Indira Gandhi

Born: 19 November 1917 Passed Away: 31 October 1984 Contributions Indira Gandhi was, undoubtedly, one of the greatest political leaders of India. She was the first and only woman to be elected as the Prime Minister. She is also regarded as the most controversial political leader of the country for her unprecedented decision of imposing "a state of emergency". She was also criticized for carrying out the Operation BlueStar in Punjab that eventually scripted her assassination on 31 October 1984. Life Indira 'Priyadarshini' Gandhi was born on 19 November, 1917, in Allahabad to Kamala and Jawaharlal Nehru. Indira's father was a well-educated lawyer and an active member of the Indian Independence Movement. Since the Nehru family was the centre of national political activity, Indira Gandhi was exposed to politics when she was a little child. A leader like Mahatma Gandhi was among the frequent visitors of the Nehru house in Allahabad. She passed her Metric from Pune University and went to Shantiniketan in West Bengal. Here, the students were made to lead a very strict and disciplined life. She later went on to study in Switzerland and Oxford University in London. Indira, then stayed few months in Switzerland with her ailing mother. In 1936, after Kamala Nehru finally succumbed to tuberculosis, she returned to India. At the time of Kamala's death, Jawaharlal Nehru, was languishing in the Indian jails. After his return to the country, Indira showed an active participation in the national movement. She also became a member of the Indian National Congress. Here, she met Feroze Gandhi, a journalist and key member of the Youth Congress - the youth wing of the Congress Party. In 1941, despite his father's objections, she married Feroze Gandhi. In 1944, Indira gave birth to Rajiv Gandhi followed two years later by Sanjay Gandhi. Post Independence After the independence, Indira Gandhi's father Jawaharlal Nehru became the first Prime Minister of India. Indira Gandhi decided to shift to Delhi to assist his father. Her two sons remained with her but Feroze decided to stay back in Allahabad. He was working as an editor of The National Herald newspaper founded by Motilal Nehru. During the 1951-52 Parliamentary Elections, Indira Gandhi handled the campaigns of her husband, Feroze, who was contesting from Rae Bareli, Uttar Pradesh. After being elected as MP, Feroze opted to live in a separate house in Delhi. Feroze soon became a prominent force against the corruption in the Nehru led government. He exposed a major scandal involving prominent insurance companies and the Finance Minister

T.T. Krishnamachari. The Finance Minister was considered to be a close aide of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. Feroze had developed as a noted figure in the country's political circle. He, with a small coterie of supporters and advisors continued to challenge the Central government. On 8 September 1960, Feroze died after a major cardiac arrest. India as Congress President In 1959, Indira Gandhi was elected as the President of the Indian National Congress Party. She was one of the political advisors of Jawaharlal Nehru. After the death of Jawaharlal Nehru on 27 May 1964, Indira Gandhi decided to contest elections and eventually elected. She was appointed as the in-charge of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry under Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri It was believed that Indira Gandhi was an adept at the art of politics and image-making. This is corroborated by an event happened during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. While the war was going, Indira Gandhi went on a holiday trip to Srinagar. Despite repeated warnings by the security forces that Pakistani insurgents had entered very close to the hotel, she was staying, Gandhi refused to move. The incident fetched her huge national and international media attention. As Prime Minister Following the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri on 11 January 1966, in Tashkent, the race to the coveted throne of Prime Minister began. The party faced a serious trouble, as, all the senior leaders of the Congress party desired to contest. Unable to reach at a consensus, the high-command picked Indira as their contender. The virtual reason behind Indira's selection was the thought that "Indira would, indirectly be run by the top leadership." But Indira Gandhi, showing extraordinary political skills elbowed the Congress stalwarts out of power. In 1971, in order to stop the Bangladeshi refugees from flowing in into the country, Indira Gandhi supported the East Pakistan's struggle for freedom against West Pakistan. India provided logistical support and also sent troops to fight against West Pakistan. India's triumph in the war of 1971 against Pakistan enhanced the popularity of Indira Gandhi as a shrewd political leader. Imposition of Emergency In 1975, the Opposition parties and social activists staged regular demonstrations against the Indira Gandhi-led Central government over rising inflation, the poor state of economy and unchecked corruption. The same year, a ruling of Allahabad High Court that Indira Gandhi had used illegal practices during the last election helped in adding fuel to the existing political fire. The verdict ordered her to vacate her seat, immediately. The agitation and anger of the people intensified. Realizing the consequences, on 26 June, 1975, Indira Gandhi declared "an emergency, due to the turbulent political situation in the country". During the state of emergency, her political foes were imprisoned, constitutional rights of the citizens were abrogated, and the press placed under strict censorship. The Gandhian socialist

