Indira Gandhi's Birth Anniversary: Lesser-known Facts about India's Only Woman Prime Minister

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Indira Gandhi was born on November 19, 1917 in Prayagraj (earlier known as Allahabad) to Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India.

Indira Gandhi is India’s only woman Prime Minister, who took over the charge of serving the country from January 1966 to March 1977 and again in January 1980. She was assassinated in October 1984.

Born as Nehru, Indira became a Gandhi after her marriage with Parsi journalist Feroze Jehangir Ghandy. Later, Feroze changed his surname from Ghandy to Gandhi after being inspired by Mahatma Gandhi.

Here are some lesser-known facts about the Iron Lady of India:

1. Born in one of the most powerful families in India, Indira has always been closely related to the Indian freedom struggle. As a child, she used to form a group of children called the 'monkey brigade' and the group’s responsibility was to spy on the police and distribute Indian flags.

2. During the election of 1971, opposition leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee welcomed her as Goddess Durga.

3. Indira Gandhi has been responsible for a number of highs and lows on Indian politics. She is the reason behind the infamous Emergency of 1975. In fact, she is also criticized for Operation Blue Star, which resulted in the attack of famous Sikh shrine, the Golden Temple.

4. She spearheaded Bangladesh’s struggle to get freedom from West Pakistan and worked on a number of anti-poverty programs in her tenure.

5. She was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards, in retaliation of Operation Blue Star. The bodyguards had fired 31 bullets at her.