Woman of the Millennium: Smt Indhira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi was a prominent member of the Indian National Congress and a politician from India. She served as India's third prime minister.

Woman of the Millennium: Smt Indhira Gandhi

 

Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi, popularly known as Indira Gandhi, was born on November 19, 1917. She was the daughter of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. She was India's first female Prime Minister. She was born into a political family and she was the country's second-longest-serving Prime Minister after her father. She was elected President of the Congress Party in 1959 and worked as her father's personal assistant from 1947 to 1964.

After Nehru's death in 1964, she served as a Cabinet minister under Lal Bahadur Shastri's leadership. After Shastri's sudden death, she became Prime Minister of India in 1966. She held the position from 1966 to 1977, but after imposing an emergency in 1975, she lost it, which sparked national discontent and nationwide protests. She returned to power in 1980, and during that time she ordered the storming of the Sikh Holy Shrine, Harmandir Sahib, in Amritsar. She was assassinated on October 31, 1984, by her two Sikh bodyguards. Following her death, angry protesters killed Sikhs in several parts of the country.

She was known for her fiery personality, and she also went to war with Pakistan in support of the East Pakistan Independence Movement, which resulted in the formation of Bangladesh. Indira Gandhi was named the BBC's "Woman of the Millennium" in 1999.