Operation Blue Star and her assassination In September 1981. On 31 October 1984. and in an attempt to curb India's growing population. Congress returned to power with a landslide majority. fearing military coup if the emergency continued further. Early life Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi was born in the northern Indian city of Allahabad on November 19. an important figure in the nationalist movement. a great sympathy from the people who had considered her as an autocrat just two years back. However. 1917. assassinated the Prime Minister at her Safdarjung Road residence. a Sikh militant group demanding "Khalistan" entered into the premises of the Golden Temple. began to run the country with full-authority. the Janata government ordered to arrest her. Jawaharlal. In 1977. as compared to 350 seats it grabbed in the previous Lok Sabha. Sanjay Gandhi. Indira Gandhi's bodyguards Satwant Singh and Beant Singh. was often jailed for supporting Mohandas Gandhi's (1869±1948) nationalist movement. With so little in common among the allies of the Janata Party. The act was viewed as an unparalleled tragedy in the Indian political history. She was the only child of Jawaharlal Nehru. Mohandas Gandhi (no relation to Indira) opposed the dominant rule of Great Britain over India. initiated a highly resented program of forced sterilization. Congress managed to win only 153 Lok Sabha seats. Many Sikhs resigned from the armed and civil administrative office and also returned their government awards. led by Morarji Desai and Jai Prakash Narayan. was the most effective and powerful politician of her day in that country. Narayan was later arrested and jailed. a prime minister of India. along with much of his family. the members were busy in internal strife. Sanjay Gandhi had ordered the removal of slum dwellings. a movement devoted to the improvement of culture within the nation. Indira Gandhi called for elections. Indira Gandhi paved the way for democracy in India during the twentieth century. Considered a hero by her supporters and cursed by her enemies. Meanwhile. who later assassinated her. She was brutally thrashed by the emerging Janata Dal.Jaya Prakash Narayan and his supporters sought to unify students. as a revenge of the Golden Temple assault. Experts viewed the victory of the Congress as a result of inefficient and ineffective "Janata Dal". the strategy failed disastrously and gained Indira Gandhi. In the next elections. peasants and labor organizations in a 'Total non-violent Revolution' to transform Indian society. Later he became India's first prime minister. The operation was carried out with tanks and armored vehicles. The impact of the onslaught increased the communal tensions in the country. In an effort to expel Indira Gandhi from the Parliament. Because of many of his political beliefs. Indira Gandhi ordered the Army to barge into the holy shrine. This association placed Indira at the center of India's struggle for . her younger son. Amritsar. Indira Gandhi. Despite the presence of thousands of civilians in the Temple complex.

Shortly after their marriage. The Indian National Congress had led the country to freedom and had then become its major political party. For a while she was taught at home. Her family's fight for freedom made Indira's upbringing shaky. Since her father had never remarried after his wife's death in 1936. a terrible disease affecting the lungs and bones. arranging a meeting of Hindu and Moslem religious leaders in New Dehli. India erupted into violence. today known as India and Pakistan. No longer under British control. During her imprisonment Indira taught reading and writing to prisoners. 1947. Together they worked towards peace. Because of her father's stand against institutions run by the British government. They had two sons. Rajiv and Sanjay. Feroze Gandhi died in 1960. Throughout the period of Indira Gandhi's political association with her father. Feroze Gandhi became a lawyer and newspaper executive as well as an independent member of Parliament. Oxford University. Indira enrolled at Santiniketan University and Somerville College. Later she attended an academy run by a poet-philosopher. Great Britain released their control over India and the Indian Empire was quickly divided into two countries. the Hindus and the Moslems. as the two were not part of the same social status or religions²he was a descendent of Iranian immigrants. During this time Indira served as her father's hostess and housekeeper. particularly children's welfare. Thousands of members of rival religious groups. Prior to . she was Hindu. despite both family's objections. She had joined the Congress in 1938. Indian independence On August 15. were killed during riots. in England. She married Feroze Gandhi (also no relation to Mohandas Gandhi) in March 1942. Indira's early schooling was not consistent.freedom. Indira took charge of her father's large mansion and began helping him in political matters. she focused on social welfare work. they were both imprisoned for a period of thirteen months for their part in the nationalist political demonstrations against British rule. India. and later served as a member of its Youth Advisory Board and chairman of its Woman's Department. Shortly after her mother's death in 1936. and her mother was bed-ridden from tuberculosis. Her father was often absent from being jailed.

which named candidates and planned electoral strategy. assuming the presidency of the organization in 1959. where she helped start an Indian television system. She was elected with more votes than any other candidate to the powerful eleven-member Central Election Board. A truce had ended the 1965 war between India and Pakistan only a week earlier. Gandhi assumed office at a critical time in the history of the country. In the fourth general elections of 1967 the Congress retained majority control (and reelected Gandhi as its leader). when Shastri died. following her father's death. but lost control in half the state legislatures. Gandhi was named to its twenty-one-member executive Working Committee. Gandhi became minister for information and broadcasting under Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri (1904±1966). In January 1966. Gandhi was elected leader of the Congress Party in Parliament (the governing body of India) and became the third prime minister of independent India. the Congress Party was experiencing serious difficulty. As prime minister In June 1964. After twenty years of political dominance. resulting in severe food shortages and a deepening economic crisis with rising prices and rising unemployment. . The political situation in India was equally as effected.Indira Gandhi. The nation was in the midst of a two-year drought. Reproduced by permission of AP/Wide World Photos .

