Mother India is the fascinating story of independent India’s most complex political figure: Indira Gandhi, the enigmatic and solitary daughter of the country’s first prime minister, who rose to become prime minister herself. From being the reticent Indu in the Nehru family, she became one of the great leaders of the twentieth century. Pranay Gupte explores the life and times of ‘Mrs G’, who at the height of her career was often compared to Bharat Mata—Mother India. Her ‘Garibi Hatao’ call and her efforts at bringing about a Green Revolution endeared her to the electorate, but controversy and criticism, too, marked her years in and out of office. From the time she engineered a split in the Congress Party to emerge as its undisputed leader in the 1960s, through the triumphal aftermath of the 1971 war, the infamous Emergency, right up to Operation Bluestar which led to her brutal assassination on 31 October 1984, Mrs Gandhi’s legacy is still being determined.
This comprehensive biography, reissued in a revised edition on Indira Gandhi’s twenty-fifth death anniversary, not only explores her career and contradictions as a consummate politician, but also her relationships as daughter, wife and mother. Packed with lively anecdotes and cogent insights, this book is both a compelling portrait of Indira Gandhi and a trenchant analysis of the politics of twentieth-century India.