Indira Gandhi’s 103rd birth anniversary: 10 inspirational quotes by India’s first woman Prime Minister
Photo Credit: PTI

Indira Gandhi, the first and the only woman prime minister of India, was born on November 19 in the year 1917 in Uttar Pradesh’s Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad).

Born to the first Prime Minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Kamala Nehru, Indira served as the Prime Minister of the country for three terms. She was the prime minister between 1966 and 1977 and again from January 1980 until her assassination in 1984. She was the second longest-serving PM after her father.

Indira Gandhi, who was known as the 'Iron Lady of India', took many decisions that changed the course of India's history. During her tenure as prime minister, she took decisions like the nationalization of banks and abolishing the privy purses of the princely states in the country.

Indira Gandhi, who was hailed as one of the tallest world leaders, was assassinated by her own Sikh bodyguards at her residence on Akbar Road on 31 October, 1984. This came after Operation Bluestar was executed at Amritsar's Golden Temple, wherein Gandhi ordered the Indian Army to confront Sikh separatists who had taken shelter at the holy shrine.

Here are some inspirational quotes by India’s first woman Prime Minister:

  • Happiness is a state of mind, you know. I don’t think you are permanently happy. One is happy about certain things and not so happy about others.

  • To be liberated, a woman must feel free to be herself, not in rivalry to man but in the context of her own capacity and her personality.

  • The lives of martyrs cannot be valued in terms of money. Their sacrifice is beyond recompense. But a grateful nation remembers its debt and its obligation to them to mitigate the sufferings of their wives and children.

  • The environmental problems of developing countries are not the side effects of excessive industrialization, but reflect the inadequacy of development.

  • Difficulties can't be eliminated from life. Individuals will always have them, countries will always have them...The only thing is to accept them, if possible, overcome them, otherwise to come to terms with them. It's all right to fight, yes, but only when it's possible.

  • You soon realize that the peak you’ve climbed was one of the lowest, that the mountain was part of a chain of mountains, that there are still so many, so many mountains to climb…And the more you climb, the more you want to climb – even though you’re dead tired.

  • Social change is brought about by those who dare and act, who can think unconventionally and who can court unpopularity.

  • We want progress, we want development, but in such a way that it does not disrupt the life of the area, the looks of the area, the beauty of the region and does not alienate the people from their own surroundings.

  • Difficulties can’t be eliminated from life. Individuals will always have them, countries will always have them…The only thing is to accept them, if possible overcome them, otherwise to come to terms with them. It’s all right to fight, yes, but only when it’s possible.

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

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