Indira Gandhi

I returned from the day to read Katherine Frank’s biography of Indira Gandhi, the first female Prime Minister of India assassinated by her own bodyguards in 1984. The book left me feeling very depressed. She had a fairly rough ride with the Indian people, demonstrated by the fact that she served two separate terms as Prime Minister. She also had to deal with, amongst other things, the war with Pakistan in 1971 and the incident at the most sacred Sikh shrine, the Golden Temple, which led to her assassination by two of her vengeful Sikh bodyguards.

Politics is very important and someone has to do it, but really it can be a very depressing job. I couldn’t help comparing my positive thoughts whilst reading Hesse’s Siddhartha in the previous three or four days to my intense depression in reading about the politics of India in the 1970s and 1980s. Politics I suppose is the real world. Philosophy and religion are a welcome escape.