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Indira Gandhi

(1917-1984), Prime Minister of India

Sitter in 3 portraits
The only child of Jawaharlal Nehru, one of the principal leaders of the Indian nationalist movement and India's first prime minister, Gandhi was born in Allahabad and bought up in Motilal Nehru, the household of her grandfather one of the most prominent lawyers of the province. Educated both in India and Europe, she travelled extensively, mostly with her father. A nationalist at heart, she was elected president for the National Congress in 1959 when her father was Prime Minister. She did not succeed her father as Prime Minister but became Prime Minister in January 1966 after Lal Bahadur, her father's successor died. With struggles between East and West Pakistan, India invaded East Pakistan in 1971, defeating Pakistan and bringing about independence in the state of Bangladesh. When a leader of Sikh militants took refuge in the Golden Temple at Amritsar, instead of seeking a peaceful resolution, her decision to launch an Indian army assault on the Golden Temple resulted in hundreds of soldiers, worshippers and tourists being killed. She was assassinated in a revenge attack by two of her own Sikh bodyguards in the garden of her residence in New Delhi on On 31 October 1984. She was succeeded upon her death by her son Rajiv Gandhi.

Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below

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Indira Gandhi, by Yousuf Karsh - NPG P490(34)

Indira Gandhi

by Yousuf Karsh
bromide print, 1956
NPG P490(34)

Margaret Thatcher; Indira Gandhi, by Keystone Press Agency Ltd - NPG x139972

Margaret Thatcher; Indira Gandhi

by Keystone Press Agency Ltd
bromide press print, 14 November 1978
NPG x139972

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