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Sonia Gandhi appreciates and says she learnt her earliest political lessons from Indiraji

In her welcome address at the Indira Gandhi centenary Lecture at Vigyan Bhavan, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Saturday appreciated the efforts of the former Prime Minister and said that she learnt about the culture of India and political lessons from her.  “It is from her that I learnt about India, about its culture, about its values. It is from her that I imbibed my earliest political lessons,” Sonia said.  “Indira Gandhi was not a figure of history for me, she was my mother-in-law. We lived under the same roof, shared the same joys and sorrows.”

Further stating was Indira was a mother, mentor and a friend to her, the Congress president said that she was an institution, a leader with conviction and nerves of steel, who was unflinching in the face of duty and resolute against all that was unjust.

“It was in my arms that she drew her last breath. Indira Gandhi was a remarkable woman, the like of whom this country has not seen since, but she was much more than that. She led our nation through tumultuous battles of 60s, 70s, never faltering in her dedication to the masses who gave her their complete trust. She faced economic crisis and prevailed, she managed the greatest refugee crisis in history, she refused to compromise on India’s noble humanitarian traditions,” Sonia said.

Hailing Indira as a rare figure who shaped the destiny of India, Sonia added that she was a child of India’s freedom struggle itself and a witness to the birth of this nation and of the idea that is India.

“Some dismissed her as weak and incapable, others called her a tyrant but with the trust of her countrymen painstakingly won and with her dedication to the cause she went on to serve her people, sacrificing her life,” she added. Sonia further said that she had never sought personal glory nor wealth, adding that every ounce of her energy was channelled in the service of the nation.

“She saw an India that would not follow blindly a path led by the west. She saw it crafting its own future guided by its democratic and cultural ideals. This made her mission doubly challenging, but Indira was not a woman daunted by challenge,” she said.

“On the eve of her martyrdom, she declared “every drop of my blood will invigorate the nation” and indeed it did,” Sonia added.

Asserting that Indira’s sacrifice in preserving a united, diverse, egalitarian India go down in history, the Congress chief added that it will be remembered all the more at a time when in the quest for shortcuts to greatness leaders are found willing to undermine the very foundation of India’s national character.

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