Who is the first woman to receive Bharat Ratna?

 Who is the first woman to receive Bharat Ratna?

First woman to receive Bharat Ratna"Indira Gandhi"_ichhori.webP

The Bharat Ratna is the highest civilian award in India, conferred on individuals who have made exceptional contributions in the fields of arts, literature, science, and public service. The award was instituted in 1954 and since then, numerous eminent personalities have been conferred with this prestigious award. However, the first woman to receive the Bharat Ratna was Indira Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India. In this essay, we will delve into the life and legacy of Indira Gandhi and explore why she was considered worthy of this honor.

Indira Gandhi was born on November 19, 1917, in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. She was the only child of Jawaharlal Nehru, who later went on to become the first Prime Minister of India, and Kamala Nehru, a freedom fighter and social activist. Growing up, Indira Gandhi was exposed to the ideas of Indian nationalism and social justice through her parents' work and interactions with prominent leaders of the Indian freedom movement.

Indira Gandhi's formal education was at Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan, founded by Rabindranath Tagore. However, due to her father's political commitments, she was unable to complete her studies and returned to India. She married Feroze Gandhi in 1942, and the couple had two sons, Rajiv and Sanjay.

Indira Gandhi's political career began in 1959 when she was elected as the President of the Indian National Congress. She was a staunch supporter of her father's policies and played an active role in shaping the party's vision and strategy. In 1964, after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru, Lal Bahadur Shastri became the Prime Minister of India and Indira Gandhi was appointed as the Minister of Information and Broadcasting in his cabinet.

In 1966, after the sudden demise of Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi was elected as the Prime Minister of India. She was the first woman to hold this position in India and only the second woman to become a head of government in the world, after Sirimavo Bandaranaike of Sri Lanka. As Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi implemented several progressive policies aimed at improving the lives of the marginalized sections of society.

One of her most significant achievements was the nationalization of banks, which helped bring banking services to the rural population and increase access to credit. She also implemented policies aimed at reducing poverty and improving the lives of farmers, such as the Green Revolution and the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.

Indira Gandhi's tenure as Prime Minister was not without controversies. In 1975, she declared a state of emergency, suspending civil liberties and arresting political opponents. This move was widely criticized, both within India and internationally, and led to a decline in her popularity. However, she lifted the emergency in 1977 and called for fresh elections, which she lost to the Janata Party.

Indira Gandhi returned to power in 1980, after the Congress Party won a landslide victory in the general elections. During her second term as Prime Minister, she focused on improving India's foreign relations and played an active role in the Non-Aligned Movement. She also implemented policies aimed at empowering women, such as the establishment of the National Commission for Women and the introduction of laws to protect women from domestic violence.

In 1984, Indira Gandhi's life was cut short when she was assassinated by her own bodyguards. Her death led to widespread mourning and sparked violent riots in some parts of the country. However, her legacy lives on, and she is remembered as a leader who made significant contributions to India's development and progress.

Previous Post Next Post