Photographs of Jacqueline Kennedy sharing a laugh with Indiau2019s first prime minister, Nehru, are among thousands of previously unseen images unearthed from large yellow crates.rnrnPicture credit: Kulwant Roy Collections; Aditya Arya Archivesrnrn

Jacqueline Kennedy photo

Picture credit: Kulwant Roy Collections; Aditya Arya Archives

Photographs of Jacqueline Kennedy sharing a laugh with India?s first prime minister, Nehru, are among thousands of previously unseen images unearthed from large yellow crates.

Captured by photojournalist Kulwant Roy, the photographs document modern Indian history from ?the last days of the raj? through to the 1960s.

Fellow photographer Aditya Arya spent two years restoring the images after inheriting them from Roy who died in 1984.

Raghuraj Sing Chauhan, of India?s National Museum hailed the images a ?real find?. He added: ?They are historically important for the freedom struggle because many of these are quite rare photos.?

The treasures include photos of Jacqueline Kennedy with Prime Minister Nehru when America?s first lady visited India in 1962; and Lord Mountbatten handing power to Nehru in 1947.

After specialising in aerial photography in the Royal Indian Air Force, Roy set up a studio in Delhi before heading up an agency called Associated Press Photographs.

?For a few years previously he had been following Mahatma Gandhi on his travels around India in a third class train compartment,? said a spokesman for an exhibition of the photos that has opens at the Nehru Centre in London.

Many of Roy?s photos were sold to international news agencies, A precious photo of Ghandi arguing with Indian politician Jinnah was among a batch of pictures that later went missing.

?Roy had mailed the pictures to his address in Delhi, but they did not arrive,? said Arya. ?Broken in spirit, he spent the last years of his life scouting post offices and hunting for boxes in the garbage dumps of Delhi, placing ads in newspapers with rewards, and quit all his foreign assignments.?

Around 500 of the black and white shots feature in a book of the photographer?s work, co-written by Arya called History in the Making: The Visual Archives of Kulwant Roy.

The exhibition, History in the Making, runs until 4 June at The Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, London W1K 1HF.

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Kulwant Roy photo

Picture credit: Kulwant Roy Collections; Aditya Arya Archives