You found an uncle on one side and a nephew on the other, a cousin here and a cousin there. Besides it's still true today. I'll tell you something else. There was a time when even two ambassadors to Switzerland, the one from India and the one from Pakistan, were two blood brothers. Oh, the Partition imposed on us by the British was so unnatural!
The purpose of life is to believe, to hope, and to strive.
People tend to forget their duties but remember their rights.
I fall in love with anything I do and I always try to do it well.
I've never turned to anybody for advice and counsel. Even when I was a very small child, I had to stand on my feet because of the circumstances of those times, and somehow, the circumstances have remained more or less the same. I have to take my own decisions.
My fiancé, you see, belonged to another religion. He was a Parsi. And this was something nobody could stand -- all of India was against us. They wrote to Gandhi, to my fther, to me. Insults, death threats. Every day the postman arrived with an enormous sack and dumped the letters on the floor. We even stopped reading them; we let a couple of friends read them and tell us what was in them.
I don't waste time in flowery small talk, as people do in India.
Dacca is now the free capital of a free country.
In all societies that have applied a form of socialism, a certain degree of social economic equality has been achieved.
Our pride has grown in the last twenty-five years, though others don't understand it and underestimate it.
For me it's absolutely the same -- I treat one and the other in exactly the same way. As persons, that is, not as men and women. But, even here, you have to consider the fact that I've had a very special education, that I'm the daughter of a man like my father and a woman like my mother.
When it's impossible, it's better to stoop to compromise, without resisting and without complaining. People who complain are selfish.
Popularity is not a guarantee of quality.
To be liberated, woman must feel free to be herself, not in rivalry to man but in the context of her own capacity and her personality.
We always said that our struggle was not only against the British as representatives of colonialism, it was against all the evil that existed in India. The evil of the feudal system, the evil of the system based on caste, the evil of economic injustice.
Unfortunately even in India there are people who talk like that. And they're the same ones who say, 'We should never have accepted the existence of Pakistan. Now that it exists, it ought to be destroyed.' But these are only a few madmen who have no following among the masses.
My husband lived in Lucknow. My father lived in Delhi, of course. So I shuttled between Delhi and Lucknow and...naturally, if my husband needed me on days when I was in Delhi, I ran back to Lucknow. But if it was my father who needed me, on the days when I was in Lucknow. And...yes, my husband got angry. And he quarreled. We quarreled. We quarreled a lot. It's true.
I began to travel by myself, in Europe, when I was eight years old. At that age I was already on the move between India and Swizerland, Switzerland and France, France and England. Administering my own finances like an adult.
One day in 1965 Rajiv wrote me from London, where he was studying, and informed me, 'You're always asking me about girls, whether I have a special girl, and so forth. Well, I've met a special girl.' And when Rajiv returned to India, I asked him, 'Do you still think about her in the same way?' And he said yes. But she couldn't get married until she was twenty-one, and until she was sure she'd like to live in India. Sonia is almost completely an Indian by now, even though she doesn't always wear saris.
It is our duty to create a social milieu in which the young and the socially weak feel that the present and future belong to them.
No one wanted that marriage, no one. Even Mahatma Gandhi wasn't happy about it. As for my father...it's not true that he opposed it, as people say, but he wasn't eager for it. I suppose because the fathers of only daughters would prefer to see them get married as late as possible.
I have lived a long life, and I am proud that I spend the whole of my life in the service of my people. I am only proud of this and nothing else. I shall continue to serve until my last breath, and when I die, I can say, that every drop of my blood will invigorate India and strengthen it.
I had many dolls. And you know how I played with them? By performing insurrections, assemblies, scenes of arrest. My dolls were almost never babies to be nursed but men and women who attacked barracks and ended up in prison.
You must also understand us -- always undervalued, underestimated, not believed. Even when we believed, you didn't believe us. You said, 'How is it possible to fight without violence?' But without violence we obtained freedom.
Peace we want because there is another war to fight against poverty, disease and ignorance.
Have a bias toward action -- let's see something happen now. You can break that big plan into small steps and take the first step right away.
One must not be afraid of being hurt. The world is full of all kinds of hurts and it is only by facing them that we can become strong and hardy.
Politics is the art of acquiring, holding, and wielding power.
It is legitimate to have one's own point of view and political philosophy. But there are people who make anger, rather than a deeply held belief, the basis of their actions. They do not seem to mind harming society as a whole in the pursuit of their immediate objective. No society can survive if it yields to the demands of frenzy, whether of the few or the many.
The meek may one day inherit the earth, but not the headlines.
There are grave misgivings that the discussion on ecology may be designed to distract attention from the problems of war and poverty.
