Published: 19th November 2021
What happened on November 19: Weary is the head that wears the crown
Three Indian women who wowed the world in various capacities and have left an indelible mark on history
India is not new to icon politics by any stretch of imagination. India's first and only woman Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi is a good example of the political party and, eventually, governance in the country becoming synonymous with one overbearing figure. Born on this date back in 1917, Gandhi began her political career as the president of the Congress party in 1950. An alumna of Visva Bharti University, she was given the moniker 'Priyadarshini' by Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.
She served as the Prime Minister of India for three terms, first between 1967–1971 and 1971–1977, and then between 1980-1984. These years were marked by the India-Pakistan war in 1971, which led to the formation of Bangladesh, and the Emergency between 1975 and 1977, which aimed to curb dissent and opposition voices following an Allahabad High Court verdict that declared her election to the Lok Sabha in 1971 void on grounds of electoral malpractice.
In her third term, she had also ordered the controversial Operation Blue Star at the Golden Temple, Amritsar. It was allegedly in revenge for this operation that she was shot dead by two of her Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984.
Indira Gandhi shares her birthday with another female force to be reckoned with — former Miss Universe and actor Sushmita Sen. Incidentally, it is also the date on which Aishwariya Rai was crowned Miss World in the year 1994.