Celebrating former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s 100th birth anniversary, the Indira Gandhi Memorial Museum has curated a unique exhibition , aptly titled ‘Indira: A Life of Courage’. As many as 300 rare photographs of India’s only woman Prime Minister have been showcased at the exhibition.
The show also boasts 18 personal belongings of Indira, including her saris, diaries, hand-written letters, bamboo slippers, etc. Her original wedding card, a letter by Mahatma Gandhi written to her after her mother passed away, are among the rare photographs.
The photographs have been curated over a period of four years from a collection of 90,000. Be it the one where Indira is playfully perched atop a rock with her daughter-in-law Sonia, or the doting grandmother in countless photographs with Rahul and Priyanka, or standing shyly with a happiness writ on her face beside husband Feroze, or even Indira as a child staring defiantly and slightly sullenly into the camera, it is an exhibition that showcases Mrs G like never before.
These photos of the woman famously known as the Iron Lady of India reveal her vulnerable side too. Pictures of the powerful leader are juxtaposed with those of an affectionate grandmother, a grief-stricken but strong-resolved daughter, and a broken mother no longer caring about the lens catching her tears.
As one walks away from the wonderfully put-together exhibition, one can only wonder—Who really is Indira Gandhi? Is it the bold leader, or the indulging mother, the loving wife, or just a lonely soul? How many different personas can one person carry within? As the images flash through your mind, there is just one answer—Indira was all these and more.