Indira Gandhi, the ‘Iron lady of India,’ was one of India’s most dynamic women leaders. She was the third prime minister of our country and the first woman prime minister. Before becoming PM, she served as Information and Broadcasting minister. During her tenure, India won the war against Pakistan in 1970. She undertook nationalisation of banks, imposed emergency in 1977 and led operation Blue Star. Below we have provided Indira Gandhi Essay for class 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 students, written in easy and simple words.
Essay on Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi was India’s first and still the only woman Prime Minister. She was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru and a central Indian National Congress political figure. She has served the second-longest tenure as the country’s prime minister. Her duties as a prime minister began in January 1966 till March 1977 and again from January 1980 till her assassination in October 1984.
Early Life of Indira Gandhi
Shrimati Indira Gandhi was born in 1917 in the city of Allahabad. Her father was Jawaharlal Nehru, who was an active member in the freedom struggle of India and later became the first prime minister of free India. Her childhood was quite lonely, and her younger brother died very young, and hence she was left as the only child. Her mother was mostly bedridden and suffered an early death due to tuberculosis. Her father was mostly away, and the only way they communicated with each other was through letters.
She met her husband, Feroze Gandhi, in Great Britain when she was abroad to pursue her higher studies at Oxford University and later gave birth to Rajiv Gandhi and Sanjay Gandhi. After getting married and returning to India, she served as her father’s assistant during his tenure as India’s first prime minister. Upon her father’s death, she was appointed as a member of the Rajya Sabha and was elected as the Indian National Congress Party leader.
Indira Gandhi – First Tenure as Prime Minister
During her first period as prime minister, she faced many challenges and difficulties and was often referred to as “Goongi Gudiya” for being a mere puppet of the Congress Party. She accepted Morarji Desai, another member of the Congress Party, as the vice or deputy prime minister.
Indira Gandhi was the first national leader to recognize Bangladesh as a country. She helped Bangladesh by sending India’s armed forces against Pakistan, thus ending their conflict. Indira Gandhi won the 1971 national elections, but her defeated opponent made a charge against her that she had used unfair and foul means to win the elections.
The Supreme Court ruled against her, which meant that she had to remain out of and away from politics for at least six years. She thus decided to take matters into her own hands and declared a situation of emergency in the country. She even jailed her political opponents and undertook emergency powers. During this time, sterilization on a large scale was also initiated to control new births and get the country’s population to slow down.
Indira Gandhi’s Policies, Programs and Initiatives
Soon after the declared emergency, Indira Gandhi introduced a twenty-point program to curb inflation and punish smugglers, tax invaders, black marketers and other such criminals. Abundant rainfall also proved to be fruitful, and the harvest during those two years came out to be more than enough. As a result of all this, prices went down, and the production indexes rose drastically.
However, some of her extreme measures during the time of emergency were not taken very well by the people. These measures included sterilization for families who already had two children, a freeze on increasing wages, and more worker discipline. As India was an agricultural economy, Indian leaders always focused on rural agriculture, and they aimed to increase production to counter the problems of poverty, unemployment and mass hunger.
She adopted the Green Revolution ideology and promoted high yielding variety seeds, pesticides and fertilizers and modern technology in agriculture. Indira also nationalized 14 private sector banks, and these 14 banks contained the country’s 70% deposits transferred to the central government.
Under Indira Gandhi’s tenure as PM, Rakesh Sharma, an Indian Air Force Pilot, was the first Indian to be sent into space. He spent close to 8 days in space being a part of studies and experiments. He was also awarded the Ashoka Chakra upon his arrival.
During the early 1980s, the Sikhs revolted against her because they wanted Punjab to be given the status of an autonomous state, and they even took the help of violence. In 1982, the revolting Sikhs forfeited the Golden Temple in Amritsar, which is considered the holiest place for the Sikhs.
Because of the growing tensions, in 1984, Indira Gandhi ordered an army attack on the Golden Temple, where approximately 450 Sikhs were put to death. Not more than five months later, she was shot with bullets in her garden by her two own Sikh bodyguards as revenge for her attack on the Golden Temple in Amritsar.