On Her 99th Birth Anniversary, Indira Gandhi Shows Us Who’s Boss

Here are five times that Indira Gandhi put her detractors in place.

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Indira Gandhi became India’s first female Prime Minister on 24 January 1966. She was the third Prime Minister of the world’s largest democracy, by no means is an easy job. Here are the five times that she put her detractors in place.

She took on the challenge and made her mark as an astute politician, not only in India, but across the world. On her 99th birth anniversary, The Quint brings you five milestone quotes made by the ‘Iron Lady’.

1. Indira Gandhi on Bangladesh Liberation

When the western media questioned Gandhi’s motive behind India entering the war between ‘Muktivahini’ and Pakistan Army, the then Indian Prime Minister hit back. She pointed out that the Allied powers intervened during World War II against Hitler’s genocide and said that India had done the same for the people of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

2. Operation Blue Star Was Not Against Sikhs: Indira Gandhi

In June 1984, Indira Gandhi ordered the Indian Army to enter Golden Temple in order to capture the leader of Damdami Taksal, Jarnail Singh Bhindarewala. The action sparked an outrage among the Sikh community but Indira justified her actions claiming that her attack was against a section of people and not the Sikhs.

3. I Am Not Guilty for Emergency: Indira Gandhi

On 25 June 1975, Indira Gandhi enforced a national emergency on the world’s largest democracy that curbed civil liberties and suspended all the elections across India. Gandhi stated that the situation created by the opposition had forced her to enact emergency and she can’t be held guilty for it.

4. It Makes No Difference If I Die in Bed or at Work: Indira Gandhi

A little reckless by nature, Gandhi was not scared of even death. Even as the hatred for Gandhi was on a rise among the Sikhs, she did not allow the people of the Sikh community to be removed from her security detail.

5. Every Drop of My Blood Will Create a New India: Indira Gandhi

A day before she died, at a public rally, Gandhi told the public that she will serve her country till the very end. As if she was narrating a prophecy, she said:

I may not be alive tomorrow, I have lived a full life and when I die, every drop of my blood will create a new India.

Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

On the occasion of Indira Gandhi’s 99th birth anniversary, The Quint is republishing this story from its archives.

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