Indira Gandhi

Here we listed out some interesting facts about First Lady Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, with her Biography, Profile, Facts, Timeline, Awards, Achievement, etc.,

Born: 19 November 1917
Birth Place: Allahabad, India
Nationality: Indian
Spouse: Feroze Gandhi (m. 1942–1960)
Assassinated: 31 October 1984, New Delhi
Education: Somerville College, Oxford, Badminton School
Known as: First Lady Prime Minister, Iron lady of india
Parents: Jawaharlal Nehru, Kamala Nehru

  • Indira attended schools in India and Switzerland for short periods, but studied mostly at home. She graduated from the Vishwa Bharati University, Bengal and later attended the University of Oxford, England.
  • She joined the Congress Party in 1938 and entered the political field in 1941.
  • In 1942 she married Feroze Gandhi, a Parsi lawyer also active in the party. Shortly after, both were arrested by the British on charges of subversion and spent 13 months in prison.  They had two sons, Rajeev and Sanjay Gandhi.
  • When India won its independence in 1947 and Nehru took office as Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi became his official hostess. (Her mother Kamala Nehru had died in 1936).
  • She also served as his confidante on national problems and accompanied him on foreign trips.
  • In 1955 she was elected to the executive body of the Congress Party, becoming a national political figure in her own right; in 1959 she became president of the party for one year. Her husband, Feroze Gandhi died in 1960.
  • In 1962, during the Sino-Indian border war, se coordinated the civil defense activities.
  • Following the death of her father in May 1964, Indira Gandhi became minister for Information and Broadcasting in Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s government.
  • In this post she extended broadcasting time, liberalized censorship policies, and approved a television education project in family planning.
  • After the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1966, the Congress Party elected Indira Gandhi Prime Minister. She was returned to office in the general elections of 1967 and 1971.
  • Her Government braved many a difficult times, it faced crop failures and food riots, poverty, student unrest, and resistance from several language groups against adoption of Hindi language as the nation’s official language.
  • In 1971 she led a successful war against Pakistan to separate East and West Pakistan and establish Bangladesh.
  • In 1975 Indira Gandhi was convicted on two counts of corruption in the 1971 campaign. Maintaining innocence, she charged that the conviction was part of an attempt to remove her from office and instead of resigning, declared a national state of emergency on June 26, imprisoned her political opponents and assumed emergency powers.
  • Although the Indian Supreme Court soon overtuned her conviction, the emergency was continued. As a result she lost her popularity.
  • She lost the general elections in 1977 and the Janata Government came into power. Morarji Desai became the Prime Minister and Dr. Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy, the President of India.
  • In 1978 Indira Gandhi was re-elected to Parliament but was soon expelled and jailed briefly. The attempts to prosecute Mrs. Gandhi failed and she became more popular.  Meanwhile there  was a split in the Congress Party and Indira Gandhi announced her independent congress party as Congress I (I standing for INDIRA).
  • A landslide victory in the elections returned her to Office in 1980. All the legal cases against her were withdrawn.
  • Around this time the Sikh extremists in Punjab had started using violence to assert their demands for an autonomous State. They had turned the famous ‘Golden Temple’ of Amritsar into an armoury.
  • Several Sikh militants and Akali leaders like Bhindranwale, Amrik Singh, Shabag Singh died in the encounter and the others surrendered. This army action was known as “Operation Blue Star”.
  • With Operation Blue Star, deadly street battles broke out between Hindus and Sikhs. Indira Gandhi was fighting to restore law and order in the Punjab Province.  The Punjab issue was a hanging sword over the Prime Minister’s head all the time and it finally took her life.
  • Her own Sikh bodyguards assassinated Indira Gandhi.
  • Indira Gandhi patronized art, handicrafts, theatre, dance and music. She was honoured with a large number of prestigious awards, including the “Bharat Ratna” award in 1972.
  • She encouraged sports and took keen interest in the Asian Games held in Delhi. In 1983 she was honoured with the International Olympic Gold Order.
  • For her active participation in population control program, the UNO honoured her with an award in 1983.
  • On October 30, 1984 just a day before she was assassinated, Indira Gandhi had said, “Even if I die for the service of the nation. I shall be proud of it.  Every drop of my blood, I am sure, I will contribute to the growth of this nation and make it strong and dynamic”.

Former Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi Biography

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