THE INDIA OF MY DREAMS - Indira Gandhi

INTRODUCTION:

Indira Gandhi (1917-1984) was the first woman prime minister of India. She was drawn into the freedom movement at an early
age. She became the prime minister in 1966 and continued in that position until her death in 1984, except for the period (1977-
1980).

VICIOUS CIRCLE:
According to Indira Gandhi the environment issues like population explosion, poverty, ignorance, disease, environmental
pollution and proliferation of nuclear weapons are independent systems forming vicious circle. Hence they cannot be tackled by
isolation .the human environment is also a part of this system.

WORLD¶S RHYTHM:
Women keep themselves isolated, unmindful of the vast changes taking place in the modern world shackled by pre-conceived
nations; she is unaware of her political abilities. A lower status for women is a handicap for the growth of mankind. So she should
strive for equality in all spheres.

WOMEN TO IMITATE MEN:
Conditioned by the male dominated society women judge themselves by the norms made by men and compare themselves with
men. But Indira Gandhi does not want women to imitate men. But she wants both men and women get liberated from outdated
thoughts and habits and strive to create a better society.

ECONOMIC LEVELS BETTER FROM THE MIDDLE CLASS WOMEN:
Women of lower economic levels and tribals enjoy more freedom and less inequality. It is the middle class women who are
bound by rigid custom and social attitude. Indira Gandhi was surprised when she saw women of Manipur dealing with marketing
and occupying themselves in civic duties.

NATIONAL FREEDOM MOVEMENT AFFECT WOMEN:
Our national movement vastly accelerated the emancipation of women. Thanks to leaders like Gandhiji and Nehru, a large
number of women were drawn into the freedom struggle and they went to prison and actively participated in the organisational
work. This induced men to join the movement in great numbers.

YOUNG BOYS AND GIRLS TREATED IN THE INDIAN SOCIETY:
Right from boyhood discrimination is made between boys and girls, in the choice of colours, toys and in manners. This creates
certain prejudges in the child¶s mind, blocking his freewill. All girls did not go to school. Certain things were considered unsuitable
for girls. Hence women in public life suffer from a feeling of inferiority.
INDIAN WOMEN ACCORDING TO INDIRA GANDHI:
What is remarkable about India is that women of character who have been able to break through the barriers and prejudices
have been accepted by the public without questions. Beside the visible subordinate role allotted to women, they were looked
upon as a symbol of energy, the active principle.


