“There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit. Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there,” said by Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi, the first and only female Prime Minister of India. The only daughter of our late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi was born on November 19, 1917. She was the second Prime Minister to have held the post for the longest time, from 1966 to 1977 and again from 1980 till 1984 until her assassination. Since birth, Indira was exposed to the political affairs of the country because of her dad Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru who helped in ending the British Raj.

Indira Gandhi gave many brilliant and meaningful quotes to Indians during her lifetime. Gandhi was termed as a ruthless prime minister who ruled the country with unprecedented power and controlled the media. Honored as the ‘Woman of the Millennium” in BBC’s 1999 poll, Indira Gandhi was also the pillar of strength for Indian National Congress party.

On her 97th birth anniversary, let’s all re-live her memories with dignity. Indira Gandhi was a charismatic and alluring leader during her times. A grand salute to such a leader who changed the image of India with her ruthless work ethics.

Indira Gandhi got married to Feroz Gandhi in 1942 who was a journalist. She was appointed as a member of Rajya Sabha in the year 1964 and helped in serving the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. She was one of the prominent female leaders who helped and reformed India, which helped this country to be on the world map. She always used to see India with her dad’s eyes and established stability, security and authorised the development of nuclear weapons in the year 1967.

Here are some of the famous quotes of Indira Gandhi:

1. “The power to question is the basis of all human progress.”

2. “Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.”

3. “A nation’s strength ultimately consists in what it can do on its own, and not in what it can borrow from others.”

4. “You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.”

5. “Martyrdom does not end something, it only a beginning. Even if I died in the service of the nation, I would be proud of it. Every drop of my blood…will contribute to the growth of this nation and to make it strong and dynamic,” she said two days prior to her assassination.

6. “A nation’ s strength ultimately consists in what it can do on its own, and not in what it can borrow from others.”

7. “There exists no politician in India daring enough to attempt to explain to the masses that cows can be eaten.”

8. “There is not love where there is no will.”

9. “My father was a statesman, I am a political woman. My father was a saint. I am not.”

10. “One must beware of ministers who can do nothing without money, and those who want to do everything with money.”

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In her regime, she even nationalized oil companies in the year 1971 after war against Pakistan. During this year India faced lot of oil crisis. She was the one who brought the Green Revolution which changed the phased of agricultural production and transformed India on a new level. Under Indira Gandhi’s premiership Rakesh Sharma was the first citizen to travel on space.

11.  “Education is a liberating force, and in our age it is also a democratizing force, cutting across the barriers of caste and class, smoothing out inequalities imposed by birth and other circumstances.”

12. “All my games were political games; I was, like Joan of Arc, perpetually being burned at the stake.”

13.  “I don’t mind if my life goes in the service of the nation. If I die today every drop of my blood will invigorate the nation.”

14. “Peace between countries must rest on the solid foundation of love between individuals.”

15. “Anger is never without an argument, but seldom with a good one.”

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Indira Gandhi’s achievements are often over looked because of her decisions took during 1975 in the period of Emergency. This was the time when she gagged the media and soon brought a breakdown during elections. She was also named as the ‘Iron Lady’ of India who was well known to take strong and bold decisions during weak times. But she earned a bad name among Sikhs during Operation Blue Star.

16. “You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.”

17. “We would rather starve than sell our national honour.”

18. “People tend to forget their duties but remember their rights.”

19. “I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.”

20. “I don’t mind if my life goes in the service of the nation. If I die today every drop of my blood will invigorate the nation”

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Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her own bodyguards on October 31, 1984, Beant Singh and Satwant Singh. They fired 33 bullets in her chest and abdomen when she was in the lawn of her own residency.  She was the one who was extra talented and had several skills in politics. The Iron Lady gave slogan like – ‘Garibi Hatao’ which became very popular at the time of elections. After her death, her older son Rajiv Gandhi became the head of Congress party and became the Prime Minister of India, but was also assassinated.

On Indira Gandhi’s birth anniversary, let’s remember the female power!

Image Credit: Jyoti Desale