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EDITIONS
Monday, 6 April, 1998, 07:03 GMT 08:03 UK
India's ruling dynasty
Motilal Nehru: founder of a dynasty

Born in 1861, Motilal Nehru joined the Indian National Congress, which spearheaded the campaign for independence from British rule.

Jawaharlal Nehru: first post-independence Prime Minister

Known as Pandit Nehru, he led India after the upheaval of the partition of the sub-continent at the end of the British Raj in 1947. The Nehru-Gandhi family is not related to the revered Mahatma Gandhi, who led the struggle against the British.

Indira Gandhi: autocratic tendencies

Nehru's daughter, Indira, became a Gandhi through marriage. As Prime Minister, she introduced emergency laws restricting the opposition and ordered the storming of the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar. She was gunned down by one of her Sikh bodyguards in 1984.

Sanjay Gandhi: the heir apparent

Sanjay, Indira's younger son, was being groomed for a political role in the Congress Party when he was killed while performing flying stunts over New Delhi in 1980.

Rajiv Gandhi: thrust into the limelight

Rajiv, the oldest son of Indira and an unassuming airline pilot, inherited the Gandhi mantle after his brother's death. He was killed by a suicide bomber in 1991.

Sonia Gandhi: a reclusive figure

Sonia, Rajiv's wife, never really took to politics, preferring to stay out of the limelight. But in a surprising move, she campaigned on behalf of the Congress party during the elections of February and March 1998.

After the elections were lost, she agreed to become head of the Congress Party and was confirmed in the role April 6th.

Priyanka Gandhi: the future hope

Priyanka, Sonia's striking 26-year old daughter, has so far shunned an official role in Congress. But she pointedly retained the Gandhi family name after her marriage to Robert Vadra, a jewellery designer and exporter. Her appearances alongside her mother at a number of Congress party rallies in 1998 point to an active interest in politics.

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George Arney report containing historic recordings from the BBC sound archive (5'38")
See also:

12 Feb 98 | India Elections
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