Indira Gandhi

Indira Gandhi (Ĭndē´rə gän´dē), 1917–84, Indian political leader; daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru. She served as an aide to her father, who was prime minister (1947–64), and as minister of information in the government of Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri (1964–66). On Shastri's death in 1966, she succeeded as prime minister. Her first administration, marked by her increasing personal control of the Indian National Congress party, led to a party split. Her faction, New Congress, won overwhelming electoral victories in 1971 and 1972. She triumphed in foreign affairs with India's 1971 defeat of Pakistan, which resulted in the establishment of the state of Bangladesh. Found guilty in June, 1975, of illegal practices during the 1971 campaign, she refused to resign, declaring a state of emergency. Her administration arrested opponents and imposed press censorship. In November the Supreme Court overruled her conviction. In 1977 her faction in the Congress party lost the parliamentary elections; she lost both her seat and her position as prime minister. In 1980, she again became prime minister, this time as leader of the Congress (Indira) party, and held the office until assassinated by her security guards in 1984. Her son Rajiv Gandhi succeeded her as prime minister.

See biographies by K. Bhatia (1974) and D. Moraes (1980); T. Ali, Nehru and the Gandhis, (1985); I. Gandhi, Letters to an American Friend, 1950–1984 (1985).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Indira Gandhi: In the Crucible of Leadership
Mary C. Carras.
Beacon Press, 1979
The History of India
John McLeod.
Greenwood Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "Rise of the Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty" and Chap. 10 "Fall of the Nehru-Gandhi Dynasty"
Women in World Politics: An Introduction
Francine D'Amico; Peter R. Beckman.
Bergin & Garvey, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Indira Gandhi: Gender and Foreign Policy"
The Eagle and the Peacock: U.S. Foreign Policy toward India since Independence
M. Srinivas Chary.
Greenwood Press, 1995
Librarian’s tip: Includes "The Limits of Power: The Nixon and Indira Gandhi Challenges"
Comparing Asian Politics: India, China, and Japan
Sue Ellen M. Charlton.
Westview Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Includes a section on "Indira Gandhi and the Emergency"
Ethnic Conflict in India: A Case-Study of Punjab
Gurharpal Singh.
Macmillan Press, 2000
Government and Politics in South Asia
Craig Baxter; Yogendra K. Malik; Charles H. Kennedy; Robert C. Oberst.
Westview Press, 1998 (4th edition)
Librarian’s tip: Includes "Political Parties and Political Leaders"
Gandhi Today: The Story of Mahatma Gandhi's Successors
Mark Shepard.
Seven Locks Press, 1987
Modern India: The Origins of An Asian Democracy
Judith M. Brown.
Oxford University Press, 1994 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Includes "Epilogue: India's Democratic Experience"
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator