Indira Gandhi Born on 19th November 1917, in Allahabad. Indira was the only child of Kamla and Jawaharlal Nehru. Indira Gandhi grandfather, Motilal Nehru, was a prominent Indian nationalist leader. Indira mother Kamla convalesced from her periodic illnesses. She received her college education at Somerville College, Oxford. Indira was not actively involved in the freedom struggle, she came to know the entire Indian political leadership. India had been married in 1942 to Feroze Gandhi, who rose to some eminence as a parliamentarian and politician of integrity but found himself disliked by his more famous father-in-law, but Feroze died in 1960 before he could consolidate his own political forces.
Indira Gandhi father death in the year 1964. Indira Gandhi was for the first time elected to Parliament, and she was Minister of Information and Broadcasting in the government of Lal Bahadur Shastri, The numerous contenders for the position of the Prime Ministership, unable to agree among themselves, picked Indira Gandhi as a compromise candidate, and each thought that she would be easily manipulable. But Indira Gandhi showed extraordinary political skills and tenacity and elbowed the Congress dons Kamaraj, Morarji Desai, and others out of power.
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi was the 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, a total of fifteen years. Indira was India’s first and, to date, only female Prime Minister. Indira had conflicts with her father’s sisters, including Vijayalakshmi Pandit, and these continued into the political world. Indira was riding the crest of popularity after India’s triumph in the war of 1971 against Pakistan, and the explosion of a nuclear device in 1974 helped to enhance her reputation among middle-class Indians as a tough and shrewd political leader.
Delhi and north India were rocked by demonstrations angry at high inflation in 1973, the poor state of the economy, rampant corruption, and the poor standards of living. The High Court of Allahabad found her guilty of using illegal practices during the last election campaign, and ordered her to vacate her seat In June 1975, there were demands for her resignation. Confident that indira had debilitated her opposition in early 1977.
Mrs. Gandhi called for fresh elections, and found herself trounced by a newly formed coalition of several political parties.
Indira Gandhi Congress party lost badly at the polls. Many declared that she was a spent force; but, three years later, she was to return as Prime Minister of India. The same year, however, her son Sanjay was killed in an airplane crash. In the second, post-Emergency, period of her Prime Ministership, Indira Gandhi was preoccupied by efforts to resolve the political problems in the state of Punjab. In her attempt to crush the secessionist movement of Sikh militants, led by Jarnail Singh Bindranwale, indira Gandhi ordered an assault upon the holiest Sikh shrine in Amritsar, called the Golden Temple.
It is here that Bindranwale and his armed supporters had holed up, and it is from the Golden Temple that they waged their campaign of terrorism not merely against the Government, but against moderate Sikhs and Hindus. Operation Bluestar, waged in June 1984, led to the death of Bindranwale, and the Golden Temple was stripped clean of Sikh terrorists, however, the Golden Temple was damaged, and Mrs. Gandhi earned the undying hatred of Sikhs who bitterly resented the desacralization of their sacred space. In November of the same year, Mrs. Gandhi was assassinated, at her residence, by two of her own Sikh bodyguards, who claimed to be avenging the insult heaped upon the Sikh nation.
Mrs. Gandhi acquired a formidable international reputation as a statesman, and there is no doubt that she was extraordinarily skilled in politics. She was prone, like many other politicians, to thrive on slogans, and one Garibi Hatao, Remove Poverty became the rallying cry for one of her election campaigns. Indira Gandhi had an authoritarian streak, and though a cultured woman, rarely tolerated dissent, and she did, in many respects, irreparable harm to Indian democracy. Apart from her infamous imposition of the internal emergency, the use of the army to resolve internal disputes greatly increased in her time, and she encouraged a culture of sycophancy and nepotism.
At her death, her older son, Rajiv Gandhi, was sworn in as head of the Congress party and Prime Minister.Guarding against further challenges to her power, she removed the chief ministers of Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh just months before her assassination by her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984. indira Gandhi was shot to death by Sikh members of her security guard. Rajiv then served as prime minister until 1989. He was killed in a bombing at an election rally in Madras on May 21, 1991.