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GK 101 Lecture 4, Unit 1

India under Indira The Early Years

Who was Indira Gandhi?

Only child of Jawaharlal Nehru
Lonely childhood in Allahabad
Home-tutored, went to Shantiniketan, then to
England to study at Oxford
Ill health and the 2nd World War forced early
return, Oxford gave honorary degree
Married to Feroze Gandhi, known from
Allahabad, according to Adi Dharma

Early Political Life

Personal assistant to PM Nehru
Chief of staff from his second term onwards,
until the end
Appointed to Rajya Sabha in 1964
Succeeded Lal Bahadur Shastri as PM
Congress broken into factions, Indira viewed
as a compromise candidate
Not taken seriously, often insulted

Economic Policy
Started with an economy in deep trouble
Multiple famines & 1965 war

Started with an effort to liberalize, devalued

currency to boost exports and foreign aid
Foreign aid never came, Lyndon Johnson
blocked food aid for Vietnam
U-Turn in policy, lost all faith in either foreign
aid or in private sector aiding socialism

Economic Moves
Indira decided to make India self-sufficient
Aggressively expanded public sector, starting
with nationalizing banks
Banking came to common man

Green Revolution replenished food stocks

Painstakingly built up forex reserves
Bought US wheat when famine hit in 1972

Brought in stringent licensing requirements

for private enterprise

Foreign Policy
Annexed Sikkim, mindless of China, exerted
influence of Nepal & Bhutan
Started with good relations with Sri Lanka,
soured after J Jayewardene
Clarified Indias concern for Tamils (LTTE)

Established Indias position in Africa after

1962s low point
Grew officially close to USSR with treaty,
unable to establish presence in SE-Asia

Social Policy
Officially mandated Hindi and English as dual
state languages, placating South India
Abolished the royal purses, with 2 attempts
Royals unable to stop or retaliate in elections

Punjab, HP separated on language lines;

Meghalaya, Tripura, Manipur made states
Solved the Mizoram crisis, making it a UT
Furthered Indian pride via Nuclear Program

Questions - 1
During her interview at Shantiniketan, what name did
Rabindranath Tagore give Indira?
Religious community Feroze Gandhi was from?
Which Congress leader (later separated) called Indira
Gungi Gudia?
Ram Manohar Lohia
Which village in the Rajasthan desert did India carry
out its nuclear test in, in 1974?

1971 Pakistan War - Background

Started with unrest in East Pakistan

Sheikh not let to be PM, Awami League outlawed

Many Awami leaders escape into India

Mukti Bahini, covert Bangladeshi army,
formed in Indian camps
Pak Army goes on mass genocide, mainly
against Hindu minority 10M refugees
Indira realizes it is easier and cheaper to
stop genocide than to handle refugees

Events of the War 1

By November, war seems inevitable
Pakistan rings with slogans of Crush India

Indian Army bides time to ensure winter

Pakistan preemptively strikes 11 Indian
airbases on 3rd December, 1971
India officially enters into war, initial
responses same night, massive retaliation
Navy and Army put into action

Events of the War 2

Indian Navy launches 2 operations on Karachi,
sinks 3 warships, destroys fuel, 700 casualties
PNS Ghazi sinks near Vizag, Pak loses control
of Eastern waters
India loses INS Khukri, 16 officers, 178 sailors
Losing Bengali tech personnel meant that PAF
had to reduce its capacity day by day
Dhaka airfield rendered useless, squadron

Events of the War 3

Indian army able to use strategy, capture 5500
sq. km of territory in Kashmir, Punjab, Sindh
Returned in 1972 Simla Agreement

33,000 casualties vs 15,000

90,000 PoWs for India

Pakistan surrenders on Dec 16

One of the shortest wars ever

Pak loses 1/2 Navy, 1/3 Army, 1/4 Air Force

Fallout of the War

USSRs verbal support took the form of a formal
agreement in 1972
USs support for Pak wedges Indo-US ties
US sent a nuclear armed fleet to Bay of Bengal

Paks pride completely beaten down

Forced to accept Bangladesh as independent nation

Pak loses half its people and more portion of

China understands Indias readiness, keeps away

Questions 2
Who was the President of Pakistan during war?
General Yahya Khan
How many people were estimated killed by the Pak
Army in Bangladesh?
3 million (2 lakh raped, a full generation of war
babies in Bangladesh)
Who was the first President of Bangladesh?
Sheikh Mujibur Rehman
Which young Pak officer was so traumatized by the war
memory that his life mission was revenge, which he
tried more than 25 years later??
Pervez Musharraf

Assignment Topics
The Green Revolution