Home puge > 2007 > October 27, 2007 > Indlru GundhlդAn Outstundlng Internutlonul Leuder
MAI NSTREAM, VOL XLV, NO 45
Indira Gandhi²An Outstanding International Leader
The churlsmutlc und epoch-muklng personullty of Indlru Gundhl left her lmprlnt not only ln the uffulrs of her own
country but ulso ln lnternutlonul uffulrs. She belonged to thut noble guluxy of greut leuders who wlelded
extruordlnury power. Indlru Gundhl wus un Indlun to the core but ut the sume tlme her vlslonwent fur beyond her
own nutlon und embruced the entlre humun ruce. By vlrtue of belng the Prlme Mlnlster of Indlu, the lurgest
democrucy ln the world, she wus uble to muke u slgnlflcunt contrlbutlon to the pructlce of lnter-nutlonul relutlons.
She en|oyed well-deserved prestlge und profound respect on the lnternutlonul scene. An uttempt ls belng mude here
to hlghllght her role us un lnternutlonul leuder.
Indlru Gundhl wus lntroduced to lnternutlonul uffulrs ut un eurly uge. As the duughter of Juwuhurlul Nehru she wus
born und brought up ln u fumlly und envlronment where nutlonul und lnternutlonul polltlcs were dlscussed ull the
tlme. Her lllustrlous futher hud tuken cure to educute her duughter ubout ull uspects nutlonul und lnternutlonul
polltlcs. Thls wus umply demonstru-ted ln Nehruըs letters to her duughter from prlson whlch were luter on publlshed
ln u book form. In ull these letters world hlstory und polltlcs huve been dlscussed extenslvely. Besldes, durlng the
Prlme Mlnlstershlp of Nehru, Indlru Gundhlserved us the offlclul hostess to heuds of stutes und governments ut the
Teen Murtl House. She ulso uccompunled her futher ln most of hls forelgn tours. As u result of ull thls she becume
qulte fumlllur wlth lnternutlonul uffulrs. So ufter becomlng the Prlme Mlnlster of Indlu she hurdly fuced uny problem
ln understundlng forelgn pollcy und wus uble to uchleve success ln thls sphere wlthln no tlme.
Indlru Gundhl lnherlted Nehruըs muntle und wus credlted wlth currylng out the Nehru legucy ln forelgn uffulrs.
Followlng Nehruըs trudltlons, she chumploned the cuuse of lnternutlonul peuce, dlsurmument, untl-colonlullsm und
untl-ruclullsm. She used the plutforms of the Commonweulth, NAM und UN effectlvely. She not only preserved the
rlch herltuge of Nehru but mude her own contrlbutlon. She took certuln declslons keeplng ln vlew the prevulent
clrcumstunces thut resulted ln rulslng the stuture of Indlu ut the lnternutlonul level. Under her dynumlc stewurdshlp
Indluըs volce wus heurd wlth respect ln vurlous lnternutlonul orunlsutlons und forums. Indlru Gundhl hud no
urtlculuted world vlslon but hud leurned from her greut futher to ldentlfy Indluըs nutlonul lnterest wlth lndependent
declslon-muklng ln lnternutlonul uffulrs, economlc development ut home und the excluslon of Indlu und lts
nelghbourhood ln Southern Aslu from elther of superpowerըs sphere of lnfluence. Her pollcles were prugmutlc, her
deullngs wlth forelgn leuders unsentlmentul. Her prlde, her sensltlvlty to equul treutment, her polltlcul skllls ln
overcomlng udversltyդull helped to keep her government from succumblng to Amerlcun or Sovlet pressures on
speclflc lssues. She hud u cleur-cut perceptlon of Indluըs struteglc und nutlonul lnterests. She knew thut ln
lnternutlonul relutlons power counted more thun personul lnfluence und thut the struteglc lnterests of u nutlon were
fur more lmportunt thun morul prlnclples. She followed prugmutlc pollcles und her relutlons wlth the leuders of
superpowers were bused upon cold culculutlons.
When Indlru Gundhl cume to the helm of uffulrs, thut wus u bl-polur world. One bloc wus led by the US und other
heuded by the Sovlet Unlon. The Cold Wur wus ut lts helght. The nucleur ruce wus on. Some rellcs of colonlullsm
und lmperlullsm were stlll there. Ruclullsm wus prevulent ln some purts. World peuce wus under u gruve threut. In
the clrcumstunces Indlru Gundhl followed the pollcy of non-ullgnment us luld down by Nehru. Very soon the
lnternutlonul communlty recognlsed her us u leuder who wus commltted to freedom und peuce. Her role ln the non-
ullgned moment wus duly recognlsed ut the Seventh Conference NAM when she wus elected lts chulrperson ln 1983
ut New Delhl. Thls Conference wus u hlstorlc one. The resolutlons pussed ut the Conference
reflected Indlru Gundhlըs stutesmunshlp und fur-slghtedness. Her most lmportunt contrlbutlon ln the reulm of world
peuce wus the shuplng of the NAM. Her uble leudershlp provlded u smooth sulllng for the Conference. It ulso led to u
better understundlng of the common problems of freedom, peuce und soclul |ustlce for the people of the Thlrd World.
It wus through thls Conference thut she mude u mu|or chunk of humunlty feel lmportunt ln the UN. Here she pluyed u
more dynumlc role us u leuder of munklnd ln the lnternutlonul urenu. Her performunce us the NAM Chulrperson wus
superb und bulunced, und lt communded respect not only of member-stutes but ulso of the superpowers. Her fulth ln
the UN us the urblter of lnter-stute confllcts und the most lmportunt centre for hurmonlslng the uctlons of nutlons
cunըt be questloned. For, us she herself suld, flrm fulth ln the UN ls centrul to the NAM. The ulm ls the sume: to
mulntuln peuce by removlng the sources of tenslon und to brlng out the humunlty ln humun belngs.
Indlru Gundhl symbollsed the Thlrd Worldըs regenerutlon. Under her leudershlp, Indlun forelgn pollcy mutured from
the consclous ussertlon of the rlghts und usplrutlons of newly free nutlons to u keen uwureness on thelr purt of thelr
own responslblllty ln the globul context. By refuslng to slgn the NPT she gulned polltlcul credlt for upholdlng Indluըs
lndependence und for tuklng u prlnclpled stund ugulnst u dlscrlmlnutory treuty. Wlth Indlru Gundhl ut the helm, Indlu
re-emerged ln the South Aslun struteglc stuge und her Indlu recorded lts ublllty und wllllngness to grusp the
opportunltles of power polltlcs ln u reglonul context. She mude u murk ln the world us un unrlvulled leuder und u
chumplon of the Thlrd World.
INDIRA GANDHI not only lnfluenced hlstory but ulso mude hlstory. Wlth her extruordlnury skllls she bulunced the
superpowers ugulnst one unother. 1971 wus Indlru Gundhlըs flnest hour ln forelgn und securlty uffulrs. Her sklll luy ln
her lntultlve grusp of the opportunlty whlch the Puklstunl rulers provlded to chunge the geopolltlcs of Eust Puklstun.
The Bungludesh sltuutlon guve her the opportunlty to emerge us u mllltury struteglst und u dlplomut pur excellence
on the reglonul und the world stuge. Wlth the cleur und declslve vlctory Indlu undIndlru were estubllshed us u mu|or
power und force ln the world. Indlru Gundhlbecume the lnternutlonul leuder. Her declslons und tlmlngs were
uppluuded und hulled us perfect. As Henry Klsslnger udmlts ln hls memolrs, Indlru Gundhloutclussed und
outmunoeuvred Nlxon und Klsslnger. It wus u glunt leup ln lnternutlonul stuture. The yeur 1971 represented the peuk
of her polltlcul cureer. She tuckled Nlxon on equul terms. Even her bltter crltlcs were forced to udmlre her guts. For
lnstunce, Leuder of the Opposltlon ln Indlun Purllument A. B. Vu|puyee culled her Durgu. Another Opposltlon leuder
declured ln Purllument: իMudum, you huve creuted not only hlstory but u new geogruphy us well.լ After the
wur Indlru Gundhl ucted wlth greut mugnunlmlty ut the Shlmlu Conference. She put Indlu on the lnternutlonul
sclentlflc mup by explodlng the countryըs flrst underground nucleur devlce ut Pokhrun ln 1974. Thls slgnulled Indluըs
nucleur potentlul und lts unwllllngness to ublde by the nucleur rules of the superpowers.
One of the lmportunt feutures of Indlru Gundhlըs forelgn pollcy wus the close tles wlth the Arub world. It wus durlng
the Nehru perlod thut the foundutlons of u sound und vluble Arub pollcy were luld. The Indlru Gundhl eru wltnessed
un ullround development of Indo-Arub relutlons. Indlru Gundhl ulwuys evlnced keen lnterest ln the uffulrs of the Arub
world. Under her leudershlp Indlu felt emotlonully und morully commltted to the nutlonul usplrutlons of the Arubs to
guln u rlghtful pluce ln the comlty of nutlons. She ulwuys showed un ubldlng concern for Pulestlne whlch forms the
crux of West Aslun problem. Consequently, ln the UN und ln lts vurlous forums us well us ln dlfferent Afro-Aslun
und Non-Allgned Conferences Indlruըs Indlu supported the Arub stund on the Pulestlne lssue. On her return to power
ln 1980 Indlru Gundhl dumped the Junutu Governmentըs pro-Isruel pollcy lnto the dustbln und reverted buck to the
Nehruvlun pollcy. She lnvlted PLO leuder Yusser Arufut to New Delhl und estubllshed formul dlplomutlc relutlons
desplte stlff opposltlon und strong pressures. She wus culled Gumul Nusserըs nlece, Klng Fulsulըs duughter und
Yusser Arufutըs slster ln the Arub world. She wus lmmensely populur umong the Arub people who culled her
Alsuyyldu Indlru Gundhl.
Indlru Gundhl reflected the restless splrlt of munklnd deslrlng to estubllsh u world order free from humun sufferlngs.
She struggled for the creutlon of un essentlully humun order ln pluce of one bused on brute force. She wus ugulnst ull
forms of domlnutlon und exploltutlon of one country by unother. She opposed colonlullsm und ruclullsm on the
ground thut these creuted tenslons und hostlllty. She flrmly belleved thut the udoptlon of non-ullgnment by u fulrly
lurge number of countrles would uutomutlcully wlden the ureu of peuce und securlty. She udvocuted dlsurmument
whlch ulone could brlng confldence und hope for survlvul umong the peoples of the world.
Indlru Gundhl wus deflnltely successful ln the lnternutlonul urenu. She stood heud und shoulders ubove the leuders
of Thlrd World countrles ln lnternutlonul forums und conferences. She wus ulwuys ln the llmellght. Hers wus the
foremost volce for world peuce ln u tense und troubled world. She wus successful ln protectlng Indluըs lnterests
wlthout succumblng to the pressure of superpowers. An lncreuse ln Indluըs economlc und mllltury strength durlng her
reglme mude Indlu un lmportunt reglonul power whlch none of the superpowers could ufford to lgnore. She mude
Indlu strong und u leudlng country ln the comlty of nutlons, guve u clurlon cull to the world to suve humunlty from the
nucleur holocuust, rulsed her volce ugulnst ull klnds of exploltutlon. She dlspluyed rure stutesmunshlp ln tuckllng
lnternutlonul dlsputes. Indlru Gundhlըs role ln guldlng the developlng nutlons of the world und her personul
contrlbutlon towurds dlsurmument und globul peuce were duly ucknowledged by the lnternutlonul communlty. The
lmuge of Indlu us u country whlch hud to be tuken serlously wus deflnltely her blggest contrlbutlon.
To sum up, Indlru Gundhl wus truly un lnternutlonul leuder. As the Prlme Mlnlster of Indlu und Chulrperson of the
NAM she exerclsed u profound lnfluence on lnternutlonul uffulrs und mude tremendous efforts for world peuce,
|ustlce und equlty umong nutlons.
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"WHERE KNOWLEDGE IS WEALTH"
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
´Is Sonia Gandhi a Soft Leader and Indira Gandhi a Hard Leader?µ - Professor M.S.Rao
"Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." - Theodore Roosevelt


Do you find it difficult to choose between two leaders Indira Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi? Do you
find it tough to decide who is a better leader? Here is the response.

