Indira Gandhi

Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi (Hindi: [ˈɪnd̪ɪɾɑː ˈɡɑːnd̪ʰi] (listen); née Nehru; 19 November 1917 – 31 October 1984) was an Indian politician and a central figure of the Indian National Congress. She was elected as 3rd prime minister of India in 1966 and was also the first and, to date, only female prime minister of India. Gandhi was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, the 1st prime minister of India. She served as prime minister from January 1966 to March 1977 and again from January 1980 until her assassination in October 1984, making her the second longest-serving Indian prime minister after her father.

Indira Gandhi
Gandhi in 1966
3rd Prime Minister of India
In office
14 January 1980  31 October 1984
PresidentN. Sanjiva Reddy
Zail Singh
Preceded byCharan Singh
Succeeded byRajiv Gandhi
In office
24 January 1966  24 March 1977
PresidentSarvepalli Radhakrishnan
Zakir Husain
V. V. Giri
Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed
DeputyMorarji Desai
Preceded byGulzarilal Nanda (Acting)
Succeeded byMorarji Desai
Minister of External Affairs
In office
9 March 1984  31 October 1984
Preceded byP. V. Narasimha Rao
Succeeded byRajiv Gandhi
In office
22 August 1967  14 March 1969
Preceded byM. C. Chagla
Succeeded byDinesh Singh
Minister of Defence
In office
14 January 1980  15 January 1982
Preceded byChidambaram Subramaniam
Succeeded byR. Venkataraman
In office
30 November 1975  20 December 1975
Preceded bySwaran Singh
Succeeded byBansi Lal
Minister of Home Affairs
In office
27 June 1970  4 February 1973
Preceded byYashwantrao Chavan
Succeeded byUma Shankar Dikshit
Minister of Finance
In office
17 July 1969  27 June 1970
Preceded byMorarji Desai
Succeeded byYashwantrao Chavan
Minister of Information and Broadcasting
In office
9 June 1964  24 January 1966
Prime MinisterLal Bahadur Shastri
Preceded bySatya Narayan Sinha
Succeeded byKodardas Kalidas Shah
Personal details
Indira Priyadarshini Nehru

(1917-11-19)19 November 1917
Allahabad, United Provinces of Agra and Oudh, British India
(present-day Prayagraj, India)
Died31 October 1984(1984-10-31) (aged 66)
New Delhi, India
Cause of deathAssassination (Ballistic trauma)
Political partyIndian National Congress
(m. 1942; died 1960)
ChildrenRajiv Gandhi
Sanjay Gandhi
Parent(s)Jawaharlal Nehru (father)
Kamala Nehru (mother)
RelativesSee Nehru–Gandhi family
Alma materVisva-Bharati University (dropped out)[1]
Somerville College, Oxford (dropped out)[1]
Nickname(s)see article

During Nehru's premiership from 1947 to 1964, Gandhi was considered a key assistant and accompanied him on his numerous foreign trips. She was elected president of the Indian National Congress in 1959. Upon her father's death in 1964, she was appointed as a member of the Rajya Sabha (upper house) and became a member of Lal Bahadur Shastri's cabinet as Minister of Information and Broadcasting. In the Congress Party's parliamentary leadership election held in early 1966 (upon the death of Shastri), she defeated her rival Morarji Desai to become leader, and thus succeeded Shastri, after his death, as Prime Minister of India.

As prime minister, Gandhi was known for her political intransigency and unprecedented centralisation of power. She went to war with Pakistan in support of the independence movement and war of independence in East Pakistan, which resulted in an Indian victory and the creation of Bangladesh, as well as increasing India's influence to the point where it became the sole regional power of South Asia. Citing separatist tendencies, and in response to a call for revolution, Gandhi instituted a state of emergency from 1975 to 1977 where basic civil liberties were suspended and the press was censored. Widespread atrocities were carried out during the emergency.[2] In 1980, she returned to power after free and fair elections. After Gandhi ordered military action in the Golden Temple in Operation Blue Star, her own bodyguards and Sikh nationalists assassinated her on 31 October 1984.

In 1999, Indira Gandhi was named "Woman of the Millennium" in an online poll organised by the BBC.[3] In 2020, Gandhi was named by Time magazine among the world's 100 powerful women who defined the last century.[4]

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