Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi India’s 3rd and only lady Prime minister in history. She had many marvelous achievements on her name which will never be forgotten in the history, like India’s first nuclear test and also for some work, never done by any leader in the world like in December 1971 changing the world map with India’s decisive victory over Pakistan in the liberation war, that led to the formation of independent Bangladesh. But there are some marvelous blunders also done by the same Indira Gandhi. Here I mention 3 mistakes done by her which can also not be easily forgotten by the nation and on which the question should be raised.
- The first mistake – In 1971 she had the great opportunity to resolve the Kashmir problem once for all, not only the Kashmir problem but also the terrorism issue. Pakistan would have not become a terrorist state creating problems for India. In 1971 India had 93000 POW (Prisoners of war) which Indira Gandhi gave them for free along with the land captured by the Indian force. She could have put many sanctions on Pakistan like limiting the number of Army personnel in the area, taking back POK never interfering in Kashmir valley and many more just like the USA did to Germany after the first world war in 1918 in the treaty of Versailles. Beside this the Balochistani should not be oppressed by the Pakistani army. these are the same troops which were held POW in Bangladesh and after 1972 deployed in the Balochistan. This raises some serious questions on her geopolitics knowledge and strategies.
- Second mistake – Emergency – in 1975 she tried to control the judiciary system just because in an election petition filed by her opponent, Raj Narain in 1971 (who later defeated her in 1977 parliamentary election from Raebareli), alleged several major as well as minor instances of using government resources for campaigning. On 12 June 1975, the Allahabad High Court declared Indira Gandhi’s election to the Lok Sabha in 1971 void on grounds of electoral malpractice. Many historians believe this being the one of the main reasons behind the emergency declared by her on 25 June 1975. During Emergency Police were granted powers to impose curfews and indefinitely detain citizens. All publications were subjected to substantial censorship by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. This shows her hunger for power that she didn’t want to lose the PM chair and power at any costs.
- Third mistake – the rise of Bhindranwale – in late 1970 Indira Gandhi supported the Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale in a bid to split the Sikh votes and weaken the Akali dal its chief rival in Punjab. Bhindranwale was originally not very influential, but the activities of Congress elevated him to the status of a major leader by the early 1980s. Bhindranwale was responsible for the launching the Sikh militancy during the 1980s. Since the early 1980s, Bhindranwale was supported by Pakistan’s ISI on his radical separatist stand, plans and operations and this rise of Bhindranwale which was ended up with operation blue star and which also became the reason of the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
Had Indira Gandhi not made these 3 mistakes, the nation would have remembered her as a different leader. But now whenever someone says her iron lady, such questions start boggling into the minds of countrymen.