Indira Gandhi: A Personal and Political Biography

Inder Malhotra, Author, Indira Gandhi, Author Northeastern University Press $29.95 (363p) ISBN 978-1-55553-095-2
Malhotra knew Indira Gandhi well from 1956 onward, as a correspondent for Britain's Guardian and as the Times of India' s Delhi editor. In a superb, balanced, riveting portrait, he assesses both strengths and flaws of the dominant, assertive prime minster who from early childhood identified with Joan of Arc, and who, like St. Joan, was betrayed by those she trusted, assassinated in 1984 by her Sikh bodyguards. Completely identifying herself with her nation, this indefatigable daughter of Nehru turned the world's largest democracy into a virtual dictatorship by declaring an Emergency in 1975. After her electoral defeat, imprisonment and her triumphant return to power in 1980, she adopted a paranoid leadership style and blandly tolerated corruption as economic disparities widened, according to Malhotra. Yet he credits her with holding India together, making it the preeminent nonaligned power, maintaining democracy and pushing through the Green Revolution which enabled her country to feed itself self-sufficiently. Photos. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1991
Release date: 04/01/1991
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