she visited both the United States and the U. In December 1970. one full year ahead of schedule. of three parties of the right and an anti-Congress socialist party opposed Gandhi. she called on the president to dissolve Parliament. End of her career Gandhi faced major problems in the areas of food production. Because of this development. However. or end. the former Soviet Union. Gandhi's New Congress Party scored the most overwhelming victory in the history of independent India. who made alliances with liberal parties as well as some regional parties.S.. the privileges of the former Indian princes. In the state elections held in India in March 1972. The following year Gandhi headed the Congress Party as she returned to Parliament. when Gandhi failed to get the necessary support to abolish. Giri. more liberal elements rallying around Gandhi and the older. land reform. with the younger. and Sikh . Her goal was to achieve a wider measure of social and economic justice for all Indians. V. who were uprooted as a result of the civil unrest in East Pakistan. On December 16 Pakistan's commander in East Pakistan surrendered to India. As her left-of-center policies (slightly liberal. Although Gandhi took 228 members of Parliament with her into the New Congress. In the 1977 elections Gandhi and her party suffered major defeats and Gandhi eventually lost her seat and the post of prime minister.A government divided Gandhi immediately set about reorganizing the party to make it a more effective instrument of administration and national development. her opponent accused her of violating election laws. A coalition. won over the party's official nominee. unemployment. regulation of prices. or alliance. In November 1971 Indian troops crossed into East Pakistan to fight Pakistani forces.S. which consisted of Russia and several smaller states. or supporting civil liberties and social progress) became clear. Hindu. this was not a majority in the 521-member house. In 1979 she again became prime minister. Midterm elections were set for March 1971. and industrial production. and a high court supported the charge in 1975. In efforts to prove India's nonalliance in the global community. Her platform was essentially one of achieving social and economic change more rapidly in an effort to improve the quality of life of India's people. population control. Gandhi declared a state of emergency and postponed elections. This division came to a head in July 1969 when she nationalized (brought under the control of government) the country's fourteen leading banks in a highly popular move meant to make credit more available to agriculture and to small industry. and she held power only with support from more liberal parties. The split was formalized when Gandhi's candidate for the presidency of India. as well as domestic unrest.R. riots broke out among Muslim. The problems were increased by the arrival in India of almost ten million refugees. A month later Gandhi announced recognition of the Bangladesh government set up by East Pakistani rebel leaders. the Congress Party split. Internally. Her party won a massive victory with over a twothirds majority in Parliament. V. more conservative party leaders opposing her.

leading to many Sikh deaths. mother. Sikhs. story. or information. family. she was steadily making her way presence felt in the political arena.html#ixzz1V7K5dn1J Indira Gandhi was the first woman ever elected to lead a democracy. Soon afterwards in 1942.religious sects. In that same year. 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. they were sent to prison on charges of subversion by the British. This led to her assassination at her residence on October 31. looking to separate themselves from India. 1917 and was the only child of Jawaharlal and Kamala Nehru. death. The monkey brigade consisted of children who warned the independence movement leaders of their arrest. 1984. But her mother passed away in 1936. and assumed religious protection. She also spent time in Switzerland primarily because her mother needed to be there due to her ill health. she delivered speeches while other children actually warned the people who were going to be arrested. By the time she was about twelve years old. Gandhi remains a symbol of courage and democracy in one of the world's most populated countries. It was as if politics and politicians always surrounded her. Indira Gandhi was drawn to politics at an early Indira returned to India and joined the Indian National Congress Party. secured weapons within their sacred Golden Temple in Amritsar. Since her mother's death. A paradox she may seem for during the time that she served India as a Prime Minister. Being its leader.notablebiographies. Simultaneously. In 1938. history. 1942 until May 13. India won its independence from Britain in 1947. wife. Indira Gandhi was born on November 19. Oxford. In death. she headed what came to be known as the Monkey Brigade. she became a member of the Working Committee and Central Election Committee. Indira acted as her father's hostess and confidante and traveled with Nehru. . and was the President of the All India Youth Congress from 1956 to 1960. Gandhi ordered government troops to storm the temple. Soon after the couple was married. born. 1943 at the Naini Central Jail in Allahabad. by her own Sikh security guards. The active participation of both her parents in India's independence struggle of India from the British. Indira's father Jawaharlal Nehru became India's first Prime Minister. Her one and only imprisonment lasted from September 11. she was known as a dictator as well as one of the most charismatic leaders of India. From 1953-57 she was Chairman of the Central Social Welfare Board. She was soon sent to England for her studies where she joined the Somerville college. children. Read more: Indira Gandhi Biography . She began to associate herself with numerous organizations. house http://www. The Congress figured that the British would not suspect children of participating in such involvement. the Central Parliamentary Board from 1956. she married journalist Feroze Gandhi with whom she eventually had two sons-Sanjay and Rajiv Gandhi. In 1955.

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. Through the powers ensured to her through the emergency. . ordered the removal of slum dwellings. however. Gandhi was re-elected by campaigning with the slogan "Garibi Hatao" (Abolish Poverty). she thought she had eliminated her opposition and called for fresh elections. Many declared that she was a spent force. Jawaharlal Nehru in1964. 1975. Indira Gandhi came to power again as the prime minister in 1980. rampant corruption and poor standards of living were leading to social unrest. During this emergency. In June 1975. she earned the reputation of a tough and shrewd politician among the middle class. She won that election--. And with the testing of a nuclear device in 1974. she became the first woman ever elected to lead a democracy. The same year. Her Congress party lost badly at the polls. A large section of the population felt that she was not living up to her promises of "Garibi Hatao". As a minister. In an attempt to control population growth. The constitutional rights of the citizens were limited and the press was under strict censorship overnight. she ordered the arrests of the main opposition leaders.After the death of her father. High inflation. she was to return as Prime Minister of India. 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. her son Sanjay was killed in an airplane 1967. initiated a highly resented program of forced sterilization. large-scale demonstrations were taking place across Delhi and north India. In 1971. But. Simultaneously. In early 1977. But Lal Bahadur Shastri suddenly died of a heart attack in 1966. the Supreme Court of India overturned the Allahabad High Court's judgment. She responded by declaring a state of emergency on June 25. she implemented a voluntary sterilization program. By 1975. and in an attempt to curb India's growing population. three years later. But her adversaries criticized it. She encouraged the making of inexpensive radios and started a family planning program. Sanjay Gandhi. she declared an emergency for the good of India. She began to face a strong opposition to her administration in general. the then Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri appointed Indira Gandhi as the Minister of Information and Broadcasting. She was voted out of power and a newly formed coalition of political parties came to power. Indira Gandhi had to face charges of corruption. 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. In her opinion. the High Court of Allahabad found her guilty of using illegal practices during the last election campaign. by 1973. She was ordered to vacate her seat. There were demands for her resignation. she became the Prime Minister in 1966 till India held the next elections in 1967. Meanwhile. her eldest son.

