Indira Gandhi, not only famously known as ‘Iron Lady’ in the political battle field of India but also put her irony on the horizon of world politics alike the supreme star(sun) in our global political Universe.
Her life is a paradigm of struggle, challenges and success, which tells the political history of her journey with indomitable adventure. During her tenure, she faced many national and international challenges and wielded a lot of success on every front.
Whether it is the internal conflict of the Congress party, the separatism, the war with Pakistan, the independence of Bangladesh, or any other major issue of this kind. In every case and situation, she introduced her sense of courage to fight patiently to have a victorious end. She will always be remembered for the nationalization of banks, the first pokharan nuclear Test, the first green revolution. The leadership of the Non–aligned Movement and the independence of Bangladesh are also included in her adventurous Political activities with a strong memory of Objective of India Constitution,i.e-‘Nation 1st’.
The country’s first woman Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi was born on 19th November, 1917 in Allahabad city of Uttar Pradesh. Her full and original name was Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi. Her father Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Prime Minister of the country and mother was Kamala Nehru. She taught the initial training in the school of Allahabad. After this she got admission in the Visva-Bharati University of Guru Rabindranath Tagore, Shanti Niketan. It is believed that Rabindranath Tagore named her ‘Priyadarshini’. After this she went to England and sat in the entrance examination of Oxford University, but failed. After this she spent a few months at Badminton School in Bristol. After successful completion of examinations in 1937, she enrolled at Somerville College, Oxford. During that time, she met Feroz Gandhi, whom she knew from Allahabad. Feroz Gandhi was continuing his higher study in those days at the London School of Economics. Her identity turned a love and then on March 16, 1942, she married Firoz in Anand Bhawan in Allahabad. Her two sons were Sanjay and Rajiv.Later on Rajiv Gandhi also became the popular Prime Minister of the country.
Since childhood, Indira Gandhi had a political atmosphere, which had a profound effect on her character and her life too. After returning to Oxford in 1941, she joined the Indian independence movement. She created a monkey army(bandar sena) for the youth. The appeaser forces also helped her in opposing the protest and flag procession, and also helped the Congress leaders in many sensitive activities in regard to freedom movement, for example, to send sensitive publications and restricted materials to the destination. Her work and contribution can not be ignored in the freedom fight against British. During the beginning of 1930’s, It was the fact that when Indira Gandhi hid an important document , in her study book from her father’s house when her father Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was in the custody of the police, she had reached the destination with this sensitive document without any fear of British. During her tenure at the University of Oxford , she became a member of the Indian League of Independence in London and remained abroad and working for the home country.
In September 1942, she was arrested by the British government. After spending nearly 243 days in jail, she was released on 13 May 1943. During the 1947 partition of the country, she organized refugee camps and arranged food and medical care for millions of refugees from Pakistan. Her work also was well appreciated and this gave him a new identity.
In the year 1950, Indira Gandhi was working as the personal assistant of her father, the first Prime Minister of India, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. In the year 1959, she was elected president of the Indian National Congress. She did commendable work for the party. Her father died on May 27, 1964. After this she was elected as a Rajya Sabha member and became the Information and Broadcasting Minister in Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri’s Cabinet.
During the Indo-Pak war of 1965, under the cloud of Cross-Firing near LOC, she did dare to approach Srinagar border area to encourage our Army.
Despite the army’s warning, she did not approve of coming to Delhi and continued enhancing the morale of the Army. Lalbahadur Shastri had gone to Tashkand during that period, where he passed away only a few hours after signing the peace agreement with Pakistan’s Ayub Khan in Soviet mediation.
After this, on January 19, 1966, Indira Gandhi became the third Prime Minister of the country. At that time the Congress was divided into two groups. The socialist Group stood with Indira Gandhi, while the second conservative group was a supporter of Morarji Desai. Morarji Desai used to call Indira Gandhi as ‘ghungi gudiya’ because she was speaking very little. In the 1967 elections, the Congress got 297 seats in the 545-seat Lok Sabha.
She was elected as the Prime Minister and remained till March 24, 1977.
