Indira Gandhi was the truly symbol of the soul of India. She loved India, was proud of being an Indian and was inspired by Indian heritage, culture and philosophy.
Born on November 19, 1917 in the aristocratic Nehru family, even as small girl she found herself in the midst of nationalist politics. The upheaval generated by a series of mass movements Jaliawala bagh massacre.
An cooperation movement launched as its sequel by Gandhiji and bonfires of foreign made goods, clothes, etc. were some of the early collections of her childhood. As a girl of there, she collected the servants of Anand Bhavan and addressed them.
During this period she hardly seemed to have had any friends of her own age with whom she could play. She was bound to develop an introspective bent of mind. When she was only eight or seven she organised a small children spinning group.
In 1930-31 when she was thirteen or so a vanar sena or monkey brigade was organised by her. Later she participated in the Quit India movement and was imprisoned from September 1992 to May 1943.
Her formal education suffered as she said not because of my parents being in prison but because of the type of school. I have been sent to. However from 1928 onwards Nehru began writing a series a letters to her which were later published as letters from a father to his daughter.
Her mother also had a great influence on her which resulted in extreme religious mindedness of Mrs. Gandhi. She studied of Veswa Bharti and in 1939 joined Somerville College of Oxford.
During these years she met distinguished people in Europe and and England and learnt her lessons the hard way, from her experiences of life, from observation and introspection.
The intellectual development of India Gandhi was thus unique and the philosophy of life which she developed as a young person could be said to be her undone faith in Indian cultural values, ideas and ideology nationalism, the concepts of democracy, secularism and science.
The veteran journalist, Mr. M. Chalapathi Rai once observed she was the product of the Gandhi’s age, the daughter of Jawahar Lai Nehru, and the climax of National movement beginning from Ram Mohan Roy.”
When in 1996, Indira became the Prime Minister; few recognised her ability to reach great heights in the realism of international diplomacy or in the task of reconstruction at home.
The fundamental principles on which the Indian administration was founded were seen forced by the government of Mrs. Gandhi, who shared the vision of her father and was committed to build, like him, a modern, industrialized secular state and a strong and a united India.
Her deep concern for the welfare of the deprived and her commitment for the upliftment of the weak, earned for her their eternal gratitude and loyal support. Mrs. Gandhi’s government took stringent measures to combat the crimes against Haryana.
She also prevented the concentration of land in a few hands in the rural areas, and provided land to millions of landless farmers. Bonded labour was established and daily wages to be paid to the agricultural labour was fixed.
By nationalizing banks, Indira Gandhi extended bank loan facilities to the rural poor the small farmers, artisans and petty entrepreneurs in villages for purchase of catties, seeds, fertilizer etc.
The greatest achivement of Indira Gandhi’s government has been self-reliance in food and defence technology. The large quantities of foodgrains which were imported sometimes to the extent of ten million tons in the mid 1960 were things of the past. Through concentrated efforts oil deposits in the Bombay High and other places, were discovered.
The domestic oil production reached a very high level and more than 60 percent of the domestic needs of India were met by indigenous oil resources. The Indira Gandhi government ably handled the threat posed by the military of Pakistan, which had led to a full scale war against India in 1971.
In the scientific field, great strides were made ever since the launching of Aryabhatta in 1972, which marked the beginning of the growth of satellite technology in India.
On April 17, 1983, the SLV III a launch vehicle to propel Rohini satellite was used the INSAT-1B satellite launched on February 1, 1984 dramatically transformed the T.V. communication system and the meteorological services for India as a whole similarly in the realm of the peaceful uses of atomic power, atomic plants at Kota, Tarapur and Kalapakam were established. At that time India’s strong lady remarked “we want to make the deserts bloom, and not make the world a desert.”
For nearly two decades, whether in power or out of it, India dominated Indian Politics and remained at the centre of political stage without losing sight of the spiritual moorings and Indian values, she passionately strove to build a strong industrial and technological state and a United India, progressive in its outlook, scientific in its temper, self-reliant and independent in its attitude in the world affairs.
In retrospect the iron lady as she is often described, felt to the vales of crafty designs of Prime Ministers ZA Bhullo when she failed to get his signatures on the dotted line regarding the inviolability of LOC in J & K while inking the Simla Agreement.
Storming of the raised Golden Temple in Amritsar with the help of army was another blunder for which she had to pay with her life. And imposition of Emergency was yet another political blunder; otherwise she can be counted as one of the most effective Prime Minister of India.