“Indira Gandhi was not a figure of history for me, she was my mother in law, lived under the same roof, shared joys and sorrows,” said Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Indira Gandhi’s 100th Birth Anniversary in New Delhi on Saturday. “It is from her that I learnt about India, its culture, values. It is from her from where I imbibed my earliest political lessons,” added Gandhi. Delivering an emotional speech, the Congress president recalled Indira Gandhi’s contribution to the country. ‘She was a remarkable woman, the like of whom the country has never seen since. But she was much more than that,” she said.
“It was in my arms that she drew her last breath. Indira Gandhi was a remarkable woman, the like of whom this country has not seen since, but she was much more than that. She led our nation through tumultuous battles of 60’s, 70’s, never faltering in her dedication to the masses who gave her their complete trust. She faced economic crisis and prevailed, she managed the greatest refugee crisis in history, she refused to compromise on India’s noble humanitarian traditions,” Sonia said.
Hailing Indira as a rare figure who shaped India’s destiny, Sonia added that she was a child of India’s freedom struggle itself and a witness to the birth of this nation and of the idea that is India. “Some dismissed her as weak and incapable, others called her a tyrant but with the trust of her countrymen painstakingly won and with her dedication to the cause she went on to serve her people, sacrificing her life,” she added
President Pranab Mukherjee, who was also present at the event, said Indira Gandhi played a major role in shaping our country’s role and destiny during a critical period in history. “Indira Gandhi was a crusader for global peace, a just economic order and disarmament.”
The Congress President and vice-president Rahul Gandhi today paid tributes to Indira Gandhi. In a statement to ANI earlier in the day, Sonia Gandhi said, “I would need a couple of rebirths to tell the whole story of Indira Gandhi.” Rahul gandhi in a tweet had said, “Remembering Indiraji: a warrior, a revolutionary, a woman of conviction, compassion & sacrifice. My grandmother, my friend, my ever guiding light.”
(With inputs from PTI)