… 21 years ago this day, the BBC quite helpfully recalls. The only woman Prime Minister of India was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in retaliation for her attack on the holiest Sikh shrine of Harminder Sahib (aka Golden Temple) in Amritsar, in which 1000 people were estimated to have died.
Her killings prompted some members of the ruling Congress party to start riots in the capital Delhi, and start massacaring Sikhs. Nearly 4,000 were murdered. A lot of the instigators are still on the loose. The BBC website has some witness accounts.
Because the media was still heavily state-controlled at the time, a lot of news about the killings did not come out till later. About the only useful thing Indira Gandhi did during her tenure was to stop the Pakistan army massacring Bengalis and help liberate Bangladesh in 1971. It was listed somewhere as one of only two military interventions in the 20th century that actually stopped the killing of people.
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Filed in: South Asia,The World