Both Indira Gandhi and Sonia are good leaders but their leadership styles are different. Indira
Gandhi believed in hard leadership style which is all about believing more on performance than
on people while running her government. In contrast, Sonia Gandhi believed in soft leadership
that is all about emphasizing more on the concern for people than on performance. Indira Gandhi
believed in transactional leadership style while Sonia Gandhi in transformational style. Although
Sonia appears soft externally she is a strong woman who makes hard decisions with more
concern for people. Above all, the times that prevailed during Indira Gandhi forced her to act like
a hard leader while the current times demand more of a soft approach for resolving various
issues.

Sonia¶s Soft Leadership

Sonia is a cool thinker. She is against corruption and quick in making decisions especially
against corrupt people irrespective of party affiliations. She proved herself more as a soft leader
while her mother-in-law, Indira Gandhi as a hard leader. Probably Sonia is a soft leader as she
runs a coalition government which needs lot of balancing act.

Sonia entered politics reluctantly like her husband late Rajiv Gandhi. She stood like a rock when
her husband was assassinated. She brought her two children through right values and ethics. She
did not get everything on platter in politics. She entered into the Congress party when it was
getting disintegrated that too when the party was in opposition. She took the reins and
rejuvenated the Congress party.

Sonia surprised her critics by bringing Congress government back at the Centre through her soft
and effective leadership skills and abilities. She flatly refused to become the Prime Minister of
India when everything was easy for her. She surprised her critics and opponents by sacrificing
power and installing a minority Sikh and a clean personality - Dr. Manmohan Singh.

Sonia is a strong woman with great character who means business. She has become the symbol
of women leadership and a role model for Indian women. The future belongs to the soft leaders
like Sonia Gandhi.

Professor M.S.Rao
Founder and Chief Consultant,
MSR Leadership Consultants, India
Blog: http://profmsr.blogspot.com
Where Knowledge is Wealth
Email: profmsr7@gmail.com


Read more: http://profmsr.blogspot.com/2011/04/is-sonia-gandhi-soft-leader-and-
indira.html#ixzz1mwceGYCe
Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

Indira Gandhi Biography: Nehru's long tenure in office gave continuity and cohesion to India's domestic and
foreign policies, but as his health deteriorated, concerns over who might inherit his mantle or what might
befall India after he left office frequently surfaced in political circles. After his death, the Congress Caucus,
also known as the Syndicate, chose Lal Bahadur Shastri as prime minister in June 1964. A mild-mannered
person, Shastri adhered to Gandhian principles of simplicity of life and dedication to the service of the
country. His short period of leadership was beset with three major crises: widespread food shortages, violent
anti-Hindi demonstrations in the state of Madras (as Tamil Nadu was then called) that were quelled by the
army, and the second war with Pakistan over Kashmir. Shastri's premiership was cut short when he died of a
heart attack on January 11, 1966, the day after having signed the Soviet-brokered Tashkent Declaration. The
agreement required both sides to withdraw all armed personnel by February 26, 1966, to the positions they
had held prior to August 5, 1965, and to observe the cease-fire
line. Indira Gandhi held a cabinet portfolio as
minister of information and broadcasting in Shastri's government. She was the only child of Nehru, who was
also her mentor in the nationalist movement. The Syndicate selected her as prime minister when Shastri
died in 1966 even though her eligibility was challenged by Morarji Desai, a veteran nationalist and long-time
aspirant to that office. The Congress "bosses" were apparently looking for a leading figure acceptable to the
masses, who could command general support during the next general election but who would also acquiesce
to their guidance. Hardly had Indira Gandhi begun in office than she encountered a series of problems that
defied easy solutions: Mizo tribal uprisings in the northeast; famine, labor unrest, and misery among the
poor in the wake of rupee devaluation; and agitation in Punjab for linguistic and religious
separatism. In the fourth general election in
February 1967, the Congress majority was greatly reduced when it secured only 54 percent of the
parliamentary seats, and non-Congress ministries were established in Bihar, Kerala, Orissa, Madras, Punjab,
and West Bengal the next month. A Congress-led coalition government collapsed in Uttar Pradesh, while in
April Rajasthan was brought under President's Rule--direct central government rule (see The Executive, ch.
8). Seeking to eradicate poverty, Mrs. Gandhi pursued a vigorous policy in 1969 of land reform and placed a
ceiling on personal income, private property, and corporate profits. She also nationalized the major banks, a
bold step amidst a growing rift between herself and the party elders. The Congress expelled her for
"indiscipline" on November 12, 1969, an action that split the party into two factions: the Congress (O)--for
Organisation--under Desai, and the Congress (R)--for Requisition--under Gandhi. She continued as prime
minister with support from communists, Sikhs, and regional
parties. Indira Gandhi campaigned fiercely on the
platform "eliminate poverty" (garibi hatao ) during the fifth general election in March 1971, and the Congress
(R) gained a large majority in Parliament against her former party leaders whose slogan was "eliminate
Indira" (Indira hatao ). India's decisive victory over Pakistan in the third war over Kashmir in December 1971,
and Gandhi's insistence that the 10 million refugees from Bangladesh be sent back to their country generated
a national surge in her popularity, later confirmed by her party's gains in state elections in 1972. She had
firmly established herself at the pinnacle of power, overcoming challenges from the Congress (O), the
Supreme Court, and the state chief ministers in the early 1970s. The more solidified her monopoly of power
became, the more egregious was her intolerance of criticisms, even when they were deserved. As head of
her party and the government, Gandhi nominated and removed the chief ministers at will and frequently
reshuffled the portfolios of her own cabinet members. Ignoring their obligations to their constituencies,
party members competed with each other in parading their loyalty to Gandhi, whose personal approval alone
seemed crucial to their survival. In August 1971, Gandhi signed the twenty-year Treaty of Peace, Friendship,
and Cooperation with the Soviet Union because ties with the United States, which had improved in Nehru's
later years, had eroded (see Russia, ch. 9). Neither
Gandhi's consolidation of power, nor her imperious style of administration, nor even her rhetoric of radical
reforms was enough to meet the deepening economic crisis spawned by the enormous cost of the 1971 war.
A huge additional outlay was needed to manage the refugees, the crop failures in 1972 and 1973, the
skyrocketing world oil prices in 1973-74, and the overall drop in industrial output despite a surplus of
scientifically and technically trained personnel. No immediate sign of economic recovery or equity was
visible despite a loan obtained from the International Monetary Fund (IMF--see Glossary) in 1974. Both
Gandhi's office and character came under severe tests, beginning with railroad employee strikes, national
civil disobedience advocated by J.P. Narayan, defeat of her party in Gujarat by a coalition of parties calling
itself the Janata Morcha (People's Front), an all-party, no-confidence motion in Parliament, and, finally, a
writ issued by the Allahabad High Court invalidating her 1971 election and making her ineligible to occupy
her seat for six years. What had once seemed a
remote possibility took place on June 25, 1975: the president declared an Emergency and the government
suspended civil rights. Because the nation's president, Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (1974-77), and Gandhi's own
party members in Parliament were amenable to her personal influence, Gandhi had little trouble in pushing
through amendments to the constitution that exonerated her from any culpability, declaring President's Rule
in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu where anti-Indira parties ruled, and jailing thousands of her opponents. In her
need to trust and confide in someone during this extremely trying period, she turned to her younger son,
Sanjay, who became an enthusiastic advocate of the Emergency. Under his watchful eyes, forced
sterilization as a means of birth control was imposed on the poor, increased numbers of urban squatters and
slum dwellers in Delhi were evicted in the name of beautification projects, and disgruntled workers were
either disciplined or their wages frozen. The Reign of Terror, as some called it, continued until January 18,
1977, when Gandhi suddenly relaxed the Emergency, announced the next general election in March, and
released her opponents from prison. With elections only two months away, both J.P. Narayan and Morarji
Desai reactivated the multiparty front, which campaigned as the Janata Party and rode anti-Emergency
sentiment to secure a clear majority in the Lok Sabha (House of the People), the lower house of Parliament
(see The Legislature, ch. 8). Desai, a conservative Brahman, became India's fourth prime minister (1977-79),
but his government, from its inception, became notorious for its factionalism and furious internal
competition. As it promised, the Janata government restored freedom and democracy, but its inability to
effect sound reforms or ameliorate poverty left people disillusioned. Desai lost the support of Janata's left-
wing parties by the early summer of 1979, and several secular and liberal politicians abandoned him
altogether, leaving him without a parliamentary majority. A no-confidence motion was about to be
introduced in Parliament in July 1979, but he resigned his office; Desai's government was replaced by a
coalition led by Chaudhury Charan Singh (prime minister in 1979-80). Although Singh's life-long ambition had
been to become prime minister, his age and inefficiency were used against him, and his attempts at
governing India proved futile; new elections were announced in January 1980.
Gandhi and her party, renamed Congress (I)--I for
Indira--campaigned on the slogan "Elect a Government That Works!" and regained power. Sanjay Gandhi was
elected to the Lok Sabha. Unlike during the Emergency, when India registered significant economic and
industrial progress, Gandhi's return to power was hindered by a series of woes and tragedies, beginning with
Sanjay's death in June 1980 while attempting to perform stunts in his private airplane. Secessionist forces in
Punjab and in the northeast and the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in December 1979 consumed her
energy. She began to involve the armed forces in resolving violent domestic conflicts between 1980 and
1984. In May 1984, Sikh extremists occupied the Golden Temple in Amritsar, converting it into a haven for
terrorists. Gandhi responded in early June when she launched Operation Bluestar, which killed and wounded
hundreds of soldiers, insurgents, and civilians (see Insurgent Movements and External Subversion, ch. 10).
Guarding against further challenges to her power, she removed the chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir
and Andhra Pradesh just months before her assassination by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984. The
news of Indira Gandhi's assassination plunged New Delhi and other parts of India into anti-Sikh riots for three
days; several thousand Sikhs were killed.

