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Indira Gandhi had a highly individual political style and made unorthodox uses of power.Her leadership marked a drastic break with the democratic tradition and functioning of the Congress party under her father, Jawaharlal Nehru. During her regime the political landscape of India underwent profound changes which climaxed in the Emergency of 1975-77 and her promotion of her son Sanjay as her successor.
Nayantara Sahgal's personal knowledge of her cousin, together with the letters exchanged between Nehru and her mother, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, make for an unusually penetrating political and psychological portrait