house' by Chinki Sinha, published in Delhi Newsline on August 20.

She has said: It is a fact that my father, the late Ramkrishna Dalmia was a very close friend and confidant of Qaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah and that he did buy the house at 10 Aurangzeb Road from him, but she (the reporter) is wrong when she states that he lived there for a short period afterwards.

My father never lived in the said house. In fact the house was offered to my mother late Padmabhushan Dineshnandini Dalmia to reside in, after he married her in October 1946, but she declined to live there preferring to stay at 3 Sikandra Road where she lived till her death in October 2007.

10 Aurangzeb Road was turned into the head office for the anti-cow-slaughter movement, a cause that my father strongly propagated. This has found reference in Dominique Lapierre's book Freedom at Midnight, Katherine Frank's biography titled Indira, as well as in my biography titled Father Dearest: Life and Times of RK Dalmia.

Secondly, my father did not sell the said property because he fell upon "hard times" as stated by the reporter. He never needed to sell any properties to combat "hard times' and several vast properties in Lutyen's Delhi are still in possession of the descendants of R K Dalmia. At that time, as the first Indian owner of The Times of India, he was involved in a vitriolic imbroglio with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and expressed his antipathy in the front pages of his daily for an extended period of time. He blamed Nehru and his selfish ambitions for the Partition and held him responsible for the plight of the refugees. (This has found mention in a letter written by Nehru to his sister Vijaylakshmi Pandit.)

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