Nehru’s Death & Indira’s Development In Politics As Prime Minister

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.

Nehru’s Death & Indira’s Development In Politics As Prime Minister

Nehru’s Death & Indira’s Development In Politics

On May 27, 1964, Jawaharlal Nehru passed away leaving the nation and Indira stunned and full of grief. His death created a vacuum in India and also caused a sense of deep loss in other countries of the world that supported Nehru’s way of working. Indira was now left only with her two sons and no immediate relative whom she could call her own. Her father who had been her close friend, philosopher, and guide, was no more but still as “great minds don’t get disheartened easily”, Indira also went ahead to serve her country and also to bring up her children with full dedication.

Lai Bahadur Shastri became the next Prime Minister of India on June 9. He was a sincere statesman with the right political instincts. Indira became the Minister of Information and Broadcasting in his Cabinet. Indira continued to perform her duties with sincerity and determination.

In 1965, September, Pakistan attacked India and the war lasted for 22 days. Lai Bahadur Shastri faced the enemy with courage and taking a major decision, he gave the army a free hand. Due to timely intervention by U. Thant, the Secretary General of UNO, and the Security Council, a cease fire was declared on September 23, 1965. Shastriji signed the Tashkent Agreement with President Ayub Khan of Pakistan on Jan. 10.

Indira Gandhi, during war, served wounded soldiers with full devotion. While the people of India were eager to welcome. Shastriji from Tashkent, the worst happened—the news of his sudden death came. The nation was again grief-stricken. The history of India took another turn and the Congressmen realised that Indira was the only choice after Shastriji and so she was elected leader of the Congress Parliamentary Party.

Indira Gandhi’s Tenure As Prime Minister of India

On Jan. 24, 1966, Indira Gandhi was sworn in as the Prime Minister of India. Indira accepted her new role with dignity and optimism. She was the first woman Prime Minister of India. Although she was accepted wholeheartedly by politicians, diplomats, laymen but she faced opposition also. Still she did not falter and her will power kept her going.
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Her confidence and moral strength stood by her through out her life. Indira had a tremendous energy that seemed to flow from within her. When she became Prime Minister, she made her role very clear that, “I don’t think myself as a woman when I do my job. According to the Indian Constitution all citizens are equal, without distinction regarding sex, language or state. I am just an Indian and first servant of the country, “desh-sevika.”

After becoming Prime Minister, she made it very clear that every individual had to work hard in building a dynamic India and peace and stability were foundations upon which the nation’s progress rested. At that time, although India had completed twenty years of Independence, there was much to be done. India was going through a crucial phase.

Power generation, irrigation, agriculture, education-there was no improvement in any field. The economic crisis was the biggest issue. Indira ardently promoted the Green Revolution and helped agriculture with many inputs. Those included modern agricultural machinery, tested scientific techniques of farming, better seeds, fertilizers and more improved cropping patterns.

This transformation in agriculture was very important for India’s economic growth. Indira had deep concern for the minorities and deprived groups. In order to benefit the masses, she changed the basic strategies and favoured massive investment in the public sector. According to her, poverty could be removed only by making the economy self-reliant and self-generating.

On July 19, she took an important decision of nationalizing the fourteen commercial banks. She explained her move as a necessity at that time as she wanted banking to reach the doorstep of the masses. By this decision, the small farmers, the cottage industries, the small entrepreneurs and self-employed persons were greatly benefitted.

Indira Gandhi faced polls in 1967 and following the success in the general elections to the Lok Sabha in Feb., she became the Prime Minister on March 12, 1967. Dr. Zakir Hussain became the President of India. When it came to the manner of functioning, she was very determined and quick in taking decisions. She was firm while tackling matters related to national interests and she would not compromise at any cost. She divided Punjab into two separate states-Punjab and Haryana which delighted Sikhs but Hindi speaking people revolted. Ignoring this outburst, she went ahead boldly and confidently.

She also granted statehood to Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura, and Mizoram was given independent power after being separated from Assam. She took many more daring decisions proving the opposition people wrong who called him “goongi gudiya” (dumb doll).

Soon after becoming the Prime Minister, she travelled widely to many countries like France, U.S.A., U.K. and U.S.S.R., Yugoslavia, U.A.E. (United Arab Emirates). These trips were very effective in making India’s position clear. India started emerging not as a poor nation unable to feed its millions, but as a proud and self-reliant nation whose people were very hard-working.

Indira always supported the cause of the poor and developing nations. In late 1967, she toured Sri Lanka and attended Golden Jubilee Celebrations of the October Revolution in Moscow. She also visited Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Venezuela. On Oct.14, she addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations. She liked the working of U.N.O., as she felt that it was a good platform for meeting of the different countries to tackle their problems.

On the death of Zakir Hussain on May 3, 1969, Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy was nominated by Congress as its official candidate in the Presidential election but Indira Gandhi supported V. V. Giri as an alternative. She wanted a person who would always give her a free hand. The Presidential election took place and V. V. Giri won and emerged as the fourth President of the Republic of India in Aug., 1969. This caused split in Congress-one old Congress and the other New or the Ruling Congress. This proved a turning point for Indira Gandhi which again strengthened her position.

Earlier before independence, our nation was divided into 500 and more native states, but due to the sincere efforts of Sardar Patel, whole India was integrated but the ex-rulers enjoyed the same privileges and privy purses provided by the government. Indira Gandhi was fiercely against this as it caused great rift between rich and poor people and as our constitution had given equal status to all, she envinced a deep concern for the minorities and the down trodden people.

After getting two-third support in the Parliament, she introduced the Bill abolishing this practice and in Aug.1970, the Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha but it failed in Rajya Sabha. But determined as she was, she got a Presidential acceptance of this Bill and V. V. Giri issued a proclamation of de-recognisation of privy purses.