India and Other Multinational Democracies. The Years of Indira Gandhi. Gandhi's Last Battle Calcutta:
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Soilbuild Business Space REIT is a Singapore real estate investment trust established with the principal investment strategy of investing on a long-term basis, directly or indirectly, in a portfolio of income-producing real estate used primarily for business space purposes in Singapore and Australia as well as real estate-related assets. After news of the verdict spread, hundreds of supporters demonstrated outside her house, pledging their loyalty. Gandhi moved to restore order by ordering the arrest of most of the opposition participating in the unrest.
Her Cabinet and government then recommended that President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed declare a state of emergency because of the disorder and lawlessness following the Allahabad High Court decision. Accordingly, Ahmed declared a State of Emergency caused by internal disorder, based on the provisions of Article 1 of the Constitution, on 25 June Within a few months, President's rule was imposed on the two opposition party ruled states of Gujarat and Tamil Nadu thereby bringing the entire country under direct Central rule or by governments led by the ruling Congress party.
Finally, the impending legislative assembly elections were indefinitely postponed, with all opposition-controlled state governments being removed by virtue of the constitutional provision allowing for a dismissal of a state government on recommendation of the state's governor.
Unlike her father Jawaharlal Nehru, who preferred to deal with strong chief ministers in control of their legislative parties and state party organizations, Mrs. Gandhi set out to remove every Congress chief minister who had an independent base and to replace each of them with ministers personally loyal to her Even so, stability could not be maintained in the states President Ahmed issued ordinances that did not require debate in the Parliament , allowing Gandhi to rule by decree.
Sanjay wielded tremendous power during the emergency without holding any Government office. According to Mark Tully , "His inexperience did not stop him from using the Draconian powers his mother, Indira Gandhi, had taken to terrorise the administration, setting up what was in effect a police state. It was said that during the Emergency he virtually ran India along with his friends, especially Bansi Lal.
In , after extending the state of emergency twice, Indira Gandhi called elections to give the electorate a chance to vindicate her rule. Gandhi may have grossly misjudged her popularity by reading what the heavily censored press wrote about her. Janata alliance, with Jai Prakash Narayan as its spiritual guide, claimed the elections were the last chance for India to choose between "democracy and dictatorship. The prevailing rumour was that Sanjay had intentions of dislodging Gandhi and the trio stood between that.
Gandhi's Congress party was crushed soundly in the elections. The public realized the statement and motto of the Janata Party alliance. Indira and Sanjay Gandhi both lost their seats, and Congress was cut down to seats compared with in the previous Lok Sabha , 92 of which were in the South. The Janata alliance, under the leadership of Morarji Desai , came into power after the State of Emergency was lifted.
The alliance parties later merged to form the Janata Party under the guidance of Gandhian leader, Jayaprakash Narayan. Since Gandhi had lost her seat in the election, the defeated Congress party appointed Yashwantrao Chavan as their parliamentary party leader.
Soon afterwards, the Congress party split again with Gandhi floating her own Congress faction. The arrest meant that Indira Gandhi was automatically expelled from Parliament. These allegations included that she "had planned or thought of killing all opposition leaders in jail during the Emergency".
Her arrest and long-running trial gained her great sympathy from many people. The Janata coalition was only united by its hatred of Gandhi or "that woman" as some called her. The party included right wing Hindu Nationalists, Socialists and former Congress party members. With so little in common, the Morarji Desai government was bogged down by infighting.
In , the government started to unravel over the issue of dual loyalties of some members to Janata and the RSS. The ambitious Union Finance minister, Charan Singh , who as the Union Home Minister during the previous year had ordered arrest of Gandhi, took advantage of this and started courting the Congress.
After a significant exodus from the party to Charan Singh's faction, Desai resigned in July Charan Singh was appointed Prime Minister, by President Reddy, after Indira and Sanjay Gandhi promised Singh that Congress would support his government from outside on certain conditions. Before the elections Gandhi approached the then Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid , Syed Abdullah Bukhari and entered into an agreement with him on the basis of point programme to secure the support of the Muslim votes.
The Congress under Gandhi swept back to power in January Indira's son, Sanjay Gandhi selected his own loyalists to head the governments in these states. Suzuki of Japan was selected as the partner. The company launched its first Indian manufactured car in Gandhi by the time of Sanjay's death only trusted family members, and therefore persuaded her reluctant son, Rajiv, to enter politics.
In the elections, a coalition led by the Sikh -majority Akali Dal came to power in the northern Indian state of Punjab. In an effort to split the Akali Dal and gain popular support among the Sikhs, Indira Gandhi's Congress helped bring the orthodox religious leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale to prominence in Punjab politics. Meanwhile, a small section of the Sikhs, including some of Bhindranwale's followers, turned to militancy after being targeted by government officials and police in support of the Resolution.
By , the Temple complex had become a fort for a large number of militants. Atwal was shot dead as he left the Temple compound.
The following day, after the murder, Harchand Singh Longowal then president of Shiromani Akali Dal confirmed the involvement of Bhindranwale in the murder. After several futile negotiations, Indira Gandhi ordered the Indian army in June to enter the Golden Temple in order to remove Bhindranwale and his supporters from the complex. The army used heavy artillery, including tanks, in the action code-named Operation Blue Star. The operation badly damaged or destroyed parts of the Temple complex, including the Akal Takht shrine and the Sikh library.
It also led to the deaths of a large number of Sikh fighters and innocent pilgrims. The number of casualties remain disputed with estimates ranging from many hundreds to many thousands . Gandhi was accused of using the attack for political ends.
Harjinder Singh Dilgeer stated that Indira Gandhi attacked the temple complex to present herself as a great hero in order to win general elections planned towards the end of The day before her death 30 October Indira Gandhi visited Orissa where she gave her last speech at the then Parade Ground in front of the Secretariat of Orissa.
In that speech, she strikingly associated her blood with the health of the nation [note 2]. She was to be interviewed by the British actor Peter Ustinov , who was filming a documentary for Irish television. Afterwards, they were taken away by other guards into a closed room where Beant Singh was shot dead. Kehar Singh was later arrested for conspiracy in the attack. Indira Gandhi was brought at 9: She was declared dead at 2: The post-mortem examination was conducted by a team of doctors headed by Dr.
Dr Dogra stated that as many as 30 bullet wounds were sustained by Indira Gandhi, from two sources, a Sterling submachine gun   and a pistol. The assailants had fired 31 bullets at her, of which 30 had hit; 23 had passed through her body while 7 were trapped inside her. Dr Dogra extracted bullets to establish the identity of the weapons and to match each weapon with the bullets recovered by ballistic examination. Subsequently, Dr Dogra appeared in the court of Shri Mahesh Chandra as an expert witness PW-5 , and his testimony lasted several sessions.
The cross examination was conducted by Shri Pran Nath Lekhi , the defence counsel. Gandhi was cremated on 3 November near Raj Ghat. Her funeral was televised live on domestic and international stations, including the BBC. Following her cremation, millions of Sikhs were displaced and nearly three thousand were killed in anti-Sikh riots. Indira Gandhi is remembered for her ability to effectively promote Indian foreign policy measures. In early , disputed elections in Pakistan led the then East Pakistan to declare independence as Bangladesh.
Repression and violence by the Pakistani army led 10 million refugees to cross border in to India over the coming months.
India emerged victorious in the resulting conflict to become the dominant power of South Asia. President Richard Nixon disliked Gandhi personally, referring to her as a "witch" and "clever fox" in his private communication with Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. The latter grew to become India's largest trading partner and its biggest arms supplier for much of Gandhi's premiership.
India maintained close ties with neighbouring Bangladesh formerly East Pakistan following the Liberation War. However, Mujibur Rahman's pro-India policies antagonised many in Bangladeshi politics and the military, who feared that Bangladesh had become a client state of India. Gandhi's approach to dealing with Sri Lanka's ethnic problems was initially accommodating. She enjoyed cordial relations with Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike. In , India ceded the tiny islet of Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka in order to save Bandaranaike's socialist government from a political disaster.
Jayewardene , whom Gandhi despised as a "western puppet. India's relationship with Pakistan remained strained following the Shimla Accord in Gandhi's authorization of the detonation of a nuclear device at Pokhran in was viewed by Pakistani leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as an attempt to intimidate Pakistan into accepting India's hegemony in the subcontinent. However, in May , Gandhi and Bhutto both agreed to reopen diplomatic establishments and normalize relations. Gandhi accused General Zia of supporting Khalistani militants in Punjab.
Gandhi remained a staunch supporter of Palestinians in the Arab—Israeli conflict and was critical of the Middle East diplomacy sponsored by the United States. Indian diplomats also hoped to win Arab support in countering Pakistan in Kashmir. Nevertheless, Gandhi authorized the development of a secret channel of contact and security assistance with Israel in the late s.
Narasimha Rao , later became Prime Minister and approved full diplomatic ties with Israel in India's pro-Arab policy had mixed success. Establishment of close ties with the socialist and secular Baathist regimes to some extent neutralized Pakistani propaganda against India. Egypt's stance was met with dismay by the Indians, who had come to expect close co-operation with the Baathist regimes. The war temporarily became a stumbling block in growing Indo-Iranian ties.
Furthermore, they were also apprehensions in the region about Gandhi's future plans, particularly after India played a big role in breaking up Pakistan and facilitating in the emergence of Bangladesh as a sovereign country in India's entry into the nuclear weapons club in contributed to tensions in Southeast Asia.
Nevertheless, Gandhi's close relations with reunified Vietnam and her decision to recognize the Vietnam installed Government of Cambodia in meant that India and ASEAN were not able to develop a viable partnership. Although independent India was initially viewed as a champion of anti-colonialism, its cordial relationship with the Commonwealth of Nations and liberal views of British colonial policies in East Africa had harmed its image as a staunch supporter of the anti-colonial movements.
The Indian government also started considering the possibility of bringing Indians settled in Africa within the framework of its policy goals to help recover its declining geo-strategic influence. Gandhi declared the people of Indian origin settled in Africa as "Ambassadors of India. Foreign and domestic policy successes in the s enabled Gandhi to rebuild India's image in the eyes of African states. The Commonwealth is voluntary association of mainly former British colonies.
India maintained cordial relations with most of the members during Indira Gandhi's time in power. Gandhi used to use the Commonwealth meetings as a forum to put pressure on member countries to cut economic, sports, and cultural ties with Apartheid South Africa .
In the early s under Gandhi, India attempted to reassert its prominent role in the Non-Aligned Movement by focusing on the relationship between disarmament and economic development. By appealing to the economic grievances of developing countries , Gandhi and her successors exercised a moderating influence on the Non-aligned movement, diverting it from some of the Cold War issues that marred the controversial Havana meeting where Cuban leader Fidel Castro attempted to steer the movement towards the Soviet Union.
Indira spent a number of years in Europe during her youth and formed many friendships during her stay there. During her premiership she formed friendship with many socialist leaders such as German chancellor, Willy Brandt  and Austrian chancellor Bruno Kreisky.
The relationship between India and the Soviet Union deepened during Gandhi's rule. The support of USSR with arms supplies and casting of veto at United Nations helped in winning and consolidating the victory over Pakistan in the Bangladesh liberation war.
The USSR was not happy with the nuclear test conducted by India but did not support further action because of the ensuing cold war with the United States. Indira was not happy with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan but once again calculations involving relations with Pakistan and China kept from criticizing the Soviet Union harshly. USSR became the main arms supplier during the Indira years by offering cheap credit and transactions in rupees rather than in dollars. The easy trade deals also applied to non-military goods.
At that time, India was reliant on USA for food aid. Indira resented the US policy of food aid as a tool in forcing India to adopt policies favored by the US.
Nixon despised Indira politically and personally. Indira had been described to him as an 'Ogre' but he found her charming and easy to work with and they formed a close working relationship during her premiership in the s.
Gandhi presided over three Five-Year plans as Prime Minister, two of which succeeded in meeting the targeted growth. There is considerable debate regarding whether Gandhi was a socialist on principle or out of political expediency.
Datta-Ray described her as "a master of rhetoric In this context, Gandhi was accused of formulating populist policies to suit her political needs; being seemingly against the rich and big business while preserving the status quo in order to manipulate the support of the left at times of political insecurity, such as the late s. As early as , critics had begun accusing her of insincerity and machiavellianism. The Indian Libertarian wrote that: Pankaj Vohra noted that "even the late prime minister's critics would concede that the maximum number of legislations of social significance was brought about during her tenure In summarizing the biographical works on Gandhi, Blema S.
Steinberg concluded she was decidedly non-ideological. In one of the early interviews she had given as Prime Minister, Gandhi had ruminated: You can call it socialism; but if by using that word we arouse controversy, I don't see why we should use it. I don't believe in words at all.
She has been described by Hindustan Times columnist, Pankaj Vohra as "arguably the greatest mass leader of the last century. Remove Poverty , has become the iconic motto of the Indian National Congress [ citation needed ]. Gandhi inherited a weak and troubled economy. Fiscal problems associated with the war with Pakistan in , along with a drought-induced food crisis that spawned famines, had plunged India into the sharpest recession since independence. At the same time, Indo-US relations were straining due to Gandhi's criticism of the American bombing campaign in Vietnam.
While it was thought, at the time, and for decades after, that President Johnson 's policy of withholding food grain shipments was to coerce Indian support for the war, in fact, it was to offer India rainmaking technology that he wanted to use as a counterweight to China's possession of the atomic bomb. After the bitter experience with Johnson, Gandhi decided not to request food aid in the future.
Moreover, Gandhi's government resolved never again to become "so vulnerably dependent" on aid, and painstakingly began building up substantial foreign exchange reserves. The period of —75 was characterized by socialist ascendency in India which culminated in with the official declaration of state socialism.
Gandhi not only abandoned the short lived liberalization programme but also aggressively expanded the public sector with new licensing requirements and other restrictions for industry. She began a new course by launching the Fourth Five-Year Plan in The government targeted growth at 5. This had been her first economic policy formulation, six months after coming to office. The programme emphasized greater state control of the economy with the understanding that government control assured greater welfare than private control.
To deal with India's food problems, Gandhi expanded the emphasis on production of inputs to agriculture that had already been initiated by her father, Jawaharlal Nehru. Gandhi had a personal motive in pursuing agricultural self-sufficiency, having found India's dependency on the U. The economic period of —75 became significant for its major wave of nationalisations amidst the increased regulation of the private sector.
Some of the other objectives of the economic plan for the period was to provide for the minimum needs of the community through a rural works program and the removal of the privy purses of the nobility. Nevertheless, the success of the overall economic plan was tempered by the fact that annual growth at 3. The government additionally targeted an annual growth of 4. The measures of the emergency regime was able to halt the economic trouble of the early to mids, which had been marred by harvest failures, fiscal contraction, and the breakdown of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchanged rate; the resulting turbulence in the foreign exchange markets being further accentuated by the oil shock of Gandhi inherited a weak economy when she again became Prime Minister in The government targeted an average growth of 5.
Although Gandhi continued professing socialist beliefs, the Sixth Five Year Plan was markedly different from the years of Garibi Hatao. Populist programs and policies were replaced by pragmatism. During Lal Bahadur Shastri's last full year in office , inflation averaged 7.
Gandhi inherited a tattered economy in her second term; harvest failures and a second oil shock in the late s had again caused inflation to rise. Despite the provisions, control and regulations of Reserve Bank of India , most banks in India had continued to be owned and operated by private persons.
Furthermore, there was a great resentment against class banking in India, which had left the poor the majority population unbanked. After the nationalisation of banks, the branches of the public sector banks in India rose to approximate percent in deposits, and advances took a huge jump by 11, percent. The nationalization drive not only helped to increase household savings, but it also provided considerable investments in the informal sector, in small and medium-sized enterprises, and in agriculture, and contributed significantly to regional development and to the expansion of India's industrial and agricultural base.
Having been re-elected in on a nationalisation platform, Gandhi proceeded to nationalise the coal, steel, copper, refining, cotton textiles, and insurance industries. In response, Gandhi nationalised oil companies in In , Gandhi accepted the demands of the Akalis to reorganize Punjab on linguistic lines.