who claimed to be avenging the insult heaped upon the Sikh nation. her second son. however. she ordered an assault upon the holiest Sikh shrine in Amritsar. Apart from her infamous imposition of the internal emergency. at her residence. In her attempt to crush the secessionist movement of Sikh militants. May 13: released from Naini Central jail 1947-1964: remains with her father as his hostess and close supporter 1947: under Gandhi's instructions. 1942 on charges of subversion 1943. waged in June 1984. On the international front. led to the death of Bindranwale. the use of the army to resolve internal disputes greatly increased in her time. In November of the same year. On the domestic front. -Goes to study in England and joins Somerville college in Oxford. Indian democracy was irreparably harmed during her rule. led by Jarnail Singh Bindranwale.In the post-emergency period. and there is no doubt that she was extraordinarily skilled in politics. It was from here that Bindranwale and his armed supporters waged their campaign. and Mrs. she works in riot-affected areas of Delhi. was sworn in as head of the Congress party and Prime Minister. by two of her own Sikh bodyguards. Rajiv Gandhi. as a prime minister Indira Gandhi was preoccupied by efforts to resolve the political problems in the state of Punjab. and the Golden Temple was stripped clean of Sikh terrorists. However. After her death. In many respects. her endurance and political tenacity. Gandhi was assassinated. 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 Golden Temple was damaged. She had an authoritarian streak and rarely tolerated dissent. she insisted on India's independence. Gandhi acquired a formidable international reputation as a "statesman". y y y y y y y y y y y y Quick Look : : Life Line 1917. She was proved to be a forceful spokeswoman for the rights of poorer nations. 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 . her autocratic methods often clashed with her democratic principles. "Operation Bluestar". gradually loosened ties with the former USSR that were developed in the early 1970s when China seemed menacing. Allahabad on September 11. 1938: joins the Indian National Congress 1942: marries Feroze Gandhi 1942: The couple is soon imprisoned at the Naini Central jail. the "Golden Temple". Her death led to sectarian violence across India during which over a 1000 people died of which many were Sikhs. Mrs. Mrs. Indira Gandhi was remarkable for her ambition for personal power. Gandhi earned the undying hatred of Sikhs who bitterly resented her action in their sacred space.

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. June: in an attempt to crush the secessionist movement in Punjab. 1974: tests the explosion of a nuclear device. poor state of the economy. her youngest son. dies 1964: Nehru. ndira Gandhi From Wikipedia. -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. She sent troops into the "Golden Temple" of Amritsar. This led to the death of Jarnail Singh Bindrawale. dies in a plane crash 1984. 1973: there are demonstrations across the country due to high inflation.y y y y y y y y y y y y y 1960: Feroze Gandhi. the free encyclopedia Indira Gandhi . 1977: Indira Gandhi calls for early elections but loses -she faces charges of corruption and authoritarianism -is expelled from parliament and is imprisoned. -She responded by declaring a state of emergency. 1975. her husband. her father. she launched "Operation Blue Star". June: the High Court of Allahabad found her guilty of illegal practices during the last election campaign and ordered her to vacate her seat. rampant corruption and the poor standards of living. 1978: is released from prison. the leader of the secessionist movement of Sikh militants.

3rd Prime Minister of India In office 14 January 1980 31 October 1984 President Preceded by Neelam Sanjiva Reddy Zail Singh Charan Singh Succeeded by Rajiv Gandhi In office 24 January 1966 24 March 1977 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Zakir Hussain Varahagiri Venkata Giri (Acting) Mohammad Hidayatullah (Acting) Varahagiri Venkata Giri Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed Basappa Danappa Jatti (Acting) Morarji Desai Gulzarilal Nanda (Acting) President Deputy Preceded by .

Succeeded by Morarji Desai Minister of External Affairs In office 9 March 1984 31 October 1984 Preceded by Narasimha Rao Succeeded by Rajiv Gandhi In office 22 August 1967 14 March 1969 Preceded by Mahommedali Currim Chagla Succeeded by Dinesh Singh Minister of Defence In office 14 January 1980 15 January 1982 Preceded by Chidambaram Subramaniam Succeeded by Ramaswamy Venkataraman In office 30 November 1975 20 December 1975 Preceded by Sardar Swaran Singh Succeeded by Bansi Lal Minister of Home Affairs In office 27 June 1970 4 February 1973 Preceded by Yashwantrao Chavan Succeeded by Uma Shankar Dikshit Minister of Finance .

