Indira Gandhi

May 11, 2022

Indira Gandhi was the first and only female Prime Minister of India from 1966 to 1977 and again from 1980 to 1984. Her assassination was in October of 1984, making her the longest-serving Prime Minister of India. Her father was the first Prime Minister of India. Before and after her father’s death, she kept a central role in India National Congress, her first term there starting in 1959.

During her time as Prime Minister, she championed massive centralization of power throughout the Indian Government. With this newfound power, India went to war with Pakistan and East Pakistan, resulting in the creation of Bangladesh. The centralization also soon put India as the most prominent country in all of South Asia. During her first term, the citizens of India were calling for a revolution.

Not wanting the people to rise up, she created a state of emergency across the whole country, resulting in a widespread limitation of freedoms and restriction of the press. In 1977, elections were starting in the Punjabi state of northern India. Indira Gandhi and the congress party pushed forward and supported Mr. Bihndranwale. Later on, when his organization was accused of killing a journalist, he distanced himself from the party and led a campaign for a great Sikh-majority state.

This resulted in Bhindranwale and 200 militant followers moving near the Golden Temple. By 1983, the Golden Temple was a military fort.

In 1984 Gandhi ordered a heavy military operation on the temple to get the military occupants out called Blue Star.

Gandhi’s military operation killed many people and upset her Sikh bodyguards. In an act of revenge, the bodyguards shot her with their service weapons in the garden of the Prime Minister’s New Delhi Estate.

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