The Hindi -speaking southern half of Punjab became a separate state, Haryana , while the Pahari speaking hilly areas in the north east were joined to Himachal Pradesh. Victory over Pakistan in consolidated Indian power in Kashmir. Gandhi indicated that she would make no major concessions on Kashmir.
The most prominent of the Kashmiri separatists, Sheikh Abdullah , had to recognize India's control over Kashmir in light of the new order in South Asia. The situation was normalized in the years following the war after Abdullah agreed to an accord with Gandhi, by giving up the demand for a plebiscite in return for a special autonomous status for Kashmir.
In , Gandhi declared the state of Jammu and Kashmir as a constituent unit of India. The Kashmir conflict remained largely peaceful if frozen under Gandhi's premiership. The transition to statehood for these territories was successfully overseen by her administration.
The principle of equal pay for equal work for both men and women was enshrined in the Indian Constitution under the Gandhi administration. Gandhi questioned the continued existence of a privy purse for former rulers of princely states. She argued the case for abolition based on equal rights for all citizens and the need to reduce the government's revenue deficit. The nobility responded by rallying around the Jana Sangh and other right-wing parties that stood in opposition to Gandhi's attempts to abolish royal privileges.
It was passed in the Lok Sabha but felt short of the two-thirds majority in the Rajya Sabha by a single vote. This time, it was successfully passed as the 26th Amendment to the Constitution of India. They, however, received a final setback when many of them were defeated by huge margins. Gandhi claimed that only "clear vision, iron will and the strictest discipline" can remove poverty. The political economist, Jyotindra Das Gupta, cryptically questioned " Under the Constitution of India of , Hindi was to have become the official national language by This was not acceptable to many non-Hindi speaking states, who wanted the continued use of English in government.
In , Gandhi made a constitutional amendment that guaranteed the de facto use of both Hindi and English as official languages. This established the official government policy of bilingualism in India and satisfied the non-Hindi speaking Indian states. In the late s and s, Gandhi had the Indian army crush militant Communist uprisings in the Indian state of West Bengal. Gandhi considered the north-eastern regions important, because of its strategic situation. Gandhi ordered the Indian Army to launch massive retaliatory strikes in response.
The rebellion was suppressed with the Indian Air Force even carrying out airstrikes in Aizawl ; this remains the only instance of India carrying out an airstrike in its own civilian territory. In , after the less extremist Mizo leaders came to the negotiating table, Gandhi upgraded Mizoram to the status of a union territory. A small-scale insurgency by some militants continued into the late s but was successfully dealt with by the government. Today, Mizoram is considered as one of the most peaceful states in the north-east.
Responding to the insurgency in Nagaland , Gandhi "unleashed a powerful military offensive" in the s. The insurgents soon agreed to surrender and signed the Shillong Accord in Gandhi contributed and further carried out the vision of Jawaharlal Nehru , former Premier of India to develop the program.
Gandhi authorised the development of nuclear weapons in , in response to the Test No. Gandhi saw this test as Chinese nuclear intimidation, therefore, Gandhi promoted the views of Nehru to establish India's stability and security interests as independent from those of the nuclear superpowers. The program became fully mature in , when Dr. Raja Ramanna reported to Gandhi that India had the ability to test its first nuclear weapon.
Gandhi gave verbal authorisation of this test , and preparations were made in a long-constructed army base, the Indian Army Pokhran Test Range. In , India successfully conducted an underground nuclear test, unofficially code named as " Smiling Buddha ", near the desert village of Pokhran in Rajasthan.
As the world was quiet by this test, a vehement protest came forward from Pakistan. In response to this Bhutto launched a massive campaign all over the Pakistan to make Pakistan a nuclear power.
In these campaigns Bhutto asked the nation to get united and great slogans were raised such as hum ghaas aur pattay kha lay gay magar nuclear power ban k rhe gay We will eat grass or leaves even go hungry but will get nuclear power.