[1] Noted for her charismatic authority and political astuteness. Gandhi was the first female prime minister to hold the office and remained as the world's longest serving female Prime Minister as of 2011.In office 16 July 1969 27 June 1970 Preceded by Morarji Desai Succeeded by Yashwantrao Chavan Personal details Born 19 November 1917 Allahabad. She was the third Prime Minister of the Republic of India for three consecutive terms from 1966 to 1977 and for a fourth term from 1980 until her assassination in 1984. British India 31 October 1984 (aged 66) New Delhi. She was also the only Indian Prime Minister to have declared a state of emergency in order to 'rule by decree' and the only Indian Prime Minister to have been imprisoned after holding that office. 19 November 1917 ± 31 October 1984) was an Indian politician and the leader of the Indian National Congress. Oxford Hinduism Children Alma mater Religion Signature Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi ( i/lnd r pri w rshni ndi/. Gandhi adhered to the quasi-socialist policies of industrial development that were begun by her father. Hindi: ÅÁ äí÷ ìä ñæù Õ÷Áåù. India Died Political party Indian National Congress Spouse(s) Relations Feroze Gandhi Jawaharlal Nehru (father) Kamala Nehru (mother) Rajiv Sanjay Somerville College. a total of fifteen years. .

4 Green Revolution o 2. Indira Gandhi's father was Jawaharlal Nehru and her mother was Kamala Nehru. Indira gained the surname "Gandhi" by her marriage to Feroze Gandhi. Oxford. either by blood or marriage.10 Removal.1 War with Pakistan in 1971 o 2. but she failed. whom she knew from Allahabad. arrest. Motilal Nehru.11 Currency crisis o 2. In the 1950s. Subsequently. she frequently met Feroze Gandhi. she served her father unofficially as a personal assistant during his tenure as the first Prime Minister of India. She returned to India in 1941.2 Foreign policy o 2.9 Elections o 2.[3] and spent a few months at Badminton School in Bristol.7 State of Emergency (1975 1977) o 2. After her father's death in 1964 . During this time. who gave her the name Priyadarshini (priya=pleasing.3 Nuclear weapons program o 2. after finishing school.8 Rule by decree o 2. Her grandfather. She had no relation to Mahatma Gandhi. was a prominent Indian nationalist leader. before passing the exam in 1937 and enrolling at Somerville College. was a pivotal figure in the Indian independence movement and the first Prime Minister of Independent India. Indira joined Shantiniketan.Contents [hide] y y y y y y y y 1 Early life and career 2 Legislative career o 2. In 1934±35. Jawaharlal Nehru.5 1971 election victory and second term o 2. and who was studying at the London School of Economics. darshini=to look at).6 Corruption charges and verdict of electoral malpractice o 2. Her father. She married him in 1942. she went to England and sat for the University of Oxford entrance examination. and return o 2.[2] a school set up by Rabindranath Tagore.12 Operation Blue Star and assassination 3 Family and personal life 4 Legacy 5 See also 6 References 7 Further reading 8 External links [edit] Early life and career Indira Gandhi was born on 19 November 1917 into the politically influential Nehru Family.

She introduced more left-wing economic policies and promoted agricultural productivity. causing financial hardship and instability in the country. relations with the United States grew distant. Nixon apparently disliked Indira personally. the Indian National Congress split. Due to her antipathy for Nixon. [edit] Foreign policy Gandhi invited the late Pakistani President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to Shimla for a week-long summit. In 1969 after many disagreements with Desai. the two heads of state eventually signed the Shimla Agreement. [edit] Legislative career When Gandhi became Prime Minister in 1966. . Gandhi soon showed an ability to win elections and outmaneuver opponents. She led India as Prime Minister during the decisive victory of East Pakistan over Pakistan in 1971 war and creation of an independent Bangladesh. and the conservatives led by Morarji Desai. After the near-failure of the talks. She ruled with support from Socialist and Communist Parties for the next two years. to remove armed insurgents present inside the temple. and mooted a UN resolution warning India against going to war. Congress Party and Indira Gandhi herself lost the next general election for the first time in 1977. The United States under Richard Nixon supported Pakistan. the Indian army forcefully entered the Golden Temple.[6][7] An estimated 10 million refugees fled to India. while relations with the Soviet Union grew closer. Indira Gandhi led the Congress back to victory in 1980 elections and Gandhi resumed the office of the Prime Minister. resulting in political support and a Soviet veto at the UN.she was appointed as a member of the Rajya Sabha (upper house) and became a member of Lal Bahadur Shastri's cabinet as Minister of Information and Broadcasting. She was assassinated on 31 October 1984 in retaliation for this operation by her bodyguards. Rammanohar Lohia called her Gungi Gudiya which means 'Dumb Doll'. the most sacred Sikh Gurdwara.[5] The internal problems showed in the 1967 election where the Congress lost nearly 60 seats winning 297 seats in the 545 seat Lok Sabha. under Gandhi's order. the Congress was split in two factions. referring to her as a "witch" and "clever fox" in his private communication with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (now released by the State Department). Kamaraj was instrumental in making Indira Gandhi the Prime Minister after the sudden demise of Shastri. in July 1969 she nationalized banks. She imposed a state of emergency in 1975. India was victorious in the 1971 war. In June 1984.[8] Indira signed the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. [edit] War with Pakistan in 1971 Main article: Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 The Pakistan army conducted widespread atrocities against the civilian populations of East Pakistan. which bound the two countries to resolve the Kashmir dispute by negotiations and peaceful means. and Bangladesh was born.[4] The then Congress Party President K. In the same year. She had to accommodate Desai as Deputy Prime Minister of India and Minister of Finance. the socialists led by Gandhi.

