The Biography of Famous Personalities of India will tell you about the controversies, the dark sides of a person that you may have never heard of.
Indira Actively Taking Part In Politics and Hostess To Father
Indira Actively Taking Part In Politics
On January 30, 1948, Mahatma Gandhi was shot dead, Indira Gandhi was greatly moved as she was quite close to him and had followed him in her earlier days in politics.
India became a sovereign democratic republic and the constitution was adopted on Jan. 26, 1950. Vallabh Bhai Patel who used to help Jawaharlal in controlling and handling the government died in 1950. It was a great setback for Jawaharlal Nehru but Nehru controlled the government with much authority and diligence. Indira Gandhi assisted him and accompanied him on foreign tours. She was a member of the executive board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
This was a great exposure for her as she used to meet foreign visitors on her own and used to deal with them intelligently. She was very much interested in politics, “I was passionately interested in politics from early childhood.” She said and her whole life was shaped amidst political influences-Motilal, Gandhiji, Jawaharlal. She had been absorbed by politics although she had been warned by her father that it was hard life and something that one would not wish for one’s child. But Feroze encouraged her to participate in politics actively.
Hostess To Father
Initially Indira used to spent half the days of the month in Lucknow and half in Delhi but the situation was quite demanding and she felt miserable to see her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister of India, lonely and dependent on servants. Luckily, Feroze was elected a member of the Constituent Assembly and he also moved to Delhi. She took charge of the Prime Minister’s house and she performed her duties diligently-preparing of menus for the guests, giving the wages to the servants and looking after the pets.
All kinds of people used to come to Teen Murti Bhawan, it was open house to one and all and Indira used to deal with all types of people. It was physically impossible for Jawaharlal to meet and talk to each of them, so Indira used to meet many of the persistent visitors and tried to sort out their problems. Every day she listened to the woes of the refugees and Indira’s listening to them gave it hope and peace of mind to the helpless, who felt that there was someone who cared for them.
In dealing with staff, she showed an unmistakable human touch. She provided them decent accommodation and also got a classroom built on the grounds of Teen Murti Bhawan for their children. In early 1950, when people were told to take interest in harvesting and the campaigns of “grow more food” and “grow your own vegetables” were launched, Indira also converted front and back lawns into vegetable gardens and with lot of care and love, she grew vegetables and wheat which was later distributed among the servant and staff.
This reflected her love for nature and her quality of caring and concern. She also organised a group of social workers and gradually got involved in the activities of Social Welfare Board. In September 1954, she founded the Bal Bhawan and the Children’s National Museum at Teen Murti Bhawan.
She inherited quite a few qualities from her father-one being a quality of being a visionary. She also like her father “had a vision that this is the sort of India that has to be built” and then she tried to lay the foundation of that India. She also learnt the habit of taking down notes from her father. This made her way of working very systematic.
Indira As Mother
Indira Gandhi was very fond of her sons. Although she had little time for them but she firmly believed that quality time was much more important than quantity time. She gave her sons guidance and sense of security. She was of the opinion that,” Much of the burden falls on the mother, who must help the child develop self discipline and strengthen his character.
Real love is not that which gives in to the child’s whims but which can also discipline and teach whenever necessary.” Rajiv and Sanjay were widely different in their personalities. While Rajiv was shy and introvert, Sanjay was bold, demanding and extrovert. Indira knew that each child had different personality and he had to be dealt in specific manner. As her own childhood was lonely, she was determined to attend to her children and give them her affection and company. She was iittle free only when both her sons, as they grew older, were sent to boarding at Dehradun.
Indira Entered Politics
She always remained in her father’s eternal shadow and accompanied her father to various countries and was impressed by her father’s crowning achievements. Going to different places gave Indira not only a good background of world affairs but an experience in dealing with varied subjects and situations. Slowly she became very much interested in politics and became a member of the Congress Working Committee in February 1955.
For Indira, this was only a beginning and there was no turning back. She, wholeheartedly, got involved in politics. On February 2, 1959, she was unanimously elected the President of the Indian National Congress. As the President, she showed courage and proved her worth. Se took initiative in dismissing Kerala Government because of its unpopularity among people.
Although Jawaharlal was a bit reluctant in imposing President rule in Kerala Indira Gandhi insisted and Namboodiripad Ministry in Kerala was dismissed and fresh general elections took place in 1960. She held the post only for 11 months but during this short span, her accomplishments brought her praise even from Jawaharlal who said, “I am proud of her good nature, proud of her energy and work, and proud of her integrity and truthfulness.”
Indira suffered a great loss in 1960 when her husband, Feroze Gandhi died. Her whole being was shaken as she was very much attached to her husband who always stood by her through thick and thin. But very effectively, she overcame her grief and got busier in politics which helped her to take her mind away from personal grief. In a letter to her friend she wrote, “I feel lost and empty and dead and yet life must go on” This shows her willpower and fearlessness, and confidence that the good would prevail in the end.
In the following years, she travelled to various countries and in 1961, she went to Yugoslavia with Jawaharlal to attend the first Non-Aligned Conference held at Belgrade. In October 1962, the Chinese attacked India. Jawaharlal along with Defence Minister Krishna Menon worked hard to boost the armed forces and also to bring about peace.
Indira showed rare courage during the month-long war and she travelled to Tezpur, Assam, alone in the end of 1962 to assure Assamese that they were not left uncared for. When she reached Tezpur, a cease-fire was declared and she supervised the cease-fire. The Chinese invasion shattered Jawaharlal’s confidence and slowly his health started declining. His popularity also suffered because of the China attack.