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Gandhi, Indira (India)

Reference work entry

Introduction

The daughter of India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi served for three consecutive terms between 1966–77 and then again from 1980 until her assassination in 1984. She is remembered as a determined politician who imposed a State of Emergency (1975–77), to work through unpopular government policies such as compulsory sterilization and the imprisonment of political opponents.

Early Life

Born in Allahabad on 19 Nov. 1917, Indira was an only child. She received her education at Visva-Bharati University, West Bengal, and then Somerville College, Oxford. Her upbringing brought her into the company of the politicians and leaders of her time, including Mahatma Gandhi.

Her first active involvement in politics came in 1938 when she joined the Indian National Congress Party. In 1942, in defiance of her father, she married Feroze Gandhi who died in 1960. In the same year the British imprisoned her for 13 months. When Jawaharlal Nehru became the Prime Minister of...

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