Indira Gandhi's Political Career (02:31)
More than one million people died as India and Pakistan formed separate states in 1947. Jawaharlal Nehru's daughter was elected prime minister in 1966.
Gandhi's Autocracy (02:28)
Indira antagonized many politicians by centralizing India's government. Learn about her election fraud accusations, rule by decree, trial, and reelection in 1980.
Gandhi's Residence (01:12)
Learn about Indira's Delhi complex and Sikh bodyguards. After returning to power, she continued to govern in a centralized style.
Operation Blue Star (02:07)
In 1983, Sikh independence leader Bhindranwale took refuge in the Golden Temple in Amritsar. Indira Gandhi ordered him removed; hundreds died in the fighting and the temple was damaged.
Indira's Assassination (03:04)
After Operation Blue Star, Gandhi ignored security advice to remove Sikh bodyguards. Beant and Satwant Singh shot Indira on October 31, 1984; Rajiv was elected her successor.
Rajiv Gandhi's Political Career (01:09)
Gandhi ruled by consensus, introducing economic reforms and building India's regional military presence.
Sri Lankan Civil War (02:29)
Historic tensions between the Tamil Tigers, led by Prabhakaran, and the Sinhalese erupted in 1983. Rajiv supported rebels in Tamil Nadu while holding peace talks with President Jayewardene.
Indo-Sri Lankan Pact (01:31)
In July 1987, Rajiv agreed to send peace keeping forces and mediate between Tamils and the Sri Lankan government—but India's apparent siding with the Sinhalese was unpopular in Tamil Nadu.
Rajiv's Corruption Accusations (01:29)
Learn how the Bofors Scandal defeated Gandhi's party in 1989. The new Congress pulled Indian forces from Sri Lanka but fighting continued; Tamil Tigers began using suicide bombs.
Rajiv Assassination Plot (01:52)
Prabhakaran ordered Sivarasan to plan Gandhi's assassination. Two young Chennai women were chosen as suicide bombers in May 1991.
Rajiv's Assassination (03:25)
A suicide bombing killed Gandhi and 14 others on May 21, 1991. The Tamil Tigers were identified as responsible; Sivarasan committed suicide and Prabhakaran remained in Sri Lanka. (Graphic images)
Rajiv Gandhi's Legacy (00:46)
Rajiv was cremated in 1991, less than seven years after his mother Indira. Their assassinations failed to achieve independence for Sikhs and Tamils.
Credits: The Assassinations of Indira & Rajiv Gandhi: Infamous Assassinations (00:29)
Credits: The Assassinations of Indira & Rajiv Gandhi: Infamous Assassinations
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