Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi (Hindi: [??nd?ra? ??a?nd?i?] (listen); née Nehru; 19 November 1917 – 31 October 1984), was an Indian politician, stateswoman and a central figure of the Indian National Congress. She was the first and, to date, the only female Prime Minister of India. Indira Gandhi was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India. She served as Prime Minister from January 1966 to March 1977 and again from January 1980 until her assassination in October 1984, making her the second longest-serving Indian Prime Minister, after her father.Gandhi served as her fathers personal assistant and hostess during his tenure as Prime Minister between 1947 and 1964. She was elected President of the Indian National Congress in 1959. Upon her fathers death in 1964 she was appointed as a member of the Rajya Sabha (upper house) and became a member of Lal Bahadur Shastris cabinet as Minister of Information and Broadcasting. In the Congress Partys parliamentary leadership election held in early 1966 (upon the death of Shastri), she defeated her rival Morarji Desai to become leader, and thus succeeded Shastri as Prime Minister of India.
As Prime Minister, Gandhi was known for her political intransigency and unprecedented centralisation of power. She went to war with Pakistan in support of the independence movement and war of independence in East Pakistan, which resulted in an Indian victory and the creation of Bangladesh, as well as increasing Indias influence to the point where it became the regional hegemon of South Asia. Citing fissiparous tendencies and in response to a call for revolution, Gandhi instituted a state of emergency from 1975 to 1977 where basic civil liberties were suspended and the press was censored. Widespread atrocities were carried out during the emergency. In 1980, she returned to power after free and fair elections. After Operation Blue Star, she was assassinated by her own bodyguards and Sikh nationalists on 31 October 1984. The assassins, Beant Singh and Satwant Singh, were both shot by other security guards. Satwant Singh recovered from his injuries and was executed after being convicted of murder.
In 1999, Indira Gandhi was named Woman of the Millennium in an online poll organised by the BBC.