The real dictator
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anjay Gandhi, the younger son of Indira Gandhi, will be known in Indian history for forcibly sterilising men to allegedly control population growth.
He was a real autocrat and some believe, the brain behind the imposition of Emergency in 1975 -- remembered as the darkest period in Indian democracy.
At he young age of 23 and without having any constitutional authority, he was the one who called the shots in his mother's government.
He was 'feared and hated' by many in Indira's cabinet.
During the Emergency, he was the one who took ruthless decisions like cutting power supply to media houses and shutting down courts.
Sanjay was the 'rent-a-crowd' man for Indira to organise rallies and beat up opposition leaders and protesting students. He had spread a reign of terror everywhere.
Sanjay was responsible for helping Sikh militants, including Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, in the initial years of militancy. The move later backfired and took the life of Indira herself, not to say the lives and properties of hundreds of ordinary people.
After getting hold of the government and the party, Sanjay became the key man in the Youth Congress making it even more powerful than the parent Congress party.
According to historian Bipan Chandra, Youth Congress represented the lumpenisation of Indian politics. It was without any ideology and its members were largely non-political, unemployed youth, young hoodlums and ruffians who worked as Sanjay's henchmen.
Sanjay, however, presented a different face. In his 5-point programme, he wanted to abolish dowry, implement family planning and protect the environment. To this, observers say: "Everything Sanjay said was right. And everything that he did turned out to be wrong."
The excesses committed during the Emergency were mainly due to Sanjay. He undertook large-scale slum demolition in Delhi making hundreds of poor people homeless.
Though he was confident of his prime minister mother, differences between the duo took place when he married Maneka who was then a model and is now an environmentalist.
Sanjay was killed on June 23, 1980, mysteriously when a private plane he was flying crashed.
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