India Gandhi: Remembering country's first female PM on her 104th birthday

  • Born on November 19, 1917, as Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi, she was the daughter of the country's first prime minister Dr Jawahar Lal Nehru. During her life, she played a central role in the functioning of Indian National Congress (INC).
Indira Gandhi had the ability to mesmerise the poor and disadvantaged. (HT)
Indira Gandhi had the ability to mesmerise the poor and disadvantaged. (HT)
Updated on Nov 19, 2021 06:55 AM IST
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Friday marks the 104th birth anniversary of India's first and, to date, the only female Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who was also known as 'Iron Lady' of the country.

Born on November 19, 1917, as Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi, she was the daughter of the country's first prime minister Dr Jawahar Lal Nehru. During her life, she played a central role in the functioning of Indian National Congress (INC).

In 1959, India Gandhi was elected as president of the INC. She was appointed as a member of Rajya Sabha after her father died in 1964 and served as the Union minister of Information and Broadcasting in Lal Bahadur Shastri's cabinet.

She succeeded Shastri as the next Prime Minister of India, outflanking other leaders in the leadership battle. Indira Gandhi served her first term in the office from 1966 to 1977, and the second was from 1981 to 1984, until her assassination at the hands of her own security guards. After Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi is longest serving prime minister of the country.

According to reports, India Gandhi became such a dominating figure at the end of 1977, and made such an impression on the political canvas of the country that then Congress party president DK Barooah had coined the phrase "India is Indira and Indira is India."

In 1999, Indira Gandhi was dubbed as “Woman of the Millennium” via an online BBC poll. Most recently (2020) she was named as one of the world’s 100 powerful women who defined the last century by Time magazine.

(WIth agency inputs)

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