The story of Indira Gandhi is the story of a family, a tradition, a country in travail. It is riot the story of the growth of a political party but of a movement for freedom. It is not the story of one person but of a family that stood as a symbol. It is not even the story of one country but of a colorful, hating, warring, loving subcontinent in revolt.
Against this perspective, the author has written the first comprehensive biography of Indira Gandhi. It is based on personal interviews with the prime minister, with her prominent political colleagues, and with her relatives and close friends. An extensive use has been made of unpublished correspondence from the Nehru Papers.
The book traces the development of Indira’s personality against the background of her grandfather Motilal Nehru’s rich fortunes and the early beginnings of India’s struggle for independence, the total plunge of the Nehru family into politics, the stirring change in personal and political values, induced by Mahatma Gandhi, the influence of Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira’s emergence as a political being.
The personal story, the relations with her mother and father, her other relatives, her marriage, her husband’s death, her attitudes and tastes, the gradual shedding of the personal and the almost total politicalization or her time and inclination is interwoven with external events that frame the political history of modern India. The study also makes an objective appraisal of Mrs. Gandhi’s early years of power and ends with a free ranging assessment by the Prime Minister herself on the problems that face India.
This fascinating, illuminating biography, containing over 150 rare and exquisite photographs, is remarkable for its intellectual quality and richness of material.