India 1966-1984

In 1966 INDIRA GANDHI, daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru and like him leader of the CONGRESS PARTY, was elected president. In 1971 India fought the THIRD INDO-PAKISTANI WAR, which secured the independence of BANGLADESH, the former East Pakistan. The same year, India and the USSR signed a military partnership (while nemesis Pakistan entered into a similar partnership with the PR China). In 1974 India undertook her first nuclear test explosion.

The Indian administration, facing high population growth and lacking resources, introduced COMPULSORY BIRTH CONTROL. Especially on the countryside, where having many sons was regarded social security, this policy alienated many voters. Indira Gandhi was found guilty of electoral malpractise in the 1975 elections; in the 1977 elections her Congress Party suffered defeat. In the 1980 elections she returned to power.

In 1975 India annexed the tiny Himalayan state of SIKKIM.

In 1984 federal troops stormed the GOLDEN TEMPLE OF AMRITSAR, where radical Sikhs pressing for home rule were holding out. In the event, about 600 persons died. Shortly afterwards, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her own bodyguards - Sikhs.

!960's - 1970's The hippies hit the road - Times article by Rory Mclean