Indira Gandhi was the first woman ever elected to lead a democracy. She was the Prime
Minister from 1966-77 and then again between 1980-84 till her death at the hands of her
own bodyguards. A paradox she may seem for during the time that she served India as a
Prime Minister, she was known as a dictator as well as one of the most charismatic leaders
of India.
Indira Gandhi was born on November 19, 1917 and was the only child of Jawaharlal and
Kamala Nehru. The active participation of both her parents in India's independence struggle
of India from the British, Indira Gandhi was drawn to politics at an early age. It was as if
politics and politicians always surrounded her.
By the time she was about twelve years old, she headed what came to be known as the
Monkey Brigade. The monkey brigade consisted of children who warned the independence
movement leaders of their arrest. Being its leader, she delivered speeches while other
children actually warned the people who were going to be arrested. The Congress figured
that the British would not suspect children of participating in such involvement.
She was soon sent to England for her studies where she joined the Somerville college,
Oxford. She also spent time in Switzerland primarily because her mother needed to be there
due to her ill health. But her mother passed away in 1936.
In 1938, Indira returned to India and joined the Indian National Congress Party. Soon
afterwards in 1942, she married journalist Feroze Gandhi with whom she eventually had two
sons-Sanjay and Rajiv Gandhi. Soon after the couple was married, they were sent to prison
on charges of subversion by the British. Her one and only imprisonment lasted from
September 11, 1942 until May 13, 1943 at the Naini Central Jail in Allahabad.
India won its independence from Britain in 1947. In that same year, Indira's father
Jawaharlal Nehru became India's first Prime Minister. Since her mother's death, Indira acted
as her father's hostess and confidante and traveled with Nehru. Simultaneously, she was
steadily making her way presence felt in the political arena. She began to associate herself
with numerous organizations. From 1953-57 she was Chairman of the Central Social
Welfare Board. In 1955, she became a member of the Working Committee and Central
Election Committee, the Central Parliamentary Board from 1956, and was the President of
the All India Youth Congress from 1956 to 1960.
After the death of her father, Jawaharlal Nehru in1964, the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur
Shastri appointed Indira Gandhi as the Minister of Information and Broadcasting. This
position was the fourth highest-ranking position in the Cabinet as radio and television were
an important source to disseminate information to the largely illiterate population of India.
As a minister, She encouraged the making of inexpensive radios and started a family
planning program.
But Lal Bahadur Shastri suddenly died of a heart attack in 1966. The contenders for Prime
Minister's post could not agree among themselves and therefore felt that Indira
Gandhi would be the best for the position as a prime minister. Hence, she became the Prime
Minister in 1966 till India held the next elections in 1967. She won that election--- in 1967,
she became the first woman ever elected to lead a democracy. In 1971, Gandhi was re-
elected by campaigning with the slogan "Garibi Hatao" (Abolish Poverty).
She rode a wave of success in 1971 with India's victory in the Indo-pak war
and the launching of the India's first satellite into space. And with the testing
of a nuclear device in 1974, she earned the reputation of a tough and shrewd politician
among the middle class.
Simultaneously, by 1973, large-scale demonstrations were taking place across Delhi and
north India. A large section of the population felt that she was not living up to her promises
of "Garibi Hatao". High inflation, rampant corruption and poor standards of living were
leading to social unrest.
In an attempt to control population growth, she implemented a voluntary sterilization
program. But her adversaries criticized it. She began to face a strong opposition to her
administration in general.
By 1975, Indira Gandhi had to face charges of corruption. In June 1975, the High Court of
Allahabad found her guilty of using illegal practices during the last election campaign. She
was ordered to vacate her seat. There were demands for her resignation.
She responded by declaring a state of emergency on June 25, 1975. During this emergency,
the Supreme Court of India overturned the Allahabad High Court's judgment. Through the
powers ensured to her through the emergency, she ordered the arrests of the main
opposition leaders. In her opinion, she declared an emergency for the good of India. The
constitutional rights of the citizens were limited and the press was under strict censorship
overnight. Meanwhile, her eldest son, Sanjay Gandhi, ordered the removal of slum
dwellings, and in an attempt to curb India's growing population, initiated a highly resented
program of forced sterilization.
In early 1977, she thought she had eliminated her opposition and called for fresh elections.
Her Congress party lost badly at the polls. She was voted out of power and a newly formed
coalition of political parties came to power. Many declared that she was a spent force. But,
three years later, she was to return as Prime Minister of India.
Indira Gandhi came to power again as the prime minister in 1980. The same year, however,
her son Sanjay was killed in an airplane crash.
In the post-emergency period, as a prime minister Indira Gandhi was preoccupied by efforts
to resolve the political problems in the state of Punjab. In her attempt to crush the
secessionist movement of Sikh militants, led by Jarnail Singh Bindranwale, she ordered an
assault upon the holiest Sikh shrine in Amritsar, the "Golden Temple". It was from here that
Bindranwale and his armed supporters waged their campaign. "Operation Bluestar", waged
in June 1984, led to the death of Bindranwale, and the Golden Temple was stripped clean of
Sikh terrorists. However, the Golden Temple was damaged, and Mrs. Gandhi earned the
undying hatred of Sikhs who bitterly resented her action in their sacred space. In November
of the same year, Mrs. Gandhi was assassinated, at her residence, by two of her own Sikh
bodyguards, who claimed to be avenging the insult heaped upon the Sikh nation.
Her death led to sectarian violence across India during which over a 1000 people died of
which many were Sikhs.
Indira Gandhi was remarkable for her ambition for personal power, her endurance and
political tenacity. Mrs. Gandhi acquired a formidable international reputation as a
"statesman", and there is no doubt that she was extraordinarily skilled in politics. On the
international front, she insisted on India's independence, gradually loosened ties with the
former USSR that were developed in the early 1970s when China seemed menacing. She
was proved to be a forceful spokeswoman for the rights of poorer nations. On the domestic
front, however, her autocratic methods often clashed with her democratic principles. She
had an authoritarian streak and rarely tolerated dissent. In many respects, Indian
democracy was irreparably harmed during her rule. Apart from her infamous imposition of
the internal emergency, the use of the army to resolve internal disputes greatly increased in
her time.

