Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Indira Gandhi- "The IRON Lady"

Birth:- 19 Nov 1917, Allahabad.
Father's Name:- Jawaharlal Nehru.
Mother's Name:- Kamala Nehru.
Death:- 31 October 1984, New Delhi.

Indira Gandhi was the first woman Prime Minister of the Republic of India for three consecutive terms from 1966-1977 and the fourth term from 1980 until her assassination in 1984, a total of fifteen years. Also she was the World's longest serving woman Prime Minister.

Indira Gandhi was born on 19th Nov 1917 in Allahabad, to Jawaharlal and Kamala Nehru. She was their only child. Her father was a lawyer and also a leader. Jawaharlal Nehru was more western than traditional and like to live sophisticated lifestyle. Her mother was a religious lady. There was a huge difference between the lifestyle of her parents. Her Grandfather Motilal Nehru was a renowned barrister of that period. Also a well-known member of the Indian National Congress Party.

In 1934-35, after finishing school, Indira joined Shantiniketan, a school set up by Rabindranath Tagore. At that school, Tagore gave her the name "Priyadarshini". (Priya=pleasing, darshini=to look at). At the later time she went to England and sat for the University of Oxford entrance exam. But she failed in that so Indira spent a few months at Badminton school in Bristol. After passing the exam Indira then joined Somerville College, University of Oxford. During this period, she was frequently met with a young Parsi man active in politics, Feroze Gandhi. Whom she knew from Allahabad. Feroze Gandhi was studing at the London School of Economics.

In 1936, her mother, Kamala Nehru, finally died due to tuberculosis after a long struggle. Indira was 18 at that time. And Kamala's husband Jawaharlal Nehru was languishing in the Indian jails that time. In the early 1940, Indira was suffered with chronic lung disease. At that time she was in Switzerland. And maintained long-distance relationship with her father in the form of long letters.

When Indira and Feroze Gandhi returned to India, they were in loved and had decided to get married. Indira liked Feroze's openness, sence of humor and self-confidence. Jawaharlal Nehru did'nt like the idea of the marriage but Indira was very derermined and the marriage took place in march 1942 acconding to the Hindu rules. In 1944, Indira gave birth to Rajiv Gandhi and two years later Sanjay Gandhi.

Both Indira and Feroze Gandhi were members of the Indian National
Congress. In the year 1952, Feroze Gandhi went to run the election from Raebareli Utter Pradesh and become a member of Parliament. During those days, their relationship was strained leading to a seperation. Indira and her two sons lived along with her father in New Delhi while Feroze at Allahabad. Shortly after his re-election, Feroze got a heart attack which leds to his death in September 1960.

During 1959 and 1960, Indira was elected as the President of the Indian National Congress. When Indira Gandhi became the Prime Minister in 1966, the Congress was split in two groups, the socialists led by Gandhi, and the conservatives led by Morarji Desai. In July 196. Indira Gandhi issued order to nationalized all the banks of the country. While in 1971, to solve the Bangladeshi refugee problem, she declared war on Pakistan. India was victorious in the war and Bangladesh was born. In 1974, to strengthen the national security, India successfully conducted an underground nuclear test, unofficially code name "Smiling Buddha" at Pokharan in Rajasthan. Due to this, India become the World's youngest nuclear power.

During the year 1975, due to the trubulent political situation in the country, Indira Gandhi declared "a state of emergency" on 26th June. In between 1975 to 1979 many politicle events was happened. She tactfully handled all the situations. During this period Janata Dal was on the Goverment and was became failure. To divert the people from their failureness they ordered to arrest Indira Gandhi. Indira gained the great sympathy from the people and she then started giving the speeches and highlighted the wrong policies of the Janata Goverment. Next election was held in 1980, Congress returned with high difference and Indira became the Prime Minister again.

The two events of the Indian political history that made Indira's image dull was 'state of emergercy and the operation blue star'. In Sept 1981, a Sikh militant group led by Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale demanded a seperate state of Khalistan. They started motivating the people in Punjab and organized several groups to carry out their plans. They entered into the premises of the Golden Temple to take shelter. Indira Gandhi asked General S.K. Sinha, then Vice Chief of Indian Army to prepare a position paper for assault on the Golden Temple. Sinha adviced her to take an another solution but Indira was sticked to her idea. On the night of June 5 the Indian army storned the Golden Temple led by the Major General Kuldip Singh Brar. Bhindranwale was killed along with his groups by the security forces. But the large number of innocent civilians were also killed.

The impact of this, many Sikhs resigned from the Armed and civil administrative office and also returned their Govermemt awards. On 31 October 1984, Indira's bodyguards satwant Singh and Beant Singh, to take revenge of the Golden Temple assault. They assassinated the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at her safdarjung Road residence.

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