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Indira Gandhi: Personality, Political Power and Party Politics

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Marxists depict Indira Gandhi as a representative of the capitalist class who used populist rhetoric to advance the interests of the ruling elites. While following a psycho-analytical approach, the non-Marxist group attributes Indira Gandhi's drive for power to her early adolescent experience. A realistic assessment is possible by stressing the interaction between personality and social milieu. Decline of middle class idealism, ascendance of amoral politics and the rise of new social groups helped Indira Gandhi to personalize political power through the use of different ideological symbols and slogans. In this process she wrecked the Congress party, repudiated the longstanding practice of inter-party democracy and drove the opposition parties and regional leaders to adopt confrontationist politics leaving behind a fractured polity.

Affiliations: 1: The University of Akron, Akron, U.S.A.


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