Indira Gandhi was born on November 19, 1917 in Allahabad, India, and was the only child of Jawaharlal Nehru, who would go on to become the first Prime Minister of independent India.
Indira Gandhi’s original name was Indira Priyadarshini Nehru. She adopted the surname Gandhi after marrying Feroze Gandhi, a Parsi lawyer, in 1942.
Indira Gandhi was the first woman to become the Prime Minister of India. She served as the Prime Minister of India for a total of four terms, from 1966 to 1977, and again from 1980 until her assassination in 1984.
Indira Gandhi was known for her authoritarian style of leadership and was often criticized for suppressing political opposition, restricting civil liberties, and imposing a state of emergency in 1975-77.
Indira Gandhi was fluent in multiple languages, including Hindi, English, and French.
Indira Gandhi was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 1971 for her services to the nation.
Indira Gandhi was an avid reader and was known to have a vast collection of books on a variety of subjects.
Indira Gandhi was also a lover of nature and was passionate about wildlife conservation. She established several national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in India during her tenure as Prime Minister.
Indira Gandhi’s younger son, Sanjay Gandhi, was actively involved in politics and was considered her heir apparent until his death in a plane crash in 1980.
Indira Gandhi’s older son, Rajiv Gandhi, succeeded her as Prime Minister of India after her assassination in 1984.
Indira Gandhi was assassinated on October 31, 1984 by two of her bodyguards, who were Sikhs and were seeking revenge for the Indian army’s storming of the Golden Temple in Amritsar earlier that year.
Indira Gandhi’s assassination led to widespread riots against the Sikh community in India, resulting in the death of thousands of Sikhs.
Indira Gandhi’s legacy continues to be debated in India, with some regarding her as a transformative leader who modernized India and promoted social welfare, while others view her as a divisive figure who undermined democratic institutions and human rights.