The surname Gandhi is instinctively associated with India, but not only by the Mahatma, but also by the politics of Indira Gandhi.
We will dedicate these lines to better understand the life of this important personality through a biography of Indira Gandhi. We will know what his most significant accomplishments were and what contributions during his tenure were made in the country where he led for over a decade, in addition to holding other positions.
Brief biography of Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi was born in Allahabad in 1917 under the name Indira Priyadarshini Nehru.. He came from a Pandit family in Kashmir. His father, named Jawaharlal Nehru, was an activist in circles promoting India’s independence from the British crown and through this task he rose to the forefront of politics, becoming the country’s prime minister.
In fact, even today holds the record for longest-serving prime minister in India since he was almost 17First while the country was under British rule and then when it was established as an independent republic. All of these activities led Indira Gandhi to spend little time with her parents, so she spent most of her childhood alone with her mother, Kamala Nehru.
But the mother’s situation was not at all easy, because she suffered from very delicate health and in fact died of tuberculosis, Indira Gandhi being still very young, in 1936. To be in contact with her father practically nil, and with his mother practically prostrate in his bed for the evils he suffered, his education was carried out by tutors. He studied in different institutions until the end of primary and secondary education.
He then enrolled at the Santiniketan institution, which later gave birth to the University of Visva-Bharati. But his mother’s constant illnesses soon led him to drop out of school. After the death of his mother, he resumed his training, this time at the University of Oxford, in the discipline of history. This stage in Europe was marked by health problems. He traveled frequently to Switzerland for treatment.
Return to India and start of political career
In 1941, in the midst of World War II, Indira Gandhi was forced to return to India, Although he is not able to finish his career. While it is true that Oxford awarded him an honorary degree, some time later. The years in England, in addition to her own training, allowed her to meet Feroze Gandhi, who would become her husband. Despite the notable surname, he was not related to the Mahatma. From this marriage, two children will be born in the following years, Rajiv and Sanjay.
Once in India, Indira Gandhi reconnected with her father, who at the time was already serving as Prime Minister, and began working as a collaborator in his cabinet. This allowed him to become fully involved in the world of high-level politics, an area in which he will develop his professional activity since then. A few years later, she became president of the Congress.
Indira’s father died in 1964, and then she was elected one of the members of the Council of States, the Rajya Sabha., By order of Lal Bahadur, Shastri, the Prime Minister. Under this government, he also held the post of Minister of Information and Broadcasting. On the death of the party leader, Indira Gandhi took over at the head of this formation.
Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister
It was in 1966 that Indira Gandhi reached the highest level of power in India, as Prime Minister. While some party leaders expected her to behave like a weak figure due to the prejudices that existed at the time about being a woman, Indira quickly showed that she had the skills to perform their duties without leaving. on her.
Throughout this first term, he had to make some very difficult decisions. Some meant the fragmentation of his own party, but others went much further, as he was to lead the liberation of Bangladesh, which meant the outbreak of armed conflict with Pakistan. These facts changed any previous opinion he might have had of her, and she was now seen as an absolutely established leader.
For the next term, in 1971, Indira Gandhi the eradication of poverty in India has been proposed, A problem that has plagued the nation. This policy meant supporting large groups of people living in disadvantaged situations. In this mandate, the war against Pakistan mentioned above also took place. The victory brought him great popularity.
But it was tough economic times for India. Inflation was rising more and more and in 1973 came the oil crisis, which further aggravated the situation. This gave wings to the opposition, which was getting stronger.
Scandal and state of emergency
In 1975, a ruling concluded that Indira Gandhi had committed professional misconduct in certain actions during his rule. take advantage of election campaigns. This meant his removal from the seat he held, but he did not give up the post of Prime Minister, as being part of the Rajya Sabha, he could continue in that post, in accordance with the Constitution of India.
This decision was controversial and street protests were generated where many citizens expressed their discontent in this regard, generating a wave of riots. Indira Gandhi’s decision to deal with the situation was to declare a state of emergency. A campaign of mass arrests of violent protesters has begun.
The situation worsened and curfews began, the restriction of freedoms and even a censorship procedure on certain publications that did not correspond to the interests of the government. In turn, Indira Gandhi reshaped the government to ensure that her cabinet consisted only of people loyal to her. The law was also amended so as not to oblige Parliament to legislate.
To this accumulation of power was added the presence of his son, Sanjay Gandhi, as a figurehead of the government, without having a specific position in himself. The fact that his own son, without an elected mandate, holds so much power, is another reason that compounds the growing unpopularity of Indira Gandhi.
Elections and exit from government
In 1977, Indira Gandhi decided to call an election. The scandal in which she had been involved, added to the declaration of the state of emergency, extended by almost two years, had left her image very weakened. However, she felt that she still had enough support to revalidate her position.
In his own party, there were divisions around the drift that was seizing power in India due to Indira Gandhi’s way of governing. When the election came, her party suffered a resounding defeat, even causing Indira herself to lose her seat. He had to go through another constituency, and in 1978 when he returned to the camera.
She was embroiled in a new scandal in which she was accused of conspiring to assassinate opposition leaders while the state of emergency continued. She was kicked out of Congress. But the ruling party, Union Janata, began to crack after a series of internal disputes between coalition members. A new government was formed with Gandhi’s support, in exchange for the charges against her and her son being withdrawn..
Return to power and murder
In the 1980 elections, Indira Gandhi managed to return to power, taking over the post of Prime Minister of India. Her son Sanjay died shortly after in a plane crash. This led to Indira convincing her other son, Rajiv, to come into her office, as she only wanted people she trusted, and no one better than her own children.
During this legislature, Indira Gandhi’s politics were marked by the problems arising from the claims of the village of Sij, Who sought independence of the Punjab region by thus achieving a confessional state. Indira’s response was one of repression, which culminated in the so-called Operation Blue Star, which was a military raid on a Sikh temple.
he thoughtlessly crushed any resistance, resulting in the deaths of many civilians in the process. The operation was highly controversial and many accused Indira Gandhi of using it to promote herself politically for the next legislature.
On October 30, 1984, Gandhi gave a speech in which he literally declared that he would be proud to die in the service of his country. Just a day later two of his bodyguards, of Sij faith, killed Indira Gandhi, in retaliation for Operation Blue Star. He received 31 shots.
- Jayakar, P. (1992). Indira Gandhi: a biography. Penguin books.
- Malhotra, I. (2014). Indira Gandhi: personal and political biography. Rajkamal electric press.
- Malik, YK (1987). Indira Gandhi: personality, political and political power of parties. Journal of Asian and African Studies.