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.

Indira Gandhi: Selected full-text books and articles

The History of India By 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 By 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 By 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 By Sue Ellen M. Charlton Westview Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Includes a section on "Indira Gandhi and the Emergency"
Government and Politics in South Asia By 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"
Modern India: The Origins of an Asian Democracy By Judith M. Brown Oxford University Press, 1994 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Includes "Epilogue: India's Democratic Experience"
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