Remembering Indira Gandhi on her 103rd birth anniversary: Rare photos, quotes of India’s first and only female Prime Minister

Indira Gandhi, India’s first and only female Prime Minister and better known as the Iron Lady of India, was born on November 19 in 1917. Born, Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi in Allahabad (present day Prayagraj), she was the daughter of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. She played a central role in the Indian National Congress, and is credited for ‘political intransigency and unprecedented centralisation of power’. In 1999, Indira Gandhi was dubbed as “Woman of the Millennium” via an online BBC poll. Most recently (2020) she was named as one of the world’s 100 powerful women who defined the last century by Time magazine.

After Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi was the second longest-serving Prime Minister of India, serving her first term between 1966 to 1977, and the second from 1981 to 1984, until her assassination at the hands of her own security guards. A great orator like her father, Indira Gandhi too spoke some very powerful words. And today, on her 103rd birth anniversary here are some memorable quotes that the Iron Lady of India said. Read on:

*There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there. – Indira Gandhi

*People tend to forget their duties but remember their rights.- Indira Gandhi

*I have lived a long life, and I am proud that I spend the whole of my life in the service of my people. I am only proud of this and nothing else. I shall continue to serve until my last breath, and when I die, I can say, that every drop of my blood will invigorate India and strengthen it.- Indira Gandhi

*We have to prove to the disinherited majority of the world that ecology and conservation will not work against their interest but will bring an improvement in their lives.- Indira Gandhi

*There is not love where there is no will.- Indira Gandhi

*Have a bias toward action – let’s see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away. – Indira Gandhi

*I am not a person to be pressured – by anybody or any nation. – Indira Gandhi

*We do not wish to impoverish the environment any further, and yet we cannot for a moment forget the grim poverty of large numbers of people. Are not poverty and need the greatest polluters? – Indira Gandhi

*Ability is not always gauged by examination.- Indira Gandhi

* This is why we feel that democracy’s important: because democracy allows you to have small explosions and therefore avoid the bigger explosions.- Indira Gandhi

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Indira Gandhi’s grandson, Congress politico Rahul Gandhi also shared rare photos of his grandmother on her birth anniversary and captioned in Hindi, “A tribute on the birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi ji, an able and strong Prime Minister. The entire nation still hails her impressive leadership, but I always remember her as my beloved grandmother. Her teachings inspire me constantly.”

Grand daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also shared a photo of herself with her grandmother and wrote about Kamala Harris and Indira Gandhi on Twitter in Hindi (translation), “Kamala Harris Became America’s first Vice President in 2020. Today on Indira ji’s birth anniversary, we should realize that the people of India chose a woman, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, as their Prime Minister 50 years ago. Indira ji’s courage and strength will always inspire women all over the world.

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