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Who is Indira Gandhi to You?

By Camila and Yubin

A Positive or Negative Leader?

The excited 7th graders couldn’t keep quiet as they entered through the security gates and into the museum. “Okay, my humanities class line up here!” yelled Mrs. Al Moreno through the loud chattering.

“I’m so excited yet nervous to be in this important place,” said Ms. Vosk in her typical bubbly and energetic manner.

“Students! Keep quiet we are about to enter a very symbolic place,” Mr. Taub reminded us.

Last Friday, the entire 7th grade went on a field trip to the Indira Gandhi Museum during ET. The 7th graders had spent more than a semester learning about India’s first female prime minister and the things she did for the country.  Many people had mixed opinions about her and the ways they viewed her as a resistor. Lina does think that Ms. Gandhi did represent resistance in India, “Although she did some bad things for India, she still did a lot of good for the country.”

However, others disagree. “She resisted, but I don’t look up to her,” said Scottie. Tim added, “No, because she did a lot of stuff that might not be good. She did resist, but not in a good way.”

Photo Credit: Camila Sotomayor

Some of the decisions that she made changed India completely around, such as when she gave permission to the Indian Army to raid the Golden Temple; this attack was also known as Operation Blue Star. Operation Blue Star was planned to get rid of Bhindranwale and his followers. Bhindranwale was the Sikh leader of his young followers who terrorized villagers and attacked the police. Although during Operation Blue Star, Bhindranwale and 42 of his followers were found dead in the temple, there were much more casualties than predicted. This led to criticism of Indira and also became one of the main causes of her assassination.

“Although she did some bad things for India, she still did a lot of good for the country.” – Lina

Even in the 7th grade, students see Indira in many different perspectives, such as Lina who said, “I don’t agree with Operation Blue Star because I think that it’s unfair to walk into a holy place and attack people.” “I don’t agree with Operation Blue Star,” added Rotem. Still, some students defend her. “I agree with her decision because there was a secret organization of Sikhs storing weapons in a temple illegally, and that’s terrorism,” Tim stated.

Although Indira Gandhi was sometimes controversial, her decisions also had a positive influence on the country. The field trip to the Indira Gandhi Museum was a great way to expand our thinking about Indira and may have changed our perspectives upon her. The museum showed her commitment to the country and the countless struggles she had to overcome to accomplish her goal of making India a better place.

Now the question is, What do YOU think about Indira Gandhi? Do you think she is a hero or not?

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