You are on page 1of 24

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

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

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

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

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

A paradox she may seem for during the time that she served India as a Prime Minister. She was soon sent to England for her studies where she joined the Somerville college. Gandhi remains a symbol of courage and democracy in one of the world's most populated countries.notablebiographies. She was the Prime Minister from 1966-77 and then again between 1980-84 till her death at the hands of her own bodyguards. wife. college. The Congress figured that the British would not suspect children of participating in such involvement. Indira returned to India and joined the Indian National Congress Party. Indira's father Jawaharlal Nehru became India's first Prime Minister. or groups. she married journalist Feroze Gandhi with whom she eventually had two sons-Sanjay and Rajiv Gandhi. It was as if politics and politicians always surrounded her. Indira acted as her father's hostess and confidante and traveled with Nehru. Soon afterwards in 1942. 1984. Since her mother's death. mother. The monkey brigade consisted of children who warned the independence movement leaders of their arrest. family. She also spent time in Switzerland primarily because her mother needed to be there due to her ill health. she was steadily making her way presence felt in the political arena. Gandhi ordered government troops to storm the temple. She began to associate herself with numerous organizations. But her mother passed away in 1936. 1943 at the Naini Central Jail in Allahabad. she delivered speeches while other children actually warned the people who were going to be arrested.com/Fi-Gi/GandhiIndira. Simultaneously. 1917 and was the only child of Jawaharlal and Kamala Nehru. In death. In 1938. The active participation of both her parents in India's independence struggle of India from the British. India won its independence from Britain in 1947. she became a member of the Working Committee and Central Election Committee. In 1955. From 1953-57 she was Chairman of the Central Social Welfare Board. information. Oxford. she was known as a dictator as well as one of the most charismatic leaders of India. This led to her assassination at her residence on October 31. and was the President of the All India Youth Congress from 1956 to 1960. Read more: Indira Gandhi Biography .life. 1942 until May 13. by her own Sikh security guards. Soon after the couple was married. By the time she was about twelve years old. history.html#ixzz1V7K5dn1J Indira Gandhi was the first woman ever elected to lead a democracy. Indira Gandhi was drawn to politics at an early age. story. . children. death. she headed what came to be known as the Monkey Brigade. they were sent to prison on charges of subversion by the British. In that same year. and assumed religious protection. secured weapons within their sacred Golden Temple in Amritsar. house http://www. Indira Gandhi was born on November 19. the Central Parliamentary Board from 1956. Her one and only imprisonment lasted from September 11. leading to many Sikh deaths. Being its leader. born. looking to separate themselves from India.religious sects. Sikhs.

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

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

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

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 .

19 November 1917 ± 31 October 1984) was an Indian politician and the leader of the Indian National Congress.In office 16 July 1969 27 June 1970 Preceded by Morarji Desai Succeeded by Yashwantrao Chavan Personal details Born 19 November 1917 Allahabad.[1] Noted for her charismatic authority and political astuteness. Oxford Hinduism Children Alma mater Religion Signature Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi ( i/lnd r pri w rshni ndi/. British India 31 October 1984 (aged 66) New Delhi. Hindi: ÅÁ äí÷ ìä ñæù Õ÷Áåù. . Gandhi adhered to the quasi-socialist policies of industrial development that were begun by her father. 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. India Died Political party Indian National Congress Spouse(s) Relations Feroze Gandhi Jawaharlal Nehru (father) Kamala Nehru (mother) Rajiv Sanjay Somerville College. 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. 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. a total of fifteen years.

She married him in 1942. and who was studying at the London School of Economics. she served her father unofficially as a personal assistant during his tenure as the first Prime Minister of India. before passing the exam in 1937 and enrolling at Somerville College. after finishing school. Motilal Nehru. She had no relation to Mahatma Gandhi. Her grandfather.10 Removal. either by blood or marriage. Indira gained the surname "Gandhi" by her marriage to Feroze Gandhi. Jawaharlal Nehru. In 1934±35. After her father's death in 1964 .4 Green Revolution o 2. and return o 2.12 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.1 War with Pakistan in 1971 o 2. was a prominent Indian nationalist leader. Subsequently. Indira Gandhi's father was Jawaharlal Nehru and her mother was Kamala Nehru.11 Currency crisis o 2. During this time.5 1971 election victory and second term o 2.[2] a school set up by Rabindranath Tagore.Contents [hide] y y y y y y y y 1 Early life and career 2 Legislative career o 2. was a pivotal figure in the Indian independence movement and the first Prime Minister of Independent India. In the 1950s. who gave her the name Priyadarshini (priya=pleasing. darshini=to look at). whom she knew from Allahabad.6 Corruption charges and verdict of electoral malpractice o 2. she frequently met Feroze Gandhi. Indira joined Shantiniketan. Her father.8 Rule by decree o 2. She returned to India in 1941.7 State of Emergency (1975 1977) o 2.2 Foreign policy o 2.3 Nuclear weapons program o 2. but she failed. she went to England and sat for the University of Oxford entrance examination.[3] and spent a few months at Badminton School in Bristol.9 Elections o 2. Oxford. arrest.

