Sunday, March 30, 2008


Indira Gandhi Prime Minister of India, 1917-1984
As daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister, politics was always a part of Indira Gandhi's world. She joined her father's Congress Party in 1938 and was jailed for awhile by the British for her support of India's independence from Great Britain. After her father's death, she was elected to Parliament in his place, becoming Prime Minister herself in 1966. She continued many of her father's policies, such as pressing for land reform and the nationalization of banks. But India endured great economic troubles during her watch. There were riots after which she declared Emergency Rule. Political opponents were jailed and the press censored. In 1977 she lost her an election and even faced charges of corruption. Expelled from Parliament, briefly jailed, she reorganized her party and won re-election as Prime Minister in 1980. In 1984 she met a brutal death at the hands of Sikh assassins in retaliation for her forceful actions to halt disturbances in a sacred Sikh temple.

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