Indira Gandhi, third Prime Minister of India from 1/1966 to 10/1984 has left an indelible mark in Indian and World history. She was described as the strongest woman in her times.
In 1971, when Pakistan faced turnoil by revolting east Pakistan, she supported the eastern wing and offered moral and material support. Pakistan headed by Gen.Yahya Khan adopted brutal ways to suppress the mutiny, India under Indira Gandhi stood like rock supporting east Pakistan. From March 1971 to Nov.71, around ten million refugees poured into India causing a heavy burden on the economy. It seemed the cost of maintaining the refugees was higher than a war with Pakistan. In Aug.1971, she concluded an agreement with the then Soviet Union and prepared for war. In Dec.1971, an open war broke out between India and Pakistan. In 14 days, the whole of east Pakistan was liberated from W.Pakistan which is now Bangladesh.
The military balance of power changed for ever in this region and the whole world in favour of India. Had she not created Bangladesh in 1971, India would have succumbed to the two pronged thrust (east and western borders of India) by muslim fundamentalists and Taliban and al Qaeda would be ruling here by now. This is her contribution in ensuring the freedom and democracy.
Some more legacies of Indira Gandhi:
She has instilled confidence in Indian minds that even Indians can face international challenges, When 108 UN general council members countries voted against India and only 8 in favour, India never succumber during the India-Pakistan war of 1971. Thanks to a Russian veto, the resolution to stop war could not be passed. Prior to 1971, there was a daily question in every one's mind: "When will war break out?" But after the surrender of Pakistan, that fear and doubt vanished. For Pakistan and others also, they have decided not to speak of war. For the last 37 years, India is free of a major war. The younger generation never knows that pre-1971 India was full of fears and doubts.
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