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Reminiscing the Iron Lady, Indira Gandhi.

October 31, 1984, is a date etched in the memory of every Indian. The day when our nation lost one of its most iconic leaders, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, to a tragic assassination. We from TrueToLife reminisce about her era and this day today, which not only shook the political landscape of India but also left a profound footprint on society.

The Political Landscape:

To understand the assassination of Indira Gandhi, we must first explore the political backdrop of the time. Indira Gandhi had been serving as the Prime Minister of India for most of the 1970s, and by 1984, she was in her fourth term in office. Her rule had seen both significant achievements and controversies, and her leadership was deeply polarizing.

One of the most contentious issues was her decision to send the Indian Army into the Golden Temple in Amritsar in June 1984, an operation known as Operation Blue Star. The operation aimed to flush out Sikh militants who had taken refuge inside the holy Sikh shrine. This action deeply hurt Sikh sentiments and led to growing anger and resentment within the Sikh community.

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Aftermath of Indra Gandhi assassination:

October 31, 1984: According to a report from the Washington Post, at approximately 9:20 AM, two of Indira Gandhi’s bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, opened fire on her at her residence in New Delhi. She was rushed to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences but succumbed to her injuries. The two assailants were apprehended on the scene.

October 31, 1984: Just hours after the assassination, Rajiv Gandhi, Indira’s son, was sworn in as the new Prime Minister.

October 31, 1984 – November 2, 1984: In the aftermath of Indira’s assassination, anti-Sikh riots erupted in Delhi, leading to the deaths of thousands of Sikhs and the destruction of their homes and businesses.

January 6, 1989: Satwant Singh and Beant Singh were sentenced to death and executed for their roles in the assassination.

Conspiracy Theories Still Alive!

Every time something significant happens in the world, there will be hundreds of conspiracy theories surrounding the incident. The assassination of Indira Gandhi has also given rise to numerous conspiracy theories over the years. Let’s explore the most interesting ones below.

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● The most interesting and common conspiracy theory comes from sources like Reddit and YouTube. This theory suggests that the CIA had some involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

● Some other YouTuber users believe that the assassination was an act of revenge by Sikh extremists who were furious over Operation Blue Star. They claim that the two bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, were not acting independently but were part of a larger network seeking revenge. A YouTube user, sharing his views commented “Due to Operation Blue Star and bloodshed in the golden temple, Khalistan members thought the temple lost its holiness. So they took revenge on her.”

● This 3rd conspiracy theory is pretty common among Reddit users. In a thread called ‘Myths & Misconceptions about 1984’ a user suggests they strongly believe that the Indian Government itself was responsible for the assassination of Indira Gandhi.

GenZ on Indira Ji:

When asked how he feels about the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Kumar, 23 Year Old Techie, told TTL, “Well, I believe she was a powerful prime minister. She made some strong decisions and was not afraid of anything from what I know about her. I admire that.”

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Sanjana, a 19-year writer, said to TTL, “She was a woman who ruled the country for her own benefits, I think” when we asked the same question.

Another GenZ named Suhana, a 20-year-old Student, told TTL, “I honestly do not wanna comment on her. I don’t think I am educated enough to tell you what I really think about her at the moment. You can quote this btw.”

The assassination of Indira Gandhi on October 31, 1984, was a pivotal moment in Indian history. It not only resulted in the loss of a dynamic leader but also left a profound footprint on our nation’s collective conscience.

Sources: The Indian Express, Britannica, Washington Post, Reddit

By: Ashbiha Fathima

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