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Adyar Gopal Parivar
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This website is a renovated website of Adyar Gopal Parivar. I am Dr. Mohan G Shenoy inviting you to visit and explore the website.
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Indira Gandhi, The Great Indian Woman
By Mohan Shenoy
        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 her admirers. 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 with politics.

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 Army into 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.

        Although Mahatma Gandhi 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 1947.

        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 liberated.

        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.

        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.