Top quotes by the Iron Lady of India, Indira Gandhi

She was India’s first female Prime Minister. Indira Gandhi is known as the “Iron Lady of India” because she is regarded as one of India’s most powerful leaders. She was born in Allahabad on November 19, 1917, to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Kamala Nehru. Indira Priyadarshini Nehru is her full name. She was Prime Minister of India from January 1966 to March 1977, and then again from January 1980 to October 1984, when she died suddenly.

Gandhi’s political intransigence and unparalleled centralization of power earned her the title of Prime Minister. She went to war with Pakistan in support of the East Pakistan independence movement and war, which led in an Indian triumph and the birth of Bangladesh, as well as expanding India’s dominance to the point where it became the sole regional force in South Asia. Gandhi declared a state of emergency from 1975 to 1977, citing separatist inclinations and in reaction to a call for revolution. During this time, basic civil liberties were suspended and the press was controlled. During the emergency, widespread crimes were committed. She regained power in 1980 after free and fair elections.

Indira Gandhi was selected “Woman of the Millennium” by the BBC in an online poll in 1999. Gandhi was chosen by Time magazine as one of the world’s 100 most powerful women of the twentieth century in 2020.

Here are the top 10 quotes by Indira Gandhi to inspire the youth:

1. “I have already reached out to the janata, and I am only trying to acquaint myself with people’s problems.”

2. “There are grave misgivings that the discussion on ecology may be designed to distract attention from the problems of war and poverty.”

3. “Without courage, you cannot practice any other virtue. You have to have courage – courage of different kinds: first, intellectual courage, to sort out different values and make up your mind about which is the one which is right for you to follow. You have to have moral courage to stick up to that – no matter what comes in your way, no matter what the obstacle and the opposition is.”

4. “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.”

5. “Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.”

6. “To be liberated, woman must feel free to be herself, not in rivalry to man but in the context of her own capacity and her personality.”

7. “Opportunities are not offered. They must be wrested and worked for. And this calls for perseverance… and courage.”

8. “Until the day she died, my mother continued to fight for the rights of women. She joined all the women’s movements of the time; she stirred up a lot of revolts. She was a great woman, a great figure. Women today would like her immensely.”

9. “You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and vibrantly alive in repose.”

10. “Even if I died in the service of the nation, I would be proud of it. Every drop of my blood… will contribute to the growth of this nation and to make it strong and dynamic.”

On October 31, 1984, her own bodyguards and Sikh nationalists killed Gandhi after she ordered military action on the Golden Temple as part of Operation Blue Star.

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