Under Nehru's leadership, his Congress party dominated all levels of national government, winning three straight parliamentary majorities between 1952 and 1962, and ushering in an era of unity to an otherwise ethnically diverse nation.
Indira Gandhi assumed leadership of the Congress party and government shortly after Nehru died of a stroke. Her style of leadership rapidly confounded party members when she began unseating her rivals from positions of authority, showing little inclination to tolerate dissent. Her intolerance for opposing viewpoints fractured the once-monolithic ruling party into competing factions, a split which never healed.
Unlike Nehru, Indira Gandhi remained aloof from the Indian people. She defied prevailing customs by marrying outside her Hindu religion after studying history and anthropology at Oxford University. After having flouted one social convention by marrying Parsi journalist, Feroze Gandhi, she broke another social norm by divorcing Feroze a short time later. Indira's younger son, Sanjay, also showed an aura of rebellion against custom by marrying a Sikh. Her older son, Rajiv, went a step further from tradition when he married Sonia Maino, a construction company executive's daughter he met in England.
Not only was Indira Gandhi aloof from the citizenry, she also did not share the Fabian values of her father. The principle of equality in political life requires abov