“I had had the good fortune to know about the life and teachings of Swami Vivekananda as well as about the activities of the Ramakrishna Mission. My parents and specially my mother were very close with the Ramakrishna Mission. And I must say that the teachings of Vivekananda had inspired all the members of the Nehru family both in their political activities and day-to-day lives.

Swamiji’s teachings, writings and speeches which appear on every page of his works, are indeed stimulant. Swamiji provides us courage, strength, and faith and teaches us how to be self- sufficient. These are the basic tenets of life which India needed most and which would be relevant for all time to come.

Swamiji has taught us that we are the inheritors of a glorious and sublime culture. He has at the same time shown us and analysed the root causes of our national malady. It was Swami Vivekananda who has given us the ways and means how to reconstruct a new India. Swamiji preached the message of universal brotherhood. And a single word which echoed and reached in all his speeches, was abhãþ i.e. fearlessness.”

Indira Gandhi (1917-1984)

Mrs Indira Gandhi was the first woman Prime Minister of Indian Republic. She was born in an illustrious Nehru family. She studied at Santiniketan in Bengal and then left for higher studies abroad. She returned to India after her studies at Oxford and then was involved in Indian politics. She toured extensively accompanying her father Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Mrs Indira Gandhi became the Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms from 1966 onwards. But she could not complete her fourth term from 1980 for her assassination in 1984. She proved her mettle as an able-bodied stateswoman during the 1965 Indo-Pak war. Nuclear weapons programme near the desert village of Pokhran was launched during her tenure in 1974. Mrs Indira Gandhi was awarded the Bhàrat Ratna in 1971.