After her death, her second son, Rajiv Gandhi, was sworn in as head of the Congress party
and Prime Minister.
Quick Look : : Life Line
y 1917, November 19: Date of birth
y 1930: founded the Bal Chakha Sangh and was part of the Vanas Sena---a children's
organization which ran messages to help the Congress Party or Freedom Movement
during the non-cooperative movement.
-Goes to study in England and joins Somerville college in Oxford.
y 1938: joins the Indian National Congress
y 1942: marries Feroze Gandhi
y 1942: The couple is soon imprisoned at the Naini Central jail, Allahabad on
September 11, 1942 on charges of subversion
y 1943, May 13: released from Naini Central jail
y 1947-1964: remains with her father as his hostess and close supporter
y 1947: under Gandhi's instructions, she works in riot-affected areas of Delhi.
y 1953-57: serves as the Chairman of the Central Social Welfare Board
y 1955: becomes a member of the working Committee and Central Election Committee
y 1956: member of Central Parliamentary Board
y 1956-60: Becomes the President of the All India Youth congress
y 1960: Feroze Gandhi, her husband, dies
y 1964: Nehru, her father, dies
y 1964: she is elected to the parliament in his place
y 1964-66: serves as the Minister of Information and Broadcasting
y 1966: becomes the Prime Minister after the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri
y 1971: calls for a general election and wins by an enormous margin
-declares war with Pakistan over Bangladesh
-sends India's first satellite into space
-her period in office is marked by severe economic troubles.
y 1973: there are demonstrations across the country due to high inflation, poor state
of the economy, rampant corruption and the poor standards of living.
y 1974: tests the explosion of a nuclear device.
y 1975, June: the High Court of Allahabad found her guilty of illegal practices during
the last election campaign and ordered her to vacate her seat.
-She responded by declaring a state of emergency.
y 1977: Indira Gandhi calls for early elections but loses
-she faces charges of corruption and authoritarianism
-is expelled from parliament and is imprisoned.
y 1978: is released from prison.
-Resigns from the congress party
-Becomes leader of the Indian National Congress
-Wins a seat through a by-election
y 1980: is re-elected as the Prime Minister
-Sanjay Gandhi, her youngest son, dies in a plane crash
y 1984, June: in an attempt to crush the secessionist movement in Punjab, she
launched "Operation Blue Star". She sent troops into the "Golden Temple" of
Amritsar. This led to the death of Jarnail Singh Bindrawale, the leader of the
secessionist movement of Sikh militants.
http://www.ceeby.com/people/IndiraGandhi.cfm

