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India’s Iron Hand Of Justice, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit was an Indian diplomat and politician who was the sister of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister. She was a leader in the Indian independence movement and held significant positions at both home and abroad.

On August 18, 1900, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit was born in Allahabad, United Provinces (later Uttar Pradesh), and was given the name Swarup Kumari (“Beautiful Princess”) Nehru. She was the eldest daughter of Motilal Nehru, a renowned Brahmin lawyer, and eleven years younger than her brother, Jawaharlal Nehru. She was raised in luxury and educated both at home and in Switzerland, and she was highly affected by Mohandas Gandhi, who became associated with the struggle for independence.

1934 With her election to the Allahabad Municipal Board, Pandit’s long career in politics officially began. She was elected to the Assembly of the United Provinces in 1936 and became minister of local self-government and public health in 1937, making her the first Indian woman to hold such a position in the cabinet. She resigned in protest of the British government’s proclamation that India was a participant in World War II, as did all other Congress party officeholders, in 1939. After the Congress’ “Quit India” Resolution of August 1942, she was imprisoned along with other Congress leaders.

She was shocked when Jawaharlal Nehru died on May 27, 1964. She was elected to the Lok Sabha in November in a by-election in Uttar Pradesh’s Philpur district, which her brother had held for 17 years. In the fourth general elections in 1967, she was re-elected, but resigned the following year due to “personal reasons.”

She campaigned against her niece Indira Gandhi (her maiden name was Nehru) for suspending democratic processes in a state of emergency from 1975 to 1977. Gandhi lost the elections as a result of her efforts.

When she died on December 1, 1990, in Dehradun, India, Pandit had been politically inactive for some years. President Ramaswami Venkataraman referred to Pandit as a “wonderful woman” on the occasion of her death “a brilliant strand in India’s liberation struggle’s tapestry Mrs Pandit was an addition to the national cause, distinguished by her elegance, fearlessness, and determination.”

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