Indira Gandhi, an irony lady, born on November 19, 1917, in Allahabad. Indira Gandhi had fought her first election in 1952 and had become a member of the Congress Working Committee.
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Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. In the late 1960s, she was seen as a progressive politician who secured several political victories for India during times of extreme turmoil. She had a central role in shaping the national policies of India from 1966 to 1984, a period that encompassed the Bangladesh liberation war and a state of emergency in India from 1975 to 1977.
Indira Gandhi’s political career was not without controversy as she was accused of authoritarianism, corruption, and ordering extra-judicial killings during the infamous Emergency period. In 1977, she lost the general elections owing to public discontent surrounding the Emergency but regained momentum in 1980. However, Gandhi was assassinated in 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards in retaliation for Operation Blue Star.
Indira Gandhi’s life has been the subject of several books and films, most famously the Indian biographical film “Kakashe Haanikarak Baap” (1977), which was based on the 1975 thriller novel “Kakashe Haanikarak Baa”p by Indian author Om Prakash Sharma.
Her Journey from birth
Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi was born on 19 November 1917 in Allahabad and was the only child of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. Her grandfather was Motilal Nehru, and her great-grandfather was an affluent lawyer and intellectual, Gangadhar Nehru.
Nehru enrolled in Somerville College in 1937 to study for a Master’s degree in politics and economics. During 1938-1940, Gandhi greatly supported the Indian cause of independence and voiced her opinion against British rule through the columns she wrote for various newspapers. Between 1941 and 1946, Gandhi served as the President of the All India Youth Congress and also worked in the war division of the Indian National Congress during this period.
In 1942, she was arrested by British forces for attempting to lead a march protesting their treatment of Indians. She was imprisoned until 1943, when her father arranged for her release after persuading the British government. In 1959, Gandhi became a member of the Rajya Sabha and was subsequently re-elected five times till 1984.
In 1966, Gandhi was elected as the President of Congress party after she successfully led her party members through a vote of confidence following its defeat in the general election by the opposition’s Indian National Congress (O). During this period, Gandhi helped to hold the party together and successfully reduced internal conflicts. She continued as President of Congress until 1967, when she won a seat in the Lok Sabha from Rae Bareilly constituency.
First woman Prime Minister
In January 1966, Indira Gandhi became India’s first woman Prime Minister after Lal Bahadur Shastri died in office. During her time as Prime Minister, Gandhi came into conflict with the right-wing section of the Congress party over several issues. Her stance against Indira Priyadarshini Nehru’s efforts against a national water grid prompted many of her party members to rebel against her and form their own splinter group in 1969, which later became Bharatiya Jana Sangh.
In 1971, Gandhi endorsed the army’s support for East Pakistan’s independence struggle and ordered troop deployment to aid Mukti Bahini rebels in their fight against West Pakistan forces. The war ended with India being successful in securing a new country called Bangladesh from Pakistani occupation forces, which had acted on the side of Bangladeshi rebels during the Bangladesh liberation war.
In 1975, Gandhi declared a state of emergency in India after she was found guilty of misusing government funds for personal use, which led to a period of significant curbs on civil liberties and widespread arrests against her critics. In 1977, during the general elections, Gandhi’s party suffered a large number of defeats at the hands of the opposition Janata Party.
In 1980, Gandhi returned to power and successfully led her party to a landslide victory in the general elections through large-scale appeals and campaigns against her assassinated opponents. In 1984, she was killed by her Sikh bodyguards at her residence in Delhi. Her death brought about significant changes in Indian national security and foreign policy.
Letters of Jawaharlal Nehru to Indira
The Letters by Jawaharlal Nehru to Indira Gandhi were written between 1938 and 1940 after he left Allahabad for the capital city of New Delhi in order to assume office as India’s first Prime Minister. Letters begin with Nehru sending his love to Indira and expressing his concerns over the leave of absence she took from Oxford University in order to join him. Letters then detail many issues, including Nehru’s political career, India’s independence struggle, and World War II. Letters also express concern over Gandhi’s health and well-being while abroad at Oxford.
Letters by Nehru express his worries over the future of India and how he feels that Indira Gandhi will play a significant role in its independence, as well as the course it may take after achieving such status. Nehru’s letters to Indira Gandhi also include Nehru’s love for Indira and concern over their separation from one another.