000 prisoners of war were under Indian control. whose 93. near the desert village of Pokhran in Rajasthan. cotton . India successfully conducted an underground nuclear test.She was criticized by some for not making the Line of Control (LoC) a permanent border while a few critics even believed that Pakistan-administered Kashmir should have been extracted from Pakistan. By not demanding total capitulation on a sensitive issue from Bhutto. In 1974. unofficially code named as "Smiling Buddha". India became the world's then youngest nuclear power. [edit] Green Revolution Main article: Green Revolution in India Richard Nixon and Indira Gandhi in 1971. Trade relations were also normalized. They had a deep personal antipathy that coloured bilateral relations. rice. though much contact remained frozen (sealed) for years. Describing the test as for peaceful purposes. she had allowed Pakistan to stabilize and normalize. and greatly reduced the likelihood of Pakistan launching a major attack in the near future. [edit] Nuclear weapons program A national nuclear program was started by Gandhi in 1967. Special agricultural innovation programs and extra government support launched in the 1960s finally transformed India's chronic food shortages into surplus production of wheat. in response to the nuclear threat from the People's Republic of China and to establish India's stability and security interests as independent from those of the nuclear superpowers. But the agreement did remove immediate United Nations and third party interference.

'Food security'. agricultural institutions in the form of land grant colleges. 4) The concept of developing a scientific.e.[11] [edit] 1971 election victory and second term Indira's government faced major problems after her tremendous mandate of 1971. At the same time. though carried out locally. The slogan and the proposed anti-poverty programs that came with it were designed to give Gandhi an independent national support. weed killers.[8] the country became a food exporter. were funded. inexpensive grain for urban dwellers upon whose support Gandhi²as indeed all Indian politicians²heavily depended. 2) Acceptance of the necessity of the chemicalization of Indian agriculture. developed.. pesticides.[10] The program was based on four premises: 1) New varieties of seed(s). Garibi Hatao (Eradicate Poverty) was the theme for Gandhi's 1971 bid.[9] Established in the early 1960s. This would allow her to bypass the dominant rural castes both in and of state and local government. That achievement. the previously voiceless poor would at last gain both political worth and political weight. likewise the urban commercial class. the Green Revolution was the unofficial name given to the Intense Agricultural District Program (IADP) which sought to insure abundant. throughout the country. has become known as the "Green Revolution". along with the diversification of its commercial crop production.and milk. The internal structure of the Congress Party had withered following its numerous splits. the White Revolution was an expansion in milk production which helped to combat malnutrition."[12] Scholars and historians now agree as to the extent of the failure of Garibi Hatao in alleviating poverty ± only about 4% of all funds allocated for economic development went to the three main anti-poverty programs. Indira was "the old witch"). "These programs also provided the central political leadership with new and vast patronage resources to be disbursed. as the program was called. and staffed by New Delhi and the Indian National Congress party. especially amidst young children. and precious few of these ever reached the 'poorest of the poor' ± and the empty sloganeering of the program was mainly used instead to engender populist support for Gandhi's re-election.. i.. The programs created through Garibi Hatao. supervised. for their part. fertilizers. . 3) A commitment to national and international cooperative research to develop new and improved existing seed varieties. was another source of support for Gandhi in the years leading up to 1975. etc. based on rural and urban poor. the success mainly attributed to the hard working majority Sikh farmers of Punjab. leaving it entirely dependent on her leadership for its election fortunes. And. Rather than relying on food aid from the United States ± headed by a President whom Gandhi disliked considerably (the feeling was mutual: to Nixon.

but from our experience the situation was very much worse when [opposition] parties were forming governments". Thus. In an election petition filed by Raj Narain (who later on defeated her in 1977 parliamentary election from Rae Bareily). despite having been unseated from the lower house of parliament. It came almost four years after the case was brought by Raj Narain. And she dismissed criticism of the way her Congress Party raised election campaign money. She said: "There is a lot of talk about our government not being clean.[14] The judge rejected more serious charges of bribery against her. hundreds of supporters demonstrated outside her house. Mrs Gandhi had asked one of India's best legal minds and also one of her colleagues in government. by order of the High Court. The prime minister retained the support of her party. Gandhi. this decision effectively removed her from office. It has been written that Mrs Gandhi was told she would only win if Mr Sen appeared for her[citation needed] . Indian High Commissioner BK Nehru said Gandhi's conviction would not harm her political career." he . The Prime Minister must be a member of either the Lok Sabha (Lower house in the Parliament of India) or the Rajya Sabha (the Higher house of the Parliament). the premier's defeated opponent in the 1971 parliamentary election. Lok Sabha. Mr Ashoke Kumar Sen to defend her in court. and of using government machinery and officials for party purposes. Indira insisted the conviction did not undermine her position.[13] The court thus ordered her to be removed from her seat in Parliament and banned from running in elections for six years. saying all parties used the same methods. pledging their loyalty. But Gandhi rejected calls to resign and announced plans to appeal to the Supreme Court. he had alleged several major as well as minor instances of using government resources for campaigning. On 12 June 1975 the High Court of Allahabad declared Indira Gandhi's election to the Lok Sabha void on grounds of electoral malpractice.[edit] Corruption charges and verdict of electoral malpractice Gandhi meeting with Shah of Iran Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi and Shahbanu Farah Pahlavi during the latters' State visit to India in 1970. "Mrs Gandhi has still today overwhelming support in the country. The verdict was delivered by Mr Justice Sinha at Allahabad High Court. After news of the verdict spread. excessive election expenditure. who gave evidence in her defence during the trial. which issued a statement backing her. was found guilty of dishonest election practices.

Finally.. Ahmed declared a State of Emergency caused by internal disorder. allowing her to rule by decree. "Unlike her father Jawaharlal Nehru. Governor of Delhi. based on the provisions of Article 352 of the Constitution.Even so.said.. who preferred to deal with strong chief ministers in control of their legislative parties and state party organizations. Simultaneously. because of the disorder and lawlessness following the Allahabad High Court decision. which allegedly left thousands of people homeless and hundreds killed.. [edit] State of Emergency (1975 1977) Main article: Indian Emergency (1975-1977) Gandhi moved to restore order by ordering the arrest of most of the opposition participating in the unrest. [edit] Rule by decree Within a few months. on 26 June 1975. . Gandhi set out to remove every Congress chief minister who had an independent base and to replace each of them with ministers personally loyal to her. Gandhi's government undertook a campaign to stamp out dissent including the arrest and detention of thousands of political activists. a future prime minister himself. Inder Kumar Gujral. Accordingly. Sanjay was instrumental in initiating the clearing of slums around Delhi's Jama Masjid under the supervision of Jag Mohan. Her Cabinet and government then recommended that President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed declare a state of emergency. Indira Gandhi used the emergency provisions to grant herself extraordinary powers. impending legislative assembly elections were indefinitely postponed. Mrs. President's Rule was imposed on the two opposition party ruled states of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu thereby bringing the entire country under direct Central rule or by governments led by the ruling Congress party."[16] It is alleged that she further moved President Ahmed to issue ordinances that did not need to be debated in the Parliament. "I believe the prime minister of India will continue in office until the electorate of India decides otherwise". with all opposition-controlled state governments being removed by virtue of the constitutional provision allowing for a dismissal of a state government on recommendation of the state's governor. stability could not be maintained in the states. and the family planning program which forcibly imposed vasectomy on thousands of fathers and was often poorly administered.[15] Police were granted powers to impose curfews and indefinitely detain citizens and all publications were subjected to substantial censorship by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.. resigned as Minister for Information and Broadcasting to protest Sanjay Gandhi's interference in his work. and led to communal embitterment in those parts of the nation's capital. later Lt.

in 1977 Indira Gandhi called for elections. Desai and with Jai Prakash Narayan as its spiritual guide.G. led by her long-time rival. Indira and Sanjay Gandhi both lost their seats. Gandhi may have grossly misjudged her popularity by reading what the heavily censored press wrote about her. 92 of which were in the south. In any case. to give the electorate a chance to vindicate her rule. In the post-emergency elections in 1977. and Congress was cut down to 153 seats (compared with 350 in the previous Lok Sabha). Ramachandran. [edit] Removal. 1984 USSR commemorative stamp . Gandhi with M.[edit] Elections After extending the state of emergency twice. Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. and return Mrs. arrest." Indira's Congress party was beaten soundly. only the Southern states returned Congress majorities. Janata. claimed the elections were the last chance for India to choose between "democracy and dictatorship. she was opposed by the Janata Party.

After the elections. Indian National Congress. After a short interval. the three were compelled due to politicking and possibly circumstances created by Sanjay Gandhi ± to part ways. gained her great sympathy from many people who had feared her as a tyrant just two years earlier. she withdrew her initial support and President Reddy dissolved Parliament in the winter of 1979. Charan Singh. Gandhi found herself without work. the Janata government's Home Minister. [edit] Currency crisis During the early 1980s. The Congress Party split during the election campaign of 1977: veteran Gandhi supporters like Jagjivan Ram and her most loyal Bahuguna and Nandini Satpathy ± very close to Indira. Raj Narain and Atal Bihari Vajpayee. they aimed to return all Indian citizens the freedoms taken away when Indira Gandhi declared the State of Emergency. The arrest meant that Indira was automatically expelled from Parliament. Jayaprakash Narayan died on 8 October 1979. the government was bogged down by infighting and Gandhi was able to use the situation to her advantage. In elections held the following January. The prevailing rumour was that Sanjay had intentions of dislodging Indira. none of which would be easy to prove in an Indian court. Indira Gandhi and her party. She began giving speeches again. However it is argued that the Reserve Bank of India had decided to devalue to rupee to make Indian exports more competitive. and Charan Singh was appointed Prime Minister by Reddy after Gandhi promised that Congress would support his government from outside. Indira's failed to arrest the 40 percent fall in the value of the Indian Rupee from 7 to 12 against the US Dollar. Desai resigned in June 1979. a coalition of virtually all of Indira opponents. In 1975. however. ordered the arrest of Indira and Sanjay Gandhi on several charges. Indira Gandhi called a State of Emergency under Article 352 in which she ordered the arrest of her opposition. The leader of the Janata Party was Jayaprakash Narayan who kept the party united. Her arrest and long-running trial. although the official opposition. The Congress Party was now a much smaller group in Parliament. who later joined together and formed the Janata Party In 1977. Once the Janata Party came into power.[citation needed] . The other party leaders of the Janata Party were Morarji Desai.[17] However.The Janata coalition was only united by its hatred of Indira (or "that woman" as some called her). With so little in common. income or residence. Congress was returned to power with a landslide majority. The Allahabad High Court found Indira Gandhi guilty with electoral corruption for the 1971 elections. These allegations included that Indira Gandhi ³µhad planned or thought of killing all opposition leaders in jail during the Emergency¶´. Unable to govern owing to fractious coalition warfare. lost the election to the Janata Party. Choudhary Charan Singh.The downfall of Indira Gandhi began after India won the war against Pakistan in 1971. which broke the unity of the Janata Party and Desai took his place. tacitly apologizing for "mistakes" made during the Emergency. this strategy backfired disastrously.

