On This Day, Jan. 19, 1966: Indira Gandhi Elected
Indira Gandhi became the first female head of government after the death of Indian Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri. She was a controversial figure in Indian politics. She was the second longest serving Prime Minister in India’s history.
Indira Gandhi was born on November 19, 1917. She was the daughter of Jawawarharlal and Kamala Nehru, who had also served as Prime Minister. She served as the Chief of staff of her father’s administration and was later offered the premiership to succeed her father to which she refused. Choosing instead to become a cabinet minister in the government. She finally consented to become Prime Minister in 1966.
Gandhi served from 1966 to 1977 and was elected again in 1980, she served until she was assassinated in 1984 reportedly by a Sikh member of her bodyguard.
There have been recent claims that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain may have helped Indira plan Operation Blue Star, an operation to quell a potential armed insurrection that began in the Punjab. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Blue_Star Those claims have since been unsubstantiated.
Rajiv Gandhi succeeded his mother as Prime Minister, he too was assassinated in 1989.
Also on this date
sources: wikileaks and history.com