Indira Gandhi
November 19, 1917
October 31, 1984
'80s Claim to Fame:
India's first female Prime Minister

Indira Gandhi had served as Prime Minister from 1966 to 1977, but in the face of tremendous opposition and domestic unrest, had declared martial law during the 1970s and consequently lost the 1977 election. However, in 1980, she was overwhelmingly re-elected to the position.

Gandhi had established ties with the Soviet Union early in the 1980s, but then sought closer ties with the United States and the West. Domesticaly, her greatest problem was with Sikh nationalists in the state of Assam. 3,000 people were killed in riots there during the state elections. In addition, her daughter-in-law formed a rival political party intent on ousting Gandhi and her other son, Rajiv.

In 1983 Gandhi held a conference of nonaligned third-world nations, attended by diplomats from 101 countries.

In 1984 Ganghi ordered an attack on Sikha nationalists. In response to this attack, Gandhi was assassinated by one of her own guards, a Sikh, on October 31, 1984.

See also:
Rajiv Gandhi

Related links:
Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research

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