the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. two of Gandhi's Sikh bodyguards. She was cremated on 3 . and other groups during the period. and Satwant Singh fired 30 rounds[18] using a Sten submachine gun. Main articles: Operation Blue Star. On 31 October 1984. and Indira Gandhi assassination In July 1982. Bhindrawale and his men occupied the Harmindar Sahib. Indira Gandhi enacted Operation Blue Star. The State of Punjab was closed to international media. Beant Singh and Satwant Singh dropped their weapons and surrendered. She was to be interviewed by the British actor Peter Ustinov. on 6 June 1984 during one of the holiest Sikh holidays. Official accounts at the time stated as many as 19 entry and exit wounds and some reports stated 16 bullets were extracted from her body. Afterwards they were taken away by other guards into a closed room where Beant Singh was shot dead as he tried to capture one of the guard's weapons. assassinated her with their service weapons in the garden of the Prime Minister's residence at 1 Safdarjung Road. According to information immediately following the incident. Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale. 1984 anti-Sikh riots. The Indian Army attacked the temple and cleared the site of Bhindrawale and his supporters. Sikh devotees. Bhindranwale and his men had gained a massive supply in firearms and explosives and began recruitment.[edit] Operation Blue Star and assassination Indira Gandhi's blood-stained sari and her belongings at the time of her assassination. preserved at the Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum in New Delhi. and began fortifying it. with Indian reports stating they had near total control of the Punjab state. the head of the Sikh religious institution the Dam Dami Taxsal based in the northern Indian state of Punjab. Kehar Singh was later arrested for conspiracy in the assassination. Satwant Singh and Beant Singh. Gandhi died on her way to the hospital. human rights organizations. led a campaign for the implementation of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution for the Khalistan separatist movement. Beant Singh shot her three times using his side-arm. In response to this Indira Gandhi ordered Bhindrawale to lay down his arms but he refused and so. where doctors operated on her. To this day the events remain controversial with a disputed number of victims. the holiest of the Sikh temples. Sikhs seeing the attack as unjustified and Bhindrawale as a martyr. In a controversial move. Both were sentenced to death and hanged in Tihar jail in Delhi. who was filming a documentary for Irish television. while some see him as a misguided terrorist. New Delhi as she was walking past a wicket gate guarded by Satwant and Beant. While Satwant Singh was arrested at the site of assassination.

Manmohan Singh. Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. [edit] Legacy This section does not cite any references or sources. Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. Sonia Gandhi. Maneka Gandhi ± who fell out with Indira after Sanjay's death and was famously thrown out of the Prime Minister's house[21] ± as well as Sanjay's son. as well as the popular support of the Nehru-Gandhi Family. Sonia Gandhi declined the opportunity to assume the office of Prime Minister but remains in control of the Congress' political apparatus. Indira was known for her closeness with her personal yoga guru. formerly finance minister. are active in politics as members of the main opposition BJP party. who not only helped her in making certain decisions but also executed certain top level political tasks on her behalf. 65% of the country's population was below the poverty line. During her rule. have also entered politics. Sanjay Gandhi's widow. Prime Minister Dr.[citation needed]."[19][20] After Indira Gandhi's death. [edit] Family and personal life Initially.[citation needed] Her Garibi Hatao slogan is still used by the Congress during political campaigns. declared a state of emergency and suspended civil liberties. led the United Progressive Alliance to a surprise electoral victory in the 2004 Lok Sabha elections. Dhirendra Brahmachari. this figure was 45%. food production increased by 250%. and when her regime ended in 1984. he too was assassinated. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Rajiv's widow. now heads the nation.[citation needed] The goodwill of the rural population earned by Gandhi still has its effects on the success of the Congress Party in rural India. Her funeral was televised live on domestic and international stations including the BBC. this time at the hands of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. but after his death in a flying accident in June 1980.[citation needed] She is reverently remembered in many parts of rural India as Indira-Amma ("Amma" means "mother" in many Indian languages). Following widespread political and public protests against a foreign born citizen becoming the Prime Minister. especially from 1975 to 1977 when Gandhi "dissolved Parliament. when Indira Gandhi became Prime Minister. Over a decade later. Rajiv Gandhi became Prime Minister. his mother persuaded a reluctant elder son Rajiv Gandhi to quit his job as a pilot and enter politics in February 1981. Rajiv's children. Literacy also increased in India by 30%. In May 1991. Varun Gandhi. (April 2010) As per economic surveys.November near Raj Ghat.[citation needed] (although this was in good part due to the efforts of Norman Borlaug). Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources.[citation needed] The present president of the Indian National . her younger son Sanjay had been her chosen heir.

is named after her.[22] . The Indira Awaas Yojana. a programme of the central government to provide low-cost housing to rural poor. Sonia Gandhi. who is also the daughter-in-law of Indira Gandhi. The international airport at New Delhi is named the Indira Gandhi International Airport in her honour. is said to style herself in resemblance to her.Congress. Gandhi will be associated with is that of fostering a culture of nepotism. A negative legacy Mrs.

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