Memories of assassination


It has been 25 years since Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards.

The impact on Indian history is undeniable: a nation mourned its beloved daughter and simultaneously displayed its ugliest side for the rest of the world to see.
Rioting in New Delhi led to the killings of innocent Sikhs, destroying families, communities and any semblance of national unity in the country’s darkest days. If you have never seen the film, “Ammu, ” do so.
A quarter century ago, I was a young reporter just learning the business. I penned my emotions about the assassination in a piece that ran in “The Florida Flambeau,” an independent, student-run newspaper that, sadly, is no longer around.
It was a first-person story. I recalled seeing Indira’s black-and-white photo in the stairwell of the Catholic convent school I attended as a 2nd grader. The photo occupied the entire wall of the landing. Every morning I drew hope from it. No matter what you thought of Indira, the politician, she certainly served as inspiration to little brown girls in India.
It was ironic, then, that her death helped launch my career in journalism.
That is what I will think of as I read all the anniversary stories in the next couple of days. And how history might have unfolded differently had she lived.
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