Indira Gandhi Biography

Indira Priyadarchini Gandhi (Allahabad, India, 19 November 1917 – New Delhi, India, 31 October 1984).

An Indian-born political leader, who went on to hold various political positions in her country’s government, becoming Prime Minister of India, as well as one of the most influential and powerful leaders of this Asian country.

He also promoted the industrialization of her country, while supporting the independence of East Pakistan, Bangladesh, as well as its formation as an independent country. Belonging to the Nehru dynasty, she took her surname from her husband Feroze Gandhi, however she bears no kinship with Mahatma Gandhi.

Early Life

Indira Gandhi was born on 19 November 1917, in the city of Allahabad, India, becoming the firstborn and only daughter of the marriage between wealthy lawyer Jawaharlal Nehru and her wife Kamala Nehru.

Indira’s father was considered a national hero in her country, for her performance during India’s independence process. He was also noted as The oldest Prime Minister of India.

For her part, thanks to the excellent economic position of her family, Indira studied academically in the most prestigious schools in the United Kingdom, Switzerland and India. In this way, her stay in Europe, as well as the busy life of her father, made during these early years father and daughter have a distant relationship.

Political beginnings

Returning to her native country, Indira married Feroze Gandhi, also from another powerful family in India. From her relationship with Feroze were born her two sons, Sanjay and Rajiv Ghandi. However, Indira was not happy, as her husband was constantly unfaithful to her. Eventually the couple distanced theself, and Indira chose to abandon her husband and move into her father’s house.

From then on the relationship between the two would be extremely close. Indira would become the confidant of Jawaharlal Nehru, without suspecting that this would end her to pursue her own political career. He also began to occupy a place in the eye of the national and international press, where her figure became commonplace during meetings, events and government tours.

Political career

Finally, in 1959, she held her first political office, being appointed Head of the Party of Congress. Five years later, in 1964, her father died, being replaced by Lal Bahadur Shastri, whose government Indira Gandhi would become Minister of Information and Broadcasting, a portfolio she would hold until 1973.

However, from 1966, she served in parallel as Secretary General of the Congress Party, as well as that of Prime Minister, Minister for Foreign Affairs (1967-1969); Finance (1969-1970); (1970-1973). In 1975, he served as the Ministry of Defence.

In total, he was in charge of running her country for fifteen years, from January 19, 1966, when he assumed the presidency of the Congress Party, as well as the First Magistracy, until 1984, with a short three-year hiatus, between 1977 and 1980.

Despite the Indian patriarchal field, Indira had the skill and leadership to respect and exercise her authority. Brilliant, as several historians and political scientists have called it, the leadership’s action was vital to achieving the birth of her nation to industrialization.

As for her foreign policy, consona with her left-wing ideology, he maintained friendly relations with the Soviet Union, which gradually cooled the relationship with the United States. He also supported the independence process of East Pakistan, Bangladesh, who at the time was part of Pakistan.

From 1975 on, he faced a severe political crisis, to which Indira Gandhi declared India in a state of emergency, limiting media freedom, while decreting a dictatorial government, which spanned two years, until 1977.

That same year, he decided to call the town to a plebiscite, the result of which did not favor her. Then he handed over command, without any mishaps. Three years later, however, she was again elected, in a popular recognition of her ability to maintain the country’s stability.

Final years

During this new government, Indira Gandhi faced Sikh nationalism, a radical group, conscribed in the Panyabque, which sought the independence of this region and the establishment of a Sikh confessional state.

Determined to stop nationalist leaders, Indira Gnadhi ordered a military raid on her temple in 1984, which resulted in hundreds of deaths. This event caused great outrage among the followers of this movement, who would soon retaliate against this leader.

On October 31, 1984, just a time after this unfortunate event, while on her way to New Delhi, an interview with actor Peter Ustinov was murdered by two of his bodyguards, who were infiltrated members of the Sikhs. Her body received a total of thirty-one gunshot wounds. Her death made her one of the most important leaders of the 20th century.

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Indira Gandhi Biography
Source: Education  
August 14, 2019

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