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Indira Gandhi’s 34th death anniversary: Rare photos of the ‘Iron Lady’

Indira Gandhi death anniversary: Indira Gandhi was known for her strong personality and also went to war with Pakistan supporting the Independence Movement in East Pakistan leading to the formation of Bangladesh.

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: October 31, 2018 1:09:40 pm
Indira Gandhi's 34th death anniversary: Rare photos of the 'Iron Lady' of India Often described as the ‘Iron Lady of India’, Gandhi was born on November 17 in 1917 in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj. (Express archive photo)

Today marks the 34th death anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Also India’s first female prime minister and the second-longest serving PM of the country after her father Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira was assassinated on October 31, 1984 by two of her own security guards.

The only child of Jawaharlal Nehru and Kamala Nehru, Indira Gandhi made her political plunge after her father’s death in 1964. She married Feroze Gandhi and the couple had two sons Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi.

Indira Gandhi's 34th death anniversary: Rare photos of the 'Iron Lady' of India Prime Minister Indira Gandhi visited Pokhran in 1974. She was accompanied by Minister of energy KC Pant and HC Sethna, chairman of the Atomic energy commission and other officials. (Express archive photo)

Her elder son Rajiv Gandhi became the youngest Prime Minister of India at the age of 40. While campaigning for the general elections in 1991, he was assassinated by an LTTE suicide bomber. Her younger son, Sanjay Gandhi, who was rumoured to succeed Indira Gandhi, died in a horrific plane crash in 1980.

Indira Gandhi's 34th death anniversary: Rare photos of the 'Iron Lady' of India Indira Gandhi along with sons Rajiv Gandhi, Sanjay Gandhi and daughter-in-law Sonia Gandhi with grandchildren Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi. (Express archive photo)

Indira Gandhi was appointed the President of Congress party in 1959 and also served as her father’s personal assistant from 1947 till 1964. After Nehru’s death in 1964, she served as a Cabinet minister under Lal Bahadur Shastri’s leadership but later became Prime Minister of the country in 1966 after Shastri’s sudden death.

Indira Gandhi's 34th death anniversary: Rare photos of the 'Iron Lady' of India Sonia Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi, Varun Gandhi, Maneka Gandhi (partially seen behind Indira Gandhi) with Indira Gandhi, prime minister at Sanjay Gandhi’s death anniversary at Shantivan. (Express archive photo)

From 1966 to 1977, she was able to retain the position but lost after an emergency was imposed by her in 1975 leading to a national discontent and countrywide protests. In the early hours of June 25-26 in 1975, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi notified to the nation that the President has proclaimed Emergency on account of “imminent security threats” to the country. Soon after, constitutional rights of citizens were suspended and curbs placed on the freedom of the press.

Indira Gandhi's 34th death anniversary: Rare photos of the 'Iron Lady' of India In the early hours of June 25-26 in 1975, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi notified to the nation that the President has proclaimed Emergency on account of “imminent security threats” to the country. (Express archive photo)

The Army, in a 10-day operation, codenamed Blue Star, flushed out heavily armed militants and radicals from inside the shrine complex in June 1984. The same year, in an act of revenge, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her own bodyguards — who were Sikhs — for sending troops into the holy shrine. Violence erupted in several parts of the country after her death in which Sikhs were killed by angry protesters.

Indira Gandhi's 34th death anniversary: Rare photos of the 'Iron Lady' of India Rajiv Gandhi and actor Amitabh Bachchan beside the body of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. (Express photo)

Indira Gandhi was known for her strong personality and also went to war with Pakistan supporting the Independence Movement in East Pakistan leading to the formation of Bangladesh. In 1999, Indira Gandhi was named ‘Woman of the Millennium’ by a BBC poll.

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