Biography of Indira Gandhi
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Mrs. Indira Gandhi was a great national leader. She was the third Prime Minister of free India.Indira Gandhi was the only child of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Birth: . Mrs. Gandhi was born in Allahabad on 19th November 1917. She was educated first at Visva Bharati. She had her education at Oxford and also in Switzerland. During her childhood she saw how the Indians had been fighting for the country’s freedom.
As a student & social worker: As a student, Mrs. Indira Gandhi took a keen interest in the student movement and joined the Congress Party at the young age of 21. She worked hard during the freedom movement. People were impressed by her intelligence, devotion and hard work. She grew up under the influence of her great father. She was married to Mr. Feroze Gandhi and had two sons, Rajiv and Sanjay. She worked with Mahatma Gandhi and showed great courage and capacity for hard work. She was associated with a number of social organizations.
In politics: Mrs. Indira Gandhi was elected to the high post of the Congress President in 1959. She did a lot to make the organization strong and popular. She became Union Minster when Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri was the Prime Minister. After the death of Mr. Shastri, she became the first woman Prime Minister of India.
Her policy: Mrs. Indira Gandhi was highly respected all over the world. She was neither Pro-America nor Pro-Russia. She always kept the country’s interest in mind. She believed in socialism and secularism. She followed the policy of peace and friendship with all. She loved the poor and tried hard to improve their lot. She wanted to make the world free from hatred and violence. She always thought of world brother-hood and prosperity of mankind in general.
Her achievements: Mrs. Gandhi was a great leader. She ran the administration well. She brought about remarkable progress in the field of agriculture. She solved the food problem which was the cause of great sorrow in the country. During the 1965 war with Pakistan, she showed her imagination and determination. She tried to solve the Naga problems with firmness and sympathy she believed in self-reliance. But she was not against foreign aid. She liked to work with the progressive forces in the country. It was because of her dynamic policies that the Congress Party secured a great majority in the mid-term poll to the Lok Sabha in 1971.
Conclusion: Mrs. Indira Gandhi declared emergency in the country and people suffered a lot during this period. So the Congress Party lost the election in March 1977. But she returned to power in 1980. Mrs. Indira Gandhi continued to be widely popular. She drew large crowds wherever she went. She worked for the welfare of the whole world. But she was particular about Afro-Asian Unity. India lost this great leader on 31st October 1984 when she was shot dead by her own security.
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Gandhi was born on November 19, 1917, in Allahabad, the only child of Jawaharlal Nehru, later the first prime minister of India. A graduate of Visva-Bharati University, Bengal, she also studied at the University of Oxford, England.
In 1938 she joined the National Congress party and became active in India’s independence movement. 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.
When India won its independence in 1947 and Nehru took office as prime minister, Gandhi became his official hostess. (Her mother 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.
In 1962, during the Chinese-Indian border war, she coordinated civil defense activities. Following the death of her father in May 1964, Gandhi became minister of information and broadcasting in Lal Bahadur Shastri’s government.
In this post she extended broadcasting time, liberalized censorship policies, and approved a television education project in family planning. When Shastri died suddenly in January 1966, Gandhi succeeded him as prime minister. The following year she was elected to a 5-year term by the parliament members of the dominant Congress party. She led her party to a landslide victory in the national elections of 1971.
In 1975 Gandhi was convicted of a minor infraction of the election laws during 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.
Although her conviction was soon overturned by the Indian Supreme Court, the emergency was continued. Gandhi placed many aspects of life in India under her strict control, and thousands of dissenters were imprisoned. Many saw in these actions the influence of her younger son, Sanjay Gandhi, a political neophyte on whom she relied more and more for assistance.
Hoping to demonstrate popular support for her regime, which critics contended was undermining India’s democratic system, Gandhi called a general election in March 1977; She lost her seat in parliament, and the Congress party was defeated. In the elections of January 1980, however, she made a spectacular comeback and was able to form a new majority government.
When Sanjay died in a plane crash that June, she began grooming her older son, Rajiv Gandhi, as her successor. On October 31, 1984, after she had moved vigorously to suppress Sikh insurgents, she was shot to death by Sikh members of her security guard.