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Indira Gandhi: The Centre of Everything

Professor Sunil Khilnani looks at the life of Indira Gandhi, India's first woman prime minister, whose darkest moment was the two-year period known as 'the emergency'.

Professor Sunil Khilnani, from the King's India Institute in London, looks at the life of Indira Gandhi, India's first woman prime minister, whose darkest moment was a two year period known as "the emergency". Jails filled up with her critics while journalists and editors were detained alongside the political opposition. Those arrested could be held without trial and and she attempted to reduce the birth rate by offering men incentives to be sterilized. "Indira Gandhi in many ways issued the greatest threat to democracy in independent India's history," says Professor Khilnani, "weakening constitutional regularities established by her father. Yet the enduring effect of her rule was to open the state to a deeper and more accessible democracy".
Producer: Mark Savage
Music: Talvin Singh.

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15 minutes

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