Adyar Gopal Parivar
Adyar Gopal Parivar remembers the great
sacrifices late Smt. Indira Gandhi made for our
Nation throughout her life and in death. Indira
was born on 19th November 1908.
Her birth anniversary is being observed by the
Government of India and the Indian people
every year with floral tributes being offered at
her tomb 'the Shakti Sthal' in New Delhi. She
was assassinated on 31st October 1984, at 67
years of age. She was the only child of Pandit
Nehru. Her death anniversary is also held
every year by the Indian Government and all
Indira Gandhi was a remarkable woman.
When she was a child her mother was most of
the time bed-ridden with TB disease. Her
father, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, was busy
|INDIRA GANDHI, THE GREAT INDIAN WOMAN
By Mohan Shenoy
|Adyar Gopal and Radha Bai
Therefore Indira Gandhi had to work her way through her growing years by herself.
Her paternal grand-father Motilal Nehru owned a big house, Anand Bhavan, in
Allahabad where she lived until she was old enough to find a boy for herself to marry.
Her school education was not regular since she was more interested in what her
father and grand-father did which was to take part in the Independence struggle.
Often she worried about her father during the period he was in prison. Pandit
Jawaharlal Nehru was imprisoned often for lengthy periods. She waited eagerly for
her father’s letters which used to arrive regularly.
Her grand-father Motilal Nehru also took part in the Independence struggle.
Therefore she was left alone in her residence with only the domestic servants
attending to her needs.
She went to London for her college education, but she could not complete her
studies and earn a degree because she took part in the activities of India League than
concentrate on her studies. She met, loved and married Feroze Gandhi and that is
when she changed her name from Indira Nehru to Indira Gandhi.
Yet by the time of her appointment as the Information Minister in the Central
Government in the Cabinet of Prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1964 she was a
mother of two boys, Rajiv and Sanjay. Both the boys were already beyond childhood.
Therefore it was not so difficult for her to leave home for work in the Government
offices. After the untimely death of Lal Bahadur Shastri, she was chosen to be the
External Affairs Minister in Guljarilal Nanda’s Cabinet. Soon she became the Prime
Minister when Mr. Nanda resigned due to overwhelming demand from Congress Party
leaders to give the job to her.
It was then that she realized that her being the daughter of Pandit Nehru made
the difference and the masses supported her in spite of her being a woman and a
relatively inexperienced member of the Central Committee of the Congress party. But
she showed her mettle soon after she became the Prime Minister in 1966 by first
nationalizing the banking sector and later bringing in land reforms in favour of the
tenant farmers. Both the measures made her very popular with the majority of Indians
since they were benefited enormously by these changes. She also discontinued the
hefty pensions called Privy purses, that were being paid to the erstwhile princes who
joined the Indian Federation soon after Independence in 1947.
Although Indira Gandhi had imposed Emergency in 1975, and had hurt the
feelings of the Sikh people by ordering the entry of the Armyinto the holy Golden
Temple in Amritsar to fight the terrorists holed up there, she was considered the most
able Prime Minister by a majority of people in India and abroad. She is given credit for
winning the Bangladesh war in 1971 after the Pakisthani Army botched up the
administration in East Pakisthan by oppressing the local people. The Pakisthan Army
behaved very badly with the citizens of their country living in East Pakisthan during
this time leading to a huge exodus of refugees crossing over to India. This arrival of
many extra mouths to feed and look after in India caused unbearable strain on Indian
economy and and on civilian conditions forcing Indira Gandhi to order the Indian
Armed Forces to invade East Pakisthan.
The war was won by India and East Pakisthan became Bangladesh.
Imposition of Emergency in 1975 was an unpopular move and displayed the poor
judgment on her part. The entry of the Army into the holy Golden Temple was a
necessity because the situation in Punjab was deteriorated so much that the sanctity
of the religious place was being used by the terrorists to hide and escape capture by
the law officers. However the Sikh guards who assassinated her did so by being
religious fanatics equal to the present day terrorists. Her assassination at the hands
of her own guards is a travesty of political life and the riots which broke out on that
day were also an ugly face of animal instincts of man. No Indian can hate Indira
Gandhi for anything she did because she gave so much to India and brought fame
and honour to Indian democracy. She is an outstanding daughter of India and she will
be remembered for all times to come until the end of the Universe.
Although Gandhiji had exempted
the princely state of Mysore from
anti-government agitation during
Independence struggle, the
Mysore Congress launched the
'Mysore Chalo' movement to
force the Maharaja of Mysore to
access the state with the Indian
Union. As soon as the Congress
announced the decision, the
Mysore prince ordered that the
movement be suppressed with
an iron hand. Publication of
newspapers was banned, and all
the spokesmen of Congress
were arrested. Immediately there
was a general strike. The police
resorted to Lathi charge and
then opened fire against the
demonstrators in various cities
and towns. 20 people were killed
in the firing. Within 39 days of
India gaining Independence,
Maharaja of Mysore agreed to
access his territory into the
Indian Union on 24th September
The Nizam of Hyderabad also
tried to declare himself
independent in August 1947
when the British vacated India.
He held on till Sardar Vallabh
Bhai Patel, the Union Home
Minister ordered a Police Action
to arrest the Nizam and free the
state. Swami Ramananda Tirtha
a Kannadiga led the people
especially in the Bidar, Raichur,
Gulbarga and Ananthpur districts
to protect the Hindus against the
repressive measures of the
Nizam and the atrocities of the
Razakars, the jehadists hired by
the Nizam. Then the Koppal
Jahgir of Hyderabad was also
The princely state of Kolhapur
with Raibag, Katkol, Torgal, and
a few other areas joined the
Union without any ado. The
princely state of Sangli with
Terdal, Shahpur, Dodwad and
Shirhatti also joined the Union
upon request by Sardar Patel to
do so. The princely state of Miraj
with Lakshmeshwar, Budhgaon,
Gudageri, Kurundwad, Vadgaon
and the state of Jamkhandi,
Kundgol, Chippalkatti, Mudhol,
Jatt, Akkalkot, Ramadurga,
Sandu, Savnur and Gunadal
group of villages belonging to the
Aundh state joined the Union
without any obstacle.
The British government had
Indian Army posted in the
Cantonments in cities like
Belgaum, Bellary and Bangalore
with their own Territorial
administrations. These territories
ceded to the Indian Union as a
matter of course.