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QGLD VHFRQRPLFDQGPLOLWDU\VWUHQJWKGXULQJKHU UHJLPHPDGH.co.S.QGLUD*DQGKL .QGLD VLQWHUHVWV ZLWKRXWVXFFXPELQJWRWKHSUHVVXUHRIVXSHUSRZHUV$QLQFUHDVHLQ.Rao "Speak softly and carry a big stick.QGLDVWURQJDQGDOHDGLQJFRXQWU\LQWKHFRPLW\RIQDWLRQVJDYHDFODULRQFDOOWRWKHZRUOGWRVDYHKXPDQLW\IURPWKH QXFOHDUKRORFDXVWUDLVHGKHUYRLFHDJDLQVWDOONLQGVRIH[SORLWDWLRQ6KHGLVSOD\HGUDUHVWDWHVPDQVKLSLQWDFNOLQJ LQWHUQDWLRQDOGLVSXWHV.Theodore Roosevelt Do you find it difficult to choose between two leaders Indira Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi? Do you find it tough to decide who is a better leader? Here is the response.Professor M. Indira .QGLDDQG&KDLUSHUVRQRIWKH 1$0VKHH[HUFLVHGDSURIRXQGLQIOXHQFHRQLQWHUQDWLRQDODIIDLUVDQGPDGHWUHPHQGRXVHIIRUWVIRUZRUOGSHDFH MXVWLFHDQGHTXLW\DPRQJQDWLRQV http://www.in/books?id=npdqD_TXucQC&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55&dq=vision+articul ation+of+indira+gandhi&source=bl&ots=5QEcXqtgWJ&sig=FIzrdpYWq_zcAYVHkNv60I7nO x8&hl=en&sa=X&ei=VX5CT93DF4rXrQfI4cXNBw#v=twopage&q&f=true "WHERE KNOWLEDGE IS WEALTH" Wednesday.QGLUD*DQGKLZDVWUXO\DQLQWHUQDWLRQDOOHDGHU$VWKH3ULPH0LQLVWHURI.QGLUD*DQGKLZDVGHILQLWHO\VXFFHVVIXOLQWKHLQWHUQDWLRQDODUHQD6KHVWRRGKHDGDQGVKRXOGHUVDERYHWKHOHDGHUV RI7KLUG:RUOGFRXQWULHVLQLQWHUQDWLRQDOIRUXPVDQGFRQIHUHQFHV6KHZDVDOZD\VLQWKHOLPHOLJKW+HUVZDVWKH IRUHPRVWYRLFHIRUZRUOGSHDFHLQDWHQVHDQGWURXEOHGZRUOG6KHZDVVXFFHVVIXOLQSURWHFWLQJ. Both Indira Gandhi and Sonia are good leaders but their leadership styles are different." .html http://books.LQJ)DLVDO VGDXJKWHUDQG <DVVHU$UDIDW VVLVWHULQWKH$UDEZRUOG6KHZDVLPPHQVHO\SRSXODUDPRQJWKH$UDESHRSOHZKRFDOOHGKHU $OVD\\LGD.net/article389.QGLDDQLPSRUWDQWUHJLRQDOSRZHUZKLFKQRQHRIWKHVXSHUSRZHUVFRXOGDIIRUGWRLJQRUH6KHPDGH .google. you will go far.QGLDDVDFRXQWU\ZKLFKKDGWREHWDNHQVHULRXVO\ZDVGHILQLWHO\KHUELJJHVWFRQWULEXWLRQ 7RVXPXS.1HKUXYLDQSROLF\6KHLQYLWHG3/2OHDGHU<DVVHU$UDIDWWR1HZ'HOKLDQGHVWDEOLVKHGIRUPDOGLSORPDWLFUHODWLRQV GHVSLWHVWLIIRSSRVLWLRQDQGVWURQJSUHVVXUHV6KHZDVFDOOHG*DPDO1DVVHU VQLHFH. 2011 ´Is Sonia Gandhi a Soft Leader and Indira Gandhi a Hard Leader?µ .mainstreamweekly. April 27.QGLUD*DQGKLUHIOHFWHGWKHUHVWOHVVVSLULWRIPDQNLQGGHVLULQJWRHVWDEOLVKDZRUOGRUGHUIUHHIURPKXPDQVXIIHULQJV 6KHVWUXJJOHGIRUWKHFUHDWLRQRIDQHVVHQWLDOO\KXPDQRUGHULQSODFHRIRQHEDVHGRQEUXWHIRUFH6KHZDVDJDLQVWDOO IRUPVRIGRPLQDWLRQDQGH[SORLWDWLRQRIRQHFRXQWU\E\DQRWKHU6KHRSSRVHGFRORQLDOLVPDQGUDFLDOLVPRQWKH JURXQGWKDWWKHVHFUHDWHGWHQVLRQVDQGKRVWLOLW\6KHILUPO\EHOLHYHGWKDWWKHDGRSWLRQRIQRQDOLJQPHQWE\DIDLUO\ ODUJHQXPEHURIFRXQWULHVZRXOGDXWRPDWLFDOO\ZLGHQWKHDUHDRISHDFHDQGVHFXULW\6KHDGYRFDWHGGLVDUPDPHQW ZKLFKDORQHFRXOGEULQJFRQILGHQFHDQGKRSHIRUVXUYLYDODPRQJWKHSHRSOHVRIWKHZRUOG .QGLUD*DQGKL VUROHLQJXLGLQJWKHGHYHORSLQJQDWLRQVRIWKHZRUOGDQGKHUSHUVRQDO FRQWULEXWLRQWRZDUGVGLVDUPDPHQWDQGJOREDOSHDFHZHUHGXO\DFNQRZOHGJHGE\WKHLQWHUQDWLRQDOFRPPXQLW\7KH LPDJHRI.

S. She did not get everything on platter in politics. Indira Gandhi believed in transactional leadership style while Sonia Gandhi in transformational style.html#ixzz1mwceGYCe Under Creative Commons License: Attribution  Indira Gandhi Biography: Nehru's long tenure in office gave continuity and cohesion to India's domestic and . MSR Leadership Consultants. She has become the symbol of women leadership and a role model for Indian women. Sonia surprised her critics by bringing Congress government back at the Centre through her soft and effective leadership skills and abilities.com/2011/04/is-sonia-gandhi-soft-leader-andindira. Sonia is a strong woman with great character who means business.com Where Knowledge is Wealth Email: profmsr7@gmail. Probably Sonia is a soft leader as she runs a coalition government which needs lot of balancing act.blogspot. Professor M. India Blog: http://profmsr. In contrast.blogspot. She is against corruption and quick in making decisions especially against corrupt people irrespective of party affiliations.Gandhi believed in hard leadership style which is all about believing more on performance than on people while running her government.com Read more: http://profmsr. Above all. She stood like a rock when her husband was assassinated. Sonia Gandhi believed in soft leadership that is all about emphasizing more on the concern for people than on performance. Sonia entered politics reluctantly like her husband late Rajiv Gandhi.Rao Founder and Chief Consultant. Indira Gandhi as a hard leader. the times that prevailed during Indira Gandhi forced her to act like a hard leader while the current times demand more of a soft approach for resolving various issues. She surprised her critics and opponents by sacrificing power and installing a minority Sikh and a clean personality . She entered into the Congress party when it was getting disintegrated that too when the party was in opposition. She brought her two children through right values and ethics. She took the reins and rejuvenated the Congress party. She proved herself more as a soft leader while her mother-in-law. Although Sonia appears soft externally she is a strong woman who makes hard decisions with more concern for people.Dr. She flatly refused to become the Prime Minister of India when everything was easy for her. Sonia¶s Soft Leadership Sonia is a cool thinker. The future belongs to the soft leaders like Sonia Gandhi. Manmohan Singh.

also known as the Syndicate. 1966. Shastri adhered to Gandhian principles of simplicity of life and dedication to the service of the country. Orissa. Hardly had Indira Gandhi begun in office than she encountered a series of problems that defied easy solutions: Mizo tribal uprisings in the northeast. A mild-mannered person. and agitation in Punjab for linguistic and religious separatism. Kerala. chose Lal Bahadur Shastri as prime minister in June 1964. The Congress "bosses" were apparently looking for a leading figure acceptable to the masses. The agreement required both sides to withdraw all armed personnel by February 26. His short period of leadership was beset with three major crises: widespread food shortages. In the fourth general election in February 1967. Indira Gandhi held a cabinet portfolio as minister of information and broadcasting in Shastri's government. 1966. Madras. After his death. and to observe the cease-fire line. to the positions they had held prior to August 5. the Congress majority was greatly reduced when it secured only 54 percent of the parliamentary seats. The Syndicate selected her as prime minister when Shastri died in 1966 even though her eligibility was challenged by Morarji Desai. 1965. the Congress Caucus. famine. . concerns over who might inherit his mantle or what might befall India after he left office frequently surfaced in political circles. Punjab.foreign policies. the day after having signed the Soviet-brokered Tashkent Declaration. but as his health deteriorated. Shastri's premiership was cut short when he died of a heart attack on January 11. who was also her mentor in the nationalist movement. violent anti-Hindi demonstrations in the state of Madras (as Tamil Nadu was then called) that were quelled by the army. She was the only child of Nehru. who could command general support during the next general election but who would also acquiesce to their guidance. and non-Congress ministries were established in Bihar. and the second war with Pakistan over Kashmir. and misery among the poor in the wake of rupee devaluation. labor unrest. a veteran nationalist and long-time aspirant to that office.

