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Vijaya Pandit
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Diplomat
    (August 18, 1900-December 1, 1990)
    Born in Allahabad (Uttar Pradesh), India
    Birth name was Vijaya Lakshmi Nehru
    Sister of Jawaharlal Nehru
    Married Ranjit Sitaram Pandit (1921)
    Aunt of Indira Gandhi; grand-aunt of Rajiv Gandhi
    Ambassador to the Soviet Union (1947-49)
    Ambassador to the United States (1949–52)
    President of the United Nations General Assembly (1953)
    High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom (1954–61) and Spain (1961-64)
    Governor of Maharashtra (1962–64)
    Author of 'The Evolution of India' (1958) and 'The Scope of Happiness: A Personal Memoir' (1979)
    Her career in diplomacy was predicated on nepotism (her brother appointed her to key posts).
    Although more tacitly moderate than her brother, she was a socialist and encouraged cooperation with the Soviet Union.
    She was rumored to have several facelifts during her career.
    Her rival, Dr. Ram Lohia, joked about th plastic surgery rumors, 'Do not be captivated by her outward beauty; inside she is pure venom!'
    When British reporters asked her about rumors that her brother had an affair with the Earl Mountbatten's wife, Edwina, she coyly answered 'I certainly hope so!'
    She held public estrangement from her niece and her cabinet, after Indira became Prime Minister (although sources claimed that the tension between them started over Pandit's open disdain for Indira's mother, Kamala, who was of middle class origins when she married into the Nehru family).
    The rift between the two intensified when she backed a campaign challenging Indira for the Prime Minister's seat, temporarily ousting her for nearly three years.
    Many identify her by her full name to avoid confusion with a popular Bollywood star/playback-singer (others settle on her old nickname, 'Jaya').
    She was christened Swarup Kumari, which translates to 'beautiful princess.'
    Mahatma Gandhi attended her wedding.
    She was jailed three times by the British government for her activities with the 'Quit India' movement.
    She was a chief organizer of the Alle-India Women Conference, and its associated boycott of British goods (the success of which got her deemed a threat by the Colonial government).
    She was the first Indian woman to hold a cabinet post.
    She was appointed as India's representative to the UN Human Rights Commission (1979).
    She became the first woman to serve as President of the United Nations General Assembly.
    President Ramaswami Venkataraman described her as a 'luminous strand in the tapestry of India's freedom struggle.'
    She criticized her niece's 21-month 'state of emergency,' saying: 'If there are no civil liberties and no dissent, then where is the democracy we fought for? The essence of democracy has always been the right to dissent... one can't govern simply by clapping into jail everyone who disagrees.'
    She reconciled with Indira's son, Rajiv, and the rest of her family, following her 1984 assassination.
    Her diplomacy as High Commissioner to London is credited with consolidating the former Indian colony's new status as an equal foreign state, after years of enmity with Great Britain.

Credit: BoyWiththeGreenHair


    In 2017, Out of 24 Votes: 54.17% Annoying
 
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