chapter  35
1 Pages

Indira Gandhi’s Last Speech

I do not care whether I live or die. I have lived a long life. And if I am proud of anything it is that my whole life has been spent in service. I am proud of this as of nothing else. And as long as there is breath in me, my life will be spent in service. And when my life ends, I can say that every drop of my blood will keep India alive and strengthen it. It is my hope that people, specially the youth and women, will think about this and take the responsibility on their own shoulders. I have full confi dence in the people of India that they will never take the wrong path. Orissa, October 1984,

After Indira Gandhi’s assassination, Rajiv Gandhi, her successor as leader of the Congress Party and Prime Minister, called elections. During the campaign Indira Gandhi’s memory played an important role as indicated in a Congress Poster containing her picture and some of her last words (see plate 4). Its translation is below.