She had to accommodate Desai as Deputy Prime Minister of India and Minister of Finance.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. and the conservatives led by Morarji Desai. Nixon apparently disliked Indira personally. relations with the United States grew distant. Gandhi soon showed an ability to win elections and outmaneuver opponents. She imposed a state of emergency in 1975. Rammanohar Lohia called her Gungi Gudiya which means 'Dumb Doll'. In the same year. In June 1984. In 1969 after many disagreements with Desai. the Indian army forcefully entered the Golden Temple. the two heads of state eventually signed the Shimla Agreement.[8] Indira signed the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. The United States under Richard Nixon supported Pakistan. [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. Due to her antipathy for Nixon. in July 1969 she nationalized banks. 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. the socialists led by Gandhi. the Indian National Congress split. which bound the two countries to resolve the Kashmir dispute by negotiations and peaceful means. She ruled with support from Socialist and Communist Parties for the next two years. India was victorious in the 1971 war. Congress Party and Indira Gandhi herself lost the next general election for the first time in 1977. After the near-failure of the talks. She was assassinated on 31 October 1984 in retaliation for this operation by her bodyguards.[4] The then Congress Party President K. [edit] Foreign policy Gandhi invited the late Pakistani President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to Shimla for a week-long summit. . Kamaraj was instrumental in making Indira Gandhi the Prime Minister after the sudden demise of Shastri.[6][7] An estimated 10 million refugees fled to India. She introduced more left-wing economic policies and promoted agricultural productivity. to remove armed insurgents present inside the temple. and Bangladesh was born. the most sacred Sikh Gurdwara. [edit] Legislative career When Gandhi became Prime Minister in 1966. She led India as Prime Minister during the decisive victory of East Pakistan over Pakistan in 1971 war and creation of an independent Bangladesh. 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). under Gandhi's order. while relations with the Soviet Union grew closer. and mooted a UN resolution warning India against going to war.[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. causing financial hardship and instability in the country.

unofficially code named as "Smiling Buddha". India became the world's then youngest nuclear power. But the agreement did remove immediate United Nations and third party interference.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. and greatly reduced the likelihood of Pakistan launching a major attack in the near future. she had allowed Pakistan to stabilize and normalize. By not demanding total capitulation on a sensitive issue from Bhutto. [edit] Green Revolution Main article: Green Revolution in India Richard Nixon and Indira Gandhi in 1971. 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. rice. though much contact remained frozen (sealed) for years. Describing the test as for peaceful purposes. Trade relations were also normalized. near the desert village of Pokhran in Rajasthan. [edit] Nuclear weapons program A national nuclear program was started by Gandhi in 1967. In 1974.000 prisoners of war were under Indian control. whose 93. They had a deep personal antipathy that coloured bilateral relations. cotton . India successfully conducted an underground nuclear test.

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

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

Even so. stability could not be maintained in the states. resigned as Minister for Information and Broadcasting to protest Sanjay Gandhi's interference in his work. allowing her to rule by decree. Indira Gandhi used the emergency provisions to grant herself extraordinary powers. [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. 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. because of the disorder and lawlessness following the Allahabad High Court decision. Sanjay was instrumental in initiating the clearing of slums around Delhi's Jama Masjid under the supervision of Jag Mohan. Accordingly.said. who preferred to deal with strong chief ministers in control of their legislative parties and state party organizations. and the family planning program which forcibly imposed vasectomy on thousands of fathers and was often poorly administered. Ahmed declared a State of Emergency caused by internal disorder. [edit] Rule by decree Within a few months. Governor of Delhi. Her Cabinet and government then recommended that President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed declare a state of emergency. on 26 June 1975. Gandhi's government undertook a campaign to stamp out dissent including the arrest and detention of thousands of political activists.. 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. Finally. later Lt.. based on the provisions of Article 352 of the Constitution. a future prime minister himself.. Mrs. Simultaneously. ."[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". Inder Kumar Gujral. which allegedly left thousands of people homeless and hundreds killed.[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. 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. and led to communal embitterment in those parts of the nation's capital. impending legislative assembly elections were indefinitely postponed. "Unlike her father Jawaharlal Nehru..

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

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

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

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

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