Iron Lady

Indira Gandhi: Remembering the Iron Lady of India

Indira Gandhi was named Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi by Rabindranath Tagore. She entered Indian National Congress in the late 1950s. On January19, 1966,she became India’s first woman Prime Minister. She continued to serve the nation at this post for almost fourteen long years.

During her first term as Prime Minister, she nationalized 14 banks . She was the second longest serving Prime Minister of India, and she was considered as a weak candidate when she became Prime Minister.

In  her initial years of her Prime Ministership, she appeared  to be nervous and shaky. In 1969, she found it difficult even to present the Union Budget. Even so nervous that she could not even read out a speech.

Ram Manohar Lohia nicknamed her as  goongi gudiya (dumb doll).

How was Indira’s Journey from “goongi gudiya to Iron Lady”

Indira Gandhi was expelled from the party but her political moves exposed the existing congress leadership which sided with the rich royals. In two years, she was seen as a fully changed politician. By this time India-Pakistan War over Bangladesh happened.

Till this time, Indira Gandhi had emerged as the tallest leader in the country. Indira Gandhi was so involved in the strategic-planning of the war, that it  bought Pakistan to its knees. This defeat of Pakistan was so complete that it never again entered into a fully-fledged war with INDIA again.

The success of 1971 war led to Indira Gandhi being known as the “One man in cabinet”. It was the western press which hailed Indira Gandhi as “The Iron Lady of India”.

Indira Gandhi, a renowned complex woman whose leadership in India continues to have repercussion to this day .It was on November 19,1917, when India was blessed with this living legend, in honour of her birth anniversary, this day is celebrated as NATIONAL INTEGRATION DAY.

  • She was the only Prime Minister who have won decisive military victory.
  • She was the lady who won the real wars, she did not play video games on prime time.
  • She understood power better than any other politician, she saw it as her birth right and used it with inborn expertise.

Hence, Indira Gandhi was also known to be the “James Bond of Power Politics”.

Some love her and some criticize her but there’s no defying that she was a force to reckon with.

Indira Gandhi was always a revolutionary. In her childhood she burnt out all her toys and dolls just because they were made in England.

In her studying career, she failed to clear the entrance examination. She was unable to complete her studies due to her illness . Later, she was awarded an Honorary degree. Indira Gandhi was named as

  • insecure daughter
  • a betrayed wife
  • a national heroine and,
  • a Tough dictator.

She was a lady of flesh-and-blood, she loved being admired and being the center of attention of good looking,witty,and intelligence.

Young Indira fell in love with Feroze Gandhi at Oxford. In 1937, Indira Gandhi met Feroze in Paris and he proposed her on the steps of Sacre-Coeur Basilica in Montmartre. Despite of many hurdles  and oppositions she got married  with Feroze Khan by changing her name as Maimuna Baigum.

Her  political personality was so strong that during the election of 1971, the opposition leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee hailed her as Goddess Durga.

The birth anniversaries, of great personalities who have contributed enormously for the cause of the people and nation. In order not to reduce the importance of one of the strongest PM of India. It is only correct to have the National Integration Day on the birth anniversary of the first woman Prime Minister and most effective  PM of this great country.

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