Wednesday, January 19, 2011

On January 19

On this day in ...
... 1966 (45 years ago today), the daughter of India's 1st prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, became the 1st woman to serve as Prime Minister of India. She was 48-year-old Indira Gandhi, whom the ruling Congress Party had "chosen at the end of a bitter leadership battle." Gandhi promised to
'strive to create what my father used to call a climate of peace.'
Yet as we've posted, her tenure -- from 1966 to 1977, and again from 1980 to 1984 -- would be marred by the violent struggle that led to the founding of Bangladesh, to conviction on corruption charges followed by a national state of emergency, to the storming of a temple held by Sikh militants, and finally to her assassination by her own Sikh bodyguards.

(Prior January 19 posts are here, here, and here.)

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