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Indira Gandhi was India's third prime minister, serving from 1966 until 1984, when her life ended in assassination. She was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister.
As confrontations between the Indian state and Sikh extremists rose, Indira Gandhi was forced to take action.
After the death of her son Sanjay, Indira Gandhi lost her favored successor to her legacy.
After the death of Jawaharlal Nehru, his daughter, Indira Gandhi eventually became the successor to his legacy.
As controversy with Indira Gandhi's politics arose, she was convicted of electoral malpractice and asked to step down, but she flatly refused.
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Sikh extremists held a campaign inside the Golden Temple, and Gandhi ordered some 70,000 soldiers to purge the sacred space. More than 450 people died.
On October 31, 1984, a trusted bodyguard, who was a Sikh, pulled out a .38 revolver and shot her point-blank. Another bodyguard, also a Sikh, then took out an automatic weapon and shot 30 rounds into her body. Gandhi died on the way to the hospital.
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Aside from their gender, female leaders don't have much else in common. Some have brought peace to troubled lands, while others have strewn discontent. Some have been competent or brilliant, others inept or corrupt. They come from political positions ranging from arch-conservative to ultra-leftist and represent all the world's religions.
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Learn more about some of the world's most famous prime ministers, including "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher, the first woman to hold the position; Winston Churchill, who stood against Adolph Hitler's threat to control Europe during World War II; Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first prime minister; and his daughter, Indira Gandhi, who served three consecutive terms as prime minister before she was assassinated by her bodyguards in 1984.
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