the more egregious was her intolerance of criticisms. overcoming challenges from the Congress (O). later confirmed by her party's gains in state elections in 1972. As head of her party and the government. 1969. while in April Rajasthan was brought under President's Rule--direct central government rule (see The Executive. Gandhi pursued a vigorous policy in 1969 of land reform and placed a ceiling on personal income. She continued as prime minister with support from communists. Ignoring their obligations to their constituencies. and Gandhi's insistence that the 10 million refugees from Bangladesh be sent back to their country generated a national surge in her popularity. ch. an action that split the party into two factions: the Congress (O)--for Organisation--under Desai. Gandhi signed the twenty-year Treaty of Peace. a bold step amidst a growing rift between herself and the party elders. India's decisive victory over Pakistan in the third war over Kashmir in December 1971. Seeking to eradicate poverty. private property. Mrs. the Supreme Court. She had firmly established herself at the pinnacle of power. which had improved in Nehru's . and Cooperation with the Soviet Union because ties with the United States. The Congress expelled her for "indiscipline" on November 12. Indira Gandhi campaigned fiercely on the platform "eliminate poverty" (garibi hatao ) during the fifth general election in March 1971. and the Congress (R)--for Requisition--under Gandhi. The more solidified her monopoly of power became. even when they were deserved.and West Bengal the next month. whose personal approval alone seemed crucial to their survival. In August 1971. and corporate profits. and the Congress (R) gained a large majority in Parliament against her former party leaders whose slogan was "eliminate Indira" (Indira hatao ). She also nationalized the major banks. and the state chief ministers in the early 1970s. 8). Sikhs. Gandhi nominated and removed the chief ministers at will and frequently reshuffled the portfolios of her own cabinet members. A Congress-led coalition government collapsed in Uttar Pradesh. Friendship. party members competed with each other in parading their loyalty to Gandhi. and regional parties.

an all-party. A huge additional outlay was needed to manage the refugees. Neither Gandhi's consolidation of power. and jailing thousands of her opponents. a writ issued by the Allahabad High Court invalidating her 1971 election and making her ineligible to occupy her seat for six years. Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed (1974-77). Narayan. nor even her rhetoric of radical reforms was enough to meet the deepening economic crisis spawned by the enormous cost of the 1971 war. she turned to her younger son. ch. national civil disobedience advocated by J. Both Gandhi's office and character came under severe tests. had eroded (see Russia. What had once seemed a remote possibility took place on June 25. no-confidence motion in Parliament. and the overall drop in industrial output despite a surplus of scientifically and technically trained personnel. declaring President's Rule in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu where anti-Indira parties ruled. 9). defeat of her party in Gujarat by a coalition of parties calling itself the Janata Morcha (People's Front). beginning with railroad employee strikes. In her need to trust and confide in someone during this extremely trying period. . the crop failures in 1972 and 1973. and. 1975: the president declared an Emergency and the government suspended civil rights. nor her imperious style of administration.later years. No immediate sign of economic recovery or equity was visible despite a loan obtained from the International Monetary Fund (IMF--see Glossary) in 1974. Gandhi had little trouble in pushing through amendments to the constitution that exonerated her from any culpability. the skyrocketing world oil prices in 1973-74.P. finally. and Gandhi's own party members in Parliament were amenable to her personal influence. Because the nation's president.

increased numbers of urban squatters and slum dwellers in Delhi were evicted in the name of beautification projects. new elections were announced in January 1980. Desai lost the support of Janata's leftwing parties by the early summer of 1979. beginning with Sanjay's death in June 1980 while attempting to perform stunts in his private airplane. which killed and wounded hundreds of soldiers. and several secular and liberal politicians abandoned him altogether. as some called it. In May 1984. the Janata government restored freedom and democracy. Gandhi's return to power was hindered by a series of woes and tragedies. but his government. Sikh extremists occupied the Golden Temple in Amritsar. from its inception. ch. converting it into a haven for terrorists. when Gandhi suddenly relaxed the Emergency. and civilians (see Insurgent Movements and External Subversion. his age and inefficiency were used against him. and disgruntled workers were either disciplined or their wages frozen. 10). she removed the chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh just months before her assassination by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31. . the lower house of Parliament (see The Legislature. Desai. renamed Congress (I)--I for Indira--campaigned on the slogan "Elect a Government That Works!" and regained power. forced sterilization as a means of birth control was imposed on the poor. Gandhi responded in early June when she launched Operation Bluestar. Unlike during the Emergency. Desai's government was replaced by a coalition led by Chaudhury Charan Singh (prime minister in 1979-80). but its inability to effect sound reforms or ameliorate poverty left people disillusioned. a conservative Brahman. became India's fourth prime minister (1977-79). became notorious for its factionalism and furious internal competition. and released her opponents from prison. both J. Sanjay Gandhi was elected to the Lok Sabha. insurgents. but he resigned his office. 1977. As it promised. The news of Indira Gandhi's assassination plunged New Delhi and other parts of India into anti-Sikh riots for three days. announced the next general election in March. several thousand Sikhs were killed. Under his watchful eyes. Guarding against further challenges to her power. who became an enthusiastic advocate of the Emergency. 8).P. Narayan and Morarji Desai reactivated the multiparty front. Gandhi and her party. A no-confidence motion was about to be introduced in Parliament in July 1979. and his attempts at governing India proved futile. Although Singh's life-long ambition had been to become prime minister. 1984. With elections only two months away. She began to involve the armed forces in resolving violent domestic conflicts between 1980 and 1984.Sanjay. The Reign of Terror. ch. continued until January 18. leaving him without a parliamentary majority. when India registered significant economic and industrial progress. Secessionist forces in Punjab and in the northeast and the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in December 1979 consumed her energy. which campaigned as the Janata Party and rode anti-Emergency sentiment to secure a clear majority in the Lok Sabha (House of the People).

