Indira Gandhi


1917 – 1984


Who was Indira Gandhi?

Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi was the third Prime Minister of India and a central figure of the Indian National Congress party. Gandhi, who served from 1966 to 1977 and then again from 1980 until her assassination in 1984, is the second-longest-serving Prime Minister of India and the only woman to hold the office.

Indira Gandhi was the only child of Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. She served as the Chief of Staff of her father's highly centralized administration between 1947 and 1964 and came to wield considerable unofficial influence in government. Elected Congress President in 1959, she was offered the premiership in succession to her father. Gandhi refused and instead chose to become a cabinet minister in the government. She finally consented to become Prime Minister in succession to Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1966.

As Prime Minister, Gandhi became known for her political ruthlessness and unprecedented centralisation of power. She presided over a period where India emerged with greater power than before to become the regional hegemon of South Asia with considerable political, economic, and military developments. Gandhi also presided over a state of emergency from 1975 to 1977 during which she ruled by decree and made lasting changes to the constitution of India. She was assassinated in the aftermath of Operation Blue Star.

Famous Quotes:

  • A nation' s strength ultimately consists in what it can do on its own, and not in what it can borrow from others.
  • Anger is never without an argument, but seldom with a good one.
  • If I die a violent death, as some fear and a few are plotting, I know that the violence will be in the thought and the action of the assassins, not in my dying.
  • Martyrdom does not end something, it only a beginning.
  • My father was a statesman, I am a political woman. My father was a saint. I am not.
  • The power to question is the basis of all human progress.
  • There exists no politician in India daring enough to attempt to explain to the masses that cows can be eaten.
  • You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.
  • You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.
  • My grandfather once told me that there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to try to be in the first group; there was much less competition.

We need you!

Help us build the largest biographies collection on the web!

Nov 19, 1917
Also known as
  • Indira Priyadarśinī Gāndhī
  • Indira Priyadarshini Nehru
  • Late Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi
  • Prime Minister of India
  • Mrs. Indira Gandhi
  • Mother India
  • Nehru
  • Hinduism
  • Kashmiri Pandit
  • India
  • Somerville College, Oxford
  • Visva-Bharati University
  • Badminton School
  • University of Oxford
Lived in
  • Raebareli
  • New Delhi
Oct 31, 1984
New Delhi

on July 23, 2013


Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:


"Indira Gandhi." STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 27 May 2022. <>.

Discuss this Indira Gandhi biography with the community: