First appointed prime minister in 1966, Gandhi gained enormous popularity for introducing successful programs that transformed India into a country self-sufficient in food grains—an achievement known as the Green Revolution which led to India’s self-sufficiency in food grain production.
In 1971, she threw her support behind the Bengali movement to separate East from West Pakistan, providing refuge for the ten million Pakistani civilians who fled to India in order to escape the marauding Pakistan army and eventually offering troops and arms. India’s decisive victory over Pakistan in December led to the creation of Bangladesh.
After serving three terms, Gandhi was voted out of office for her increasingly authoritarian policies, including a 21-month state of emergency in which Indians’ constitutional rights were restricted. In 1980, however, she was reelected to a fourth term. Following a deadly confrontation at the Sikh’s holiest temple in Punjab four years later, Gandhi was assassinated by two of her bodyguards on October 31, 1984, ushering her son Rajiv into power and igniting extensive anti-Sikh riots.
In 1999, Indira was named "Woman of the Millennium" in a poll organised by the BBC.