The future of India had undoubted global significance. When Indira Gandhi became Prime Minister, there had been much comment, at home and abroad, on the fact that India was ‘the world’s largest democracy’ (in 1967 the electorate stood at 250 million — with a turnout of 61.3 per cent). If democracy should fail in India it would signal that it had no future in the ‘developing world’. On one occasion Mrs Gandhi publicly said that interpreting India to the outside world was difficult. The outside world, in turn, was not sure whether her elevation was a sign of continuity or the beginning of a new trend. No shorthand depiction of ‘India’, externally or internally, was ever adequate. Indira had been a minister in Shastri’s government at the time of her father’s death. Pushed forward by Congress notables, she defeated Morarji Desai in the subsequent election by roughly two to one. In itself the contest had opened up different Indian worlds.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- Asian Variations
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number