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Indira Gandhi

Updated on February 9, 2014

Indira Gandhi - First Woman Prime Minister of India

Indira Gandhi was India's first female prime minister and part of a family political dynasty that included her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, who was India's first prime minister after the country gained independence from the British in 1947. She served four terms before being assassinated by one of her own bodyguards. As of 2012, Indira Gandhi holds the record of the world's second longest-serving female Prime Minister. Her son, Rajiv Gandhi also later also served as prime minster, and her daughter-in-law Sonia Gandhi is president of the Indian National Congress.

(Image of Indira Gandhi book cover provided by amazon)

Indira Gandhi Timeline

A quick look at Indira's Gandhi's life

1917 - born to Jawaharlal and Kamala Nehru

1938 - joined the National Congress party

1942 - married Feroze Gandhi

1947 - India gains independence and Jawaharlal Nehru becomes prime minister

1959 - became president of the Congress party

1964 - became Minister of Information and Broadcasting

1966 - elected Prime Minister

1975 - convicted of election illegal campaign practices; declared a state of emergency

1977 - voted out of office

1980 - re-elected Prime Minister

1984 - ordered the Army to storm the Golden Temple, Sikhism's holiest temple, to get separatist militants

1984 - assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards

Indira Gandhi's Home in Allahabad - Now a museum

Ananad Bhavan, Allahabad, India
Ananad Bhavan, Allahabad, India

Indira Gandhi spent her childhood in Allahabad, home to the famous Allahabad Kumbh Mela, the world's largest religious pilgrimage that is held every 12 years on the banks of the Ganges River in Allahabad. The family home, Ananad Bhavan, is now open to the public.

Photo copyright Lisa Howard

Books About Indian History - Read more about this fascinating country and its people

You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist. - Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi Quotes

Quotations from India's first female prime minister.

- My grandfather once told me that there are two kinds of people: those who work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was less competition there.

- You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.

- I don't mind if my life goes in the service of the nation. If I die today every drop of my blood will invigorate the nation.

- Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.

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