Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi was an Indian politician, stateswoman and a central figure of the Indian National Congress.

Updated: October 25, 2019


Indira Gandhi was an Indian politician, stateswoman and a central figure of the Indian National Congress. She was the first and the only female Prime Minister of India till date. Indira Gandhi was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first 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. She is the second longest-serving Indian Prime Minister, after her father.
She was known for her political ruthlessness and extraordinary centralization of power. It was during her premiership that India became the regional power in South Asia with considerable political, economic, and military clout. She was born in November 19th, 1917 and died on October 31st, 1984.

Childhood of Indira Gandhi:

Indira Gandhi was born as Indira Priyadarshini Nehru in a Kashmiri Pandit family on 19 November 1917 in Allahabad. Her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, was a leading figure in India's political struggle for independence from British rule, and became the first Prime Minister of India. She was the only child of Jawaharlal Nehru and Kamla Nehru. A younger brother was born, but died young. She grew up with her mother, Kamala Nehru, at the Anand Bhavan. She had a lonely and unhappy childhood as her father was mostly away from home due to his political commitments and her mother frequently suffered from bouts of illness.

Education of Indira Gandhi:

Indira attained her preliminary education at home after which she briefly attended school to complete her matriculation. Indira was enrolled at the Viswa Bharti University in Calcutta but had to leave the same due to the ailing health of her mother in Europe. Post the death of her mother, Indira attended the University of Oxford in Britain, where she studied history, political science and economics. However, due to her constant ill-health, she returned to India without a degree.

Family of Indira Gandhi:

Indira Nehru got married in March 1942 to Feroze Gandhi and blessed with two sons Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi.

Some facts about Indira Gandhi:

  • After the death of her father in 1964, Indira Gandhi was appointed as a member of the Rajya Sabha. She also became one of the members of Lal Bahadur Shastri's cabinet, serving as the Minister of Information and Broadcasting. She became the Prime Minister of India in January 1966 and continued to serve the same until 1977.
  • On 31 October 1984, two of Gandhi's bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, shot her with their service weapons in the garden of the Prime Minister's residence at 1 Safdarjung Road, New Delhi. Though Gandhi was taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences and was operated upon, she failed to survive and was declared dead.
  • The international airport at New Delhi is named Indira Gandhi International Airport in her honor. She also has one of the largest universities in the world, Indira Gandhi National Open University, named after her.
  • The central government launched the low-cost housing programme for the rural poor under her name, Indira Awaas Yojana.
  • She was voted as the greatest Indian Prime Minister in a poll organized by India Today. She was also named 'Woman of the Millennium' in a poll organized by the BBC in 1999.
  • She initiated the Operation Blue Star to strip clean the Golden Temple from the terrorists supporting Bindranwale, which eventually led to her assassination.


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