She won that election--. By the time she was about twelve years old. Jawaharlal Nehru in1964. Her one and only imprisonment lasted from September 11. Indira's father Jawaharlal Nehru became India's first Prime Minister. she married journalist Feroze Gandhi with whom she eventually had two sons-Sanjay and Rajiv Gandhi. After the death of her father. 1943 at the Naini Central Jail in Allahabad. she was known as a dictator as well as one of the most charismatic leaders of India. they were sent to prison on charges of subversion by the British. And with the testing . Being its leader. The monkey brigade consisted of children who warned the independence movement leaders of their arrest. From 1953-57 she was Chairman of the Central Social Welfare Board. the Central Parliamentary Board from 1956. She rode a wave of success in 1971 with India's victory in the Indo-pak war and the launching of the India's first satellite into space. The contenders for Prime Minister's post could not agree among themselves and therefore felt that Indira Gandhi would be the best for the position as a prime minister. It was as if politics and politicians always surrounded her. Indira returned to India and joined the Indian National Congress Party. But her mother passed away in 1936. But Lal Bahadur Shastri suddenly died of a heart attack in 1966. The active participation of both her parents in India's independence struggle of India from the British. In 1938. Indira Gandhi was drawn to politics at an early age. she became a member of the Working Committee and Central Election Committee. Simultaneously. 1942 until May 13. She also spent time in Switzerland primarily because her mother needed to be there due to her ill health. In 1971. Oxford. She began to associate herself with numerous organizations. Soon after the couple was married. Since her mother's death. The Congress figured that the British would not suspect children of participating in such involvement. Indira Gandhi was born on November 19. the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri appointed Indira Gandhi as the Minister of Information and Broadcasting. Indira acted as her father's hostess and confidante and traveled with Nehru. she headed what came to be known as the Monkey Brigade. India won its independence from Britain in 1947. she delivered speeches while other children actually warned the people who were going to be arrested.in 1967.Indira Gandhi was the first woman ever elected to lead a democracy. As a minister. She encouraged the making of inexpensive radios and started a family planning program. In 1955. Hence. In that same year. This position was the fourth highest-ranking position in the Cabinet as radio and television were an important source to disseminate information to the largely illiterate population of India. she became the first woman ever elected to lead a democracy. Gandhi was reelected by campaigning with the slogan "Garibi Hatao" (Abolish Poverty). A paradox she may seem for during the time that she served India as a Prime Minister. she became the Prime Minister in 1966 till India held the next elections in 1967. 1917 and was the only child of Jawaharlal and Kamala Nehru. Soon afterwards in 1942. She was soon sent to England for her studies where she joined the Somerville college. She was the Prime Minister from 1966-77 and then again between 1980-84 till her death at the hands of her own bodyguards. and was the President of the All India Youth Congress from 1956 to 1960. she was steadily making her way presence felt in the political arena.

Many declared that she was a spent force. the Golden Temple was damaged. gradually loosened ties with the . ordered the removal of slum dwellings.of a nuclear device in 1974. by two of her own Sikh bodyguards. By 1975. she earned the reputation of a tough and shrewd politician among the middle class. She was ordered to vacate her seat. "Operation Bluestar". She began to face a strong opposition to her administration in general. she implemented a voluntary sterilization program. 1975. In early 1977. The same year. Indira Gandhi was remarkable for her ambition for personal power. Mrs. her son Sanjay was killed in an airplane crash. Gandhi earned the undying hatred of Sikhs who bitterly resented her action in their sacred space. In June 1975. Gandhi acquired a formidable international reputation as a "statesman". She was voted out of power and a newly formed coalition of political parties came to power. the High Court of Allahabad found her guilty of using illegal practices during the last election campaign. In an attempt to control population growth. she ordered the arrests of the main opposition leaders. Sanjay Gandhi. at her residence. waged in June 1984. Mrs. she thought she had eliminated her opposition and called for fresh elections. Through the powers ensured to her through the emergency. led to the death of Bindranwale. In the post-emergency period. Meanwhile. She responded by declaring a state of emergency on June 25. But. Indira Gandhi came to power again as the prime minister in 1980. But her adversaries criticized it. Simultaneously. large-scale demonstrations were taking place across Delhi and north India. Her death led to sectarian violence across India during which over a 1000 people died of which many were Sikhs. A large section of the population felt that she was not living up to her promises of "Garibi Hatao". In her attempt to crush the secessionist movement of Sikh militants. During this emergency. her eldest son. and the Golden Temple was stripped clean of Sikh terrorists. Gandhi was assassinated. Indira Gandhi had to face charges of corruption. the "Golden Temple". she declared an emergency for the good of India. she was to return as Prime Minister of India. her endurance and political tenacity. by 1973. rampant corruption and poor standards of living were leading to social unrest. and Mrs. and in an attempt to curb India's growing population. It was from here that Bindranwale and his armed supporters waged their campaign. There were demands for her resignation. initiated a highly resented program of forced sterilization. however. However. Her Congress party lost badly at the polls. the Supreme Court of India overturned the Allahabad High Court's judgment. three years later. as a prime minister Indira Gandhi was preoccupied by efforts to resolve the political problems in the state of Punjab. she ordered an assault upon the holiest Sikh shrine in Amritsar. In her opinion. High inflation. who claimed to be avenging the insult heaped upon the Sikh nation. In November of the same year. On the international front. The constitutional rights of the citizens were limited and the press was under strict censorship overnight. she insisted on India's independence. and there is no doubt that she was extraordinarily skilled in politics. led by Jarnail Singh Bindranwale.

1977: Indira Gandhi calls for early elections but loses -she faces charges of corruption and authoritarianism -is expelled from parliament and is imprisoned. her autocratic methods often clashed with her democratic principles. Allahabad on September 11. dies 1964: Nehru. 1953-57: serves as the Chairman of the Central Social Welfare Board 1955: becomes a member of the working Committee and Central Election Committee 1956: member of Central Parliamentary Board 1956-60: Becomes the President of the All India Youth congress 1960: Feroze Gandhi. On the domestic front. was sworn in as head of the Congress party and Prime Minister. 1975. November 19: Date of birth 1930: founded the Bal Chakha Sangh and was part of the Vanas Sena---a children's organization which ran messages to help the Congress Party or Freedom Movement during the non-cooperative movement. the use of the army to resolve internal disputes greatly increased in her time. June: the High Court of Allahabad found her guilty of illegal practices during the last election campaign and ordered her to vacate her seat. her father. -Goes to study in England and joins Somerville college in Oxford. her second son. 1938: joins the Indian National Congress 1942: marries Feroze Gandhi 1942: The couple is soon imprisoned at the Naini Central jail. Apart from her infamous imposition of the internal emergency. her youngest son.former USSR that were developed in the early 1970s when China seemed menacing. -She responded by declaring a state of emergency. Indian democracy was irreparably harmed during her rule. however. May 13: released from Naini Central jail 1947-1964: remains with her father as his hostess and close supporter 1947: under Gandhi's instructions. she works in riot-affected areas of Delhi. 1978: is released from prison. She had an authoritarian streak and rarely tolerated dissent. -Resigns from the congress party -Becomes leader of the Indian National Congress -Wins a seat through a by-election 1980: is re-elected as the Prime Minister -Sanjay Gandhi. In many respects. 1973: there are demonstrations across the country due to high inflation. After her death. 1974: tests the explosion of a nuclear device. She was proved to be a forceful spokeswoman for the rights of poorer nations. dies in a plane crash y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y y . her husband. 1942 on charges of subversion 1943. Quick Look : : Life Line 1917. rampant corruption and the poor standards of living. Rajiv Gandhi. dies 1964: she is elected to the parliament in his place 1964-66: serves as the Minister of Information and Broadcasting 1966: becomes the Prime Minister after the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri 1971: calls for a general election and wins by an enormous margin -declares war with Pakistan over Bangladesh -sends India's first satellite into space -her period in office is marked by severe economic troubles. poor state of the economy.

June: in an attempt to crush the secessionist movement in Punjab. she launched "Operation Blue Star". This led to the death of Jarnail Singh Bindrawale.com/people/IndiraGandhi.y 1984.ceeby. the leader of the secessionist movement of Sikh militants. She sent troops into the "Golden Temple" of Amritsar. http://www.cfm .