Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi ( 19 November 1917 – 31 October 1984) was an Indian politician and central figure of the Indian National Congress party, and to date the only female Prime Minister of India. Indira Gandhi was the daughter of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. She served as Prime Minister from 1966 to 1977 and then again from 1980 until her assassination in 1984, making her the second-longest-serving Prime Minister of India after her father.
She went to war with Pakistan in support of the independence movement and war of independence in East Pakistan, which resulted in an Indian victory and the creation of Bangladesh, as well as increasing India’s influence to the point where it became the regional hegemon of South Asia. Gandhi also presided over a controversial state of emergency from 1975 to 1977 during which she ruled by decree.
After leading India to victory against Pakistan in the Bangladesh liberation war in 1971, President V. V. Giri awarded Mrs. Gandhi India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna. In 2011, the Bangladesh Freedom Honour (Bangladesh Swadhinata Sammanona ), Bangladesh’s highest civilian award, was posthumously conferred on Indira Gandhi for her outstanding contributions to Bangladesh’s Liberation War. She was assassinated in 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards a few months after she ordered the storming of the Harmandir Sahib in Amritsar to counter the Punjab insurgency. Gandhi was cremated on 3 November near Raj Ghat. The site where she was cremated is today known as Shakti Sthala. In 1999, Indira was named “Woman of the Millennium” in a poll organised by the BBC.