Gandhi directed a letter to Bhutto and, later to the world, describing the test for peaceful purposes and India's commitment to develop its programme for industrial and scientific use. A member of the Nehru-Gandhi family , she married Feroze Gandhi at the age of 25, in Their marriage lasted 18 years, until Feroze died of a heart attack in They had two sons — Rajiv b. Her younger son Sanjay had initially been her chosen heir; but after his death in a flying accident in June , Gandhi persuaded her reluctant elder son Rajiv to quit his job as a pilot and enter politics in February Rajiv took office as prime minister following his mother's assassination in ; he served until December Gandhi's yoga guru, Dhirendra Brahmachari , helped her in making certain decisions and also executed certain top level political tasks on her behalf, especially from to when Gandhi "declared a state of emergency and suspended civil liberties.
She claims that she was given away for adoption because Indira Gandhi hid her as a child and her mother as a wife of Sanjay Gandhi for political reasons. In in a letter to her American friend Dorothy Norman, Gandhi wrote: Given the opportunity to develop, capable Indian women have come to the top at once. Indira Gandhi did not often discuss her gender, but she did involve herself in women's issues before becoming the prime minister.
Before her election as the Prime Minister, she became active in the organizational wing of the Congress party, working in part in the Women's Department. As an only child, Gandhi naturally stepped into the political light.
And, as a woman, Gandhi naturally helped head the Women's section of the Congress Party. She often tried to organize women to involve themselves in politics [ citation needed ]. Although rhetorically Gandhi may have attempted to separate her political success from her gender, Gandhi did involve herself in women's organizations. The political parties in India paid substantial attention to Gandhi's gender before she became prime minister, hoping to use her for political gain [ citation needed ].
Even though men surrounded Gandhi during her upbringing, she still had a female role model as a child. Several books on Gandhi mention her interest in Joan of Arc. In her own accounts through her letters she wrote to her friend Dorothy Norman, in she wrote: She was one of the first people I read about with enthusiasm.
As one writer said: Gandhi had been swept up in the call for Indian independence since she was born in Gandhi's advocacy for women's rights began with her help in establishing the Congress Party's Women's Section [ citation needed ]. In , she wrote in a letter: I have to do a great deal of touring in order to set up the Congress Party Women's Section, and am on numerous important committees.
She wrote to Norman in , irritable that women had organized around the communist cause but had not mobilized for the Indian cause: Now they are out in the field. Gandhi did not see the purpose of feminism. Gandhi saw her own success as a woman, and also noted that "Given the opportunity to develop, capable Indian women have come to the top at once. Gandhi felt guilty about her inability to fully devote her time to her children. She noted that her main problem in office was how to balance her political duties with tending to her children, and "stressed that motherhood was the most important part of her life.
Her domestic initiatives did not necessarily reflect favourably on Indian women. Gandhi did not make a special effort to appoint women to cabinet positions. She did not appoint any women to full cabinet rank during her terms in office. Gandhi India's highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna. Indira Gandhi's main legacy was standing firm in face of American pressure to defeat Pakistan and turn East Pakistan into independent Bangladesh. Being at the forefront of Indian politics for decades, Gandhi left a powerful but controversial legacy on Indian politics.
The main legacy of her rule was destroying internal party democracy in the Congress party. Her detractors accuse her of weakening State chief ministers and thereby weakening the federal structure, weakening independence of judiciary, and weakening her cabinet by vesting power in her secretariat and her sons. This was characterized by servility and sycophancy towards the family which later turned into hereditary succession of Gandhi family members to power.
As one of the few women leaders to lead a established democracy, she remains one of 21st century's most iconic leaders. Her commitment to secularism, particularly her refusal to change her sikh bodyguards in the aftermath of operation bluestar as well as her strong positions taken in defence of india's religious and caste minorities, often at the detriment of her own political fortunes, remain her everlasting legacy. She is widely remembered as one of india's greatest prime ministers and especially one who established india's position on the world stage.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Rajiv Gandhi Sanjay Gandhi. Assassination of Indira Gandhi and anti-Sikh riots. List of state visits made by Indira Gandhi. This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. September Learn how and when to remove this template message.
India and weapons of mass destruction and Smiling Buddha. List of things named after Indira Gandhi.