|Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi
|Former Indian Politician
|Indian National Congress
|• She served her father unofficially as a personal assistant during his tenure as the first Prime Minister of India in the 1950s.
• In the late 1950s, she served as the President of Indian National Congress.
• She was appointed as a member of the Rajya Sabha in 1964 and became a member of Lal Bahadur Shastri's cabinet as Minister of Information and Broadcasting.
• After the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1966, she was named the party leader over Morarji Desai.
• She served as the Prime Minister of India from January 1966 to March 1977.
• Gandhi again became the Prime Minister of India in 1980 and served until October 1984 before she was assassinated by two of her security guards.
|Physical Stats & More
|in centimeters- 163 cm
in meters- 1.63 m
in Feet Inches- 5’ 4”
|Salt & Pepper
|Date of Birth
|19 November 1917
|Place of Birth
|Allahabad, United Provinces, British India
|Date of Death
|31 October 1984
|Place of Death
|1 Safdarjung Road, New Delhi
|Cause of Death
|Age (as on 31 October 1984)
|Zodiac sign/Sun sign
|Allahabad, United Provinces, British India
|Modern School, Delhi
St. Cecilia's Public School, Delhi
St Mary's Christian Convent School, Allahabad
International School of Geneva
École nouvelle de la Suisse romande, Lausanne, Switzerland
Pupils' Own School in Poona and Bombay
|Visva-Bharati University (dropout)
Somerville College, Oxford (dropout)
Badminton School, Bristol, England
|She made it to the politics in 1950s as a personal assistant to her father, Late Jawaharlal Nehru, while he served as the Prime Minister of India post independence.
|Father- Jawaharlal Nehru (Former Indian Politician & First PM of India)
Mother- Kamala Nehru (Freedom Fighter)
|O-negative India Today
|• In June 1975, Justice Jagmohanlal Sinha of Allahabad High Court found her guilty of election corruption for her election campaign. The court debarred her from her Lok Sabha seat and declared the election as null and void and banned her from contesting elections for next 6 years. Charges included bribing voters, misusing the government's machinery for her election campaign, using the electricity from state electricity department. She, however, challenged the High Court's decision in the Supreme Court but the decision was upheld by the justice V. R. Krishna Iyer and he ordered that all the privileges she received as an MP be stopped and that she be debarred from voting. The fact that she was allowed to lead the country as a Prime Minister lead to the Emergency period in the country which lasted for about 21 months. She invoked article 352 and granted herself extraordinary powers and launched a massive crackdown on civil liberties and political opposition to control the ever growing population of India, she provoked forced sterilisations during the emergency. Some say that her son Sanjay Gandhi's mind was behind this tragic step.
• In 1984, began a military operation, Operation Blue Star. It was ordered by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in order to remove the Sikh militants who were accumulating arms in the Harmandir Sahib Complex/ Golden Temple, Amritsar. Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, the leader of Damdami Taksal was the key person in the initiation of the operation. A number of military divisions were deployed in Punjab to tackle the situation and get control of the place. This resulted in a number of innocent lives and heavy damage to the Golden Temple. She was later assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards for the same.
|Boys, Affairs and More
|Widow at the time of death
|Feroze Gandhi (Former Indian Politician & Journalist)
|Son- Rajiv Gandhi (Former Indian Politician)
Sanjay Gandhi (Former Indian Politician)
Some Lesser Known Facts About Indira Gandhi
- Did Indira Gandhi smoke: No
- Did Indira Gandhi drink alcohol: Not Known
- Gandhi had a lonely childhood as she had no siblings as her younger brother died young. Her father was mostly out on his political tours and mother was frequent bed-ridden of her illness and then died of tuberculosis.
- While she was in Europe, Indira was annoyed due to her ill-health and was constantly attended by doctors. She was being treated in Switzerland in the 1940s when Nazi armies rapidly conquered Europe. Though she tried to go back to England, she was stuck there for about 2 months. She then managed to get back to England in 1941 and then returned to India leaving her studies at the Oxford stranded. However, the University awarded her an honorary degree and in 2010 Oxford further honoured her by selecting her as one of the ten Oxasians, illustrious Asian graduates from the University of Oxford.
- Just at a tender age of 12, she was desperate to join Indian National Congress but the least age required to do the same was 18. She found an innovative way to get going by forming a group called “monkey brigade” with her friends. The name was inspired by an ancient Indian epic poem where a number of monkeys (Vanar) helped lord Rama to tackle Ravana. The brigade had the objective to spy on police officials. She then officially became a politician in 1950s as a personal assistant to her father who was the first Prime Minister of independent India. Initially, she was considered a dumb doll (gungi gudiya) in the political world.
- Feroze Gandhi, whom Indira married in the 1950s, was born in a Zoroastrian Parsi family as Feroze Ghandhy. He changed his name on the proposal of the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. It was to prevent the damage to Nehru’s political image which would have come his way otherwise.
- Some say that her younger Son Sanjay was born to Mohammad Yunus, a diplomat. The fact which Sanjay knew and often blackmailed his mother off. This was something that worried Indira a lot and ended up in a mysterious death of Sanjay in a plane crash in June 1980. The bird fell off the skies nose dived.
- After her father’s death in 1966, she took charge as the Prime Minister of India, thus becoming the first women PM of the nation.
- Under the leadership of Indira Gandhi, Green Revolution began in India in the 1960s, where in the nation witnessed an exponential increase in the agricultural yields due to enhanced agronomic technology. States like Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh benefited the most out of it in the early phase.
- Then came the real test in 1971 when she backed the Bengali Movement, a movement for the liberation of East Pakistan from West Pakistan. It took just 13 days for India and the Soviet Union to make the USA, China, Britain, and Sri Lanka backed Pakistan Armed Forces surrender and let the province work on its own, which is now known as Bangladesh. This was one of the shortest lasting wars in the history. The war and its result proved a transformation of a ‘Dumb Doll’ into an ‘Iron Lady’.
- In 1975, the then President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed declared an emergency across the country because of the internal disturbances that prevailed at that time. The country had also witnessed a huge economic loss during the Bangladesh Liberation War and the 1973 oil crisis had hit the country hard. The government claimed that the strikes and protests had paralysed the government and that the economy had turned into a bad shape because of such incidents.
- Later in June 1984, she provoked ‘Operation Blue Star’ to remove the Sikh leaders demanding a separate nation out of Punjab province and to take control of the Harmandir Sahib Complex in Amritsar. Those 10 days of the riots resulted in a number of deaths and monetary loss.
- The ‘Iron Lady’ came to a tragic end in the October 1984 when two of her bodyguards named Satwant Singh and Beant Singh assassinated her while she was on her way to be interviewed by a British actor Peter Ustinov. Just as she cleared the gate guarded by them, Sub Inspector fired 3 rounds of his revolver followed by the 30 bullets magazine being fired at by Beant Singh to finish her off. This assault was to avenge the death of the innocent people who had lost their lives and also for the damage to the pride of Sikhs.