Jul 13, 2018

Reader's View: INDIRA - The life of Indira Nehru Gandhi

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Author: Katherine Frank

Its fascinating to know how Indira Priyadarshini became Indira Nehru, then Indira Gandhi and then the Prime Minister of the biggest democratic country, India. This book presents a gripping story of her patriotism, ruthlessness and political savvy with guts. Indeed, this is one of the best written biographies I've read so far. 

As I turned the pages, I got to know a lot about the parenting of Jawaharlal Nehru and his influence on Indira. The most exciting of all is to read the letters regularly exchanged between Indira and Nehru. Always wondered how could she make it as a Prime Minister in the times when women were seen more as home makers. Breaking all the rules, she not just became the Prime Minister but also maintained to be there for a number of years. Her ruthlessness, as responsible leader to stay her party stand, has been explained in the book with the details of a few incidents. 

Another misconception of mine got cleared as I read through the chapters explaining the story of Firoze Gandhi and Indira's marriage. I've understood that Indira'a marital name Gandhi is nothing to do with Mahatma Gandhi or his family! 

Its always inspiring to know about the 'women in power'; how they build the aura, maintain it right through and bounce back when needed. One must not step back from responsibilities when in power, especially when someone is in such a responsible position as Prime Minister of a country. Decision making is key for any leader. How and why Indira took the decisions that she took, be it about the emergency, be it about the fight with the terrorists, have been explained in detail in the book. While reading, it didn't feel as if the author was trying to back her decisions. Rather, it felt as if the author just placed the facts, that she knew based on her research. 

All in all, this book is a great read. A five hundred pager but the way its written is so gripping that I managed to finish in a mere four days. Going back in time and knowing about the sequence of incidents that lead to the assassination of the first and the only female Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi. Must read for everyone, who is and isn't interested about politics. 

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