It is worth mentioning that after being elected to the Prime Minister in 1967, she remained the Prime Minister till the end but between 1977 and 1980, she had to be ousted from her office. She made Morarji Desai the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of the country.
In 1969, with Morarji Desai, there were differences on many issues, and finally the Indian National Congress was divided.
Morarji Desai ruled out to support the socialists and communist parties. After some time, the country had to face war again. During the war in 1971, she gave a new direction to national security and foreign policy.
As a result, India won a spectacular victory in the war. During this time, Bangladesh got independence from Pakistan. In fact, Indira Gandhi played an important role in liberating Bangladesh.
It is said that after the victory, when Parliament session began, opposition leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee in his speech addressed Indira Gandhi as ‘Durga’.
Indira Gandhi imposed emergency on June 26, 1975 in the country. Because of this, his party lost for the first time in the 1977 general election. Even She had to go to jail in October 1977 and December 1978. But she did not give up and was struggling hard. Then in 1980 she again returned to power.
The Congress got a great success, and in 15 out of the 22 states, the Congress party formed the government successfully. On 14 January 1980, she again became the Prime Minister of the country and ruled till the end of her life.
In those days, terrorism was at peak in Punjab. She daringly started campaigning against the separatists in Punjab. Because of this, the separatist became the enemy of her life and on October 31, 1984 his bodyguards murdered her in Delhi at her own residence,10-janpath. The country was immersed in mourning by her sudden death.
Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee while comparing Mrs. Indira Gandhi with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, had said that unlike his father, Mrs. Indira Gandhi used to stay away from the Parliament. At the beginning, she kept so quiet that she was told to ‘Gungi Gudiya’, but it was an injustice to her. She believed in speaking less. After listening to all the things, she stabilized their mind and used to manifest at the end. Instead of spending time in the House, she used to sit in her room and rotate the keys of power. She ruled the world for fourteen years miraculously but many times opponents revolted against her. There was a lot of pressure in the Parliament with Indira Gandhi many times, but the differences in politics did not allow her to be distracted in personal relations.
The ruthless tragedy and brutal murder snatched one such politician from us, not only as a capable daughter’s father, but his personal abilities, Political Leadership and an immense socio-Political skills.
In fact, this great and successful politician of the Nation had many miseries in her private life. In 1936, her mother Kamla Nehru left her alone after suffering a tuberculosis for a long time. At that time her age was mere 18 years. Then in the married life, she could only get sorrow. After his marriage, her early life was bold and beautiful, but later on she came to his father’s house and entered to New Delhi.
In the first general election of the country in 1951, he was campaigning for both his father and his husband. After winning the election, Feroz Gandhi chose a separate house for himself. Then, sometime after the sub-election in 1958, Feroz Gandhi had a heart attack. During this, Indira Gandhi served her duty as a wife to her husband very well. Their relationship also began to improve, but on 8th September 1960 when Indira Gandhi went on a foreign tour with her father, then Feroze died.
She has confined herself to the party and the country’s work.
She chose Sanjay Gandhi as her political heir, But he died in a flying incident on June 23, 1980. After this she brought her younger son Rajiv Gandhi into politics. Rajiv Gandhi was happy with the pilot’s job and did not want to come into the arena of Indian Politics, but he could not refuse his mother and therefore accepted.
Indira Gandhi used to wore sweaters and was seen with her family in an empty time. She also had a special attachment to music and books. Pakistani singer Mehdi Hassan’s ghazals were often listened by her Before sleeping, she used to read spiritual books.
Bharat Ratna awardee Indira Gandhi had said- “The importance of life is only when it is dedicated to any great goal. This dedication is knowledge and justice. Martyrdom does not end, it’s just a beginning. If I die a violent death, as some people are scared with some conspirators, then I know that violence will be in the thoughts and deeds of the killers but it’s not in my thought and soul. People forget their duties, but remember the rights. The best way to find yourself is that you lose yourself in the service of others. Satisfaction is not achieved, but in the end, the complete effort is complete victory. The right to question is the basis of human progress.”
She also said that when I am praising the beauty of the moon or the moon at sunset, at that time my soul is worshiping the creator not the destroyer.