On October 28, 1984, Indira Gandhi was assassinated. Some three million people attended the funeral of the woman who had served four terms as Prime minister, the second in history to have been democratically elected (1966). National mourning for 12 days was marked by very deadly rioting.
Daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira and Mohandas (‘Mahatma’) Gandhi were not related in any way. Indira governed from 1966-1977, losing office after two years of ruling under a state of emergency. She had called for this initially when widespread unrest erupted because a court convicted her liberal centre-left National Congress Party of electoral corruption. Though she led it back into power in 1980, her political performance was often controversial. These years saw constant and nationally divisive tension between Hindus and Sikhs. In 1984, two Sikh bodyguards shot her.