I was happy to be with my parents. I didn't see very much of them, so I was very happy when my father was there and out of jail.
The civil servant is primarily the master of the short-term solution.
When I'm not governing my country any more, I'll go back to taking care of children. Or else I'll start studying anthropology -- it's a science that's always interested me very much, also in relation to the problem of poverty. Or else I'll go back to studying history -- at Oxford I took my degree in history. Or else...I don't know, I'm fascinated by the tribal communities. I might busy myself with them.
I don't think my father was my mentor.
You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.
The civil servant is primarily the master of the short-term solution.
Rebels and non-conformists are often the pioneers and designers of change.
I have already reached out to the janata, and I am only trying to acquaint myself with people's problems.
A nation' s strength ultimately consists in what it can do on its own, and not in what it can borrow from others.
For me the only point that has remained unchanged through the years is that in India there is still so much poverty.
I think I'm cold, indeed icy, hard. Then there's another reason, one that goes with my frankness: I don't put on act.
Little by little I changed my mind, and when I was about eighteen, I began to consider the possibility of getting married. Not to have a husband, but to have children.
Forgiveness is a virtue of the brave.
The word 'when' is so important for a people, for an individual! If an individual thinks he won't do it, he'll never do it. Even if he's highly intelligent, even if he has countless talents.
As I always say, I do not wish you an easy time, but I wish you that whatever difficulty you may have, you will overcome it.
Happiness is a state of mind, you know. I don't think you are permanently happy. One is happy about certain things and not so happy about others.
What does nonalignment mean? It means we don't belong to any military bloc and that we reserve the right to be friends with any country, independently of the influence of any country. All this has remained unchanged after the signing of the Indo-Soviet treaty, and others can say or think what they like -- our policy won't change because of the Soviet Union.
I assure you we'll go on making our decisions without worrying whether it pleases or displeases the Soviet Union, China, America, France, or anyone else.
There is not love where there is no will.
You don't help a country by supporting a military regime that denies any sign of democracy, and what defeated Pakistan was its military regime.
A lot of mythology arose after Mahatma Gandhi death. But the fact remains that he was an exceptional man, terribly intelligent, with tremendous intuition for people, and a great instinct for what was right.
Ability is not always gauged by examination.
There are millions of people in the world but most of them just drift along, afraid of death and even more afraid of life.
Do you know that, until recently, poor people brought children into the world for the sole purpose of making use of them? But how can you change, by force or all of a sudden, an age-old habit? The only way is to plan births, by one means or another.
Mankind will endure when the world appreciates the logic of diversity.
Whether when I was a child and fought the British in the Monkey brigade, or when I was a girl and wanted to have children, or when I was a woman and devoted myself to my father, making my husband angry. Each time I stayed involved all the way in my decision, and took the consequences. Even if I was fighting for things that didn't concern India.
Nothing that is worthwhile is ever easy.
I grew up like a boy, also because most of the children who came to our house were boys.
I was a perfect housewife. Being a mother has always been the job I liked best. Absolutely.
If I die a violent death, as some fear and a few are plotting, I know that the violence will be in the thought and the action of the assassins, not in my dying.
Not only my parents but the whole family was involved in the resistance -- my grandfather and grandmother, my uncles and aunts, my cousings of both sexes. So ever so often the police came and took them away, indiscriminately. Well, the fact that they arrested both my father and mother, both my grandfather and grandmother, both an uncle and an aunt, made me accustomed to looking on men and women with the same eyes, on an absolute plane of equality.
Muslim women had to go out in purdah, that heavy sheet that covers even the eyes. Hindu women had to go out in the doli, a kind of closed sedan chair like a catafalque. My mother always told me about these things with bitterness and rage.
My son had nothing to do with policy or decision making, nor did I discuss the elections or any other matter with him.
Defeats are always pitiful. Victories are always last resources.
The struggle for independence here has been conducted in equal measure by men and by women. And when we got our independence, no one forgot that. In the Western world, on the other hand, nothing of the kind has ever happened -- women have participated, yes, but revolutions have always been made by men alone.
I said, I'll put on weight. And I started having massages, taking cod-liver oil, and eating twice as much. But I didn't even gain an ounce. I'd made up my mind that on the day the engagement was announced I'd be fatter, and I didn't gain an ounce. Then I went to Mussoorie, which is a health resort, and I ignored the doctors' instructions; I invented my own regime and gained weight. Just the opposite of what I'd like now. Now I have the problem of keeping slim. Still I manage. I don't know if you realize I'm a determined woman.
My father cared very much about courage, physical courage as well. He despised those who didn't have it. But he never said to me, 'I want you to be courageous.' He just smiled with pride every time I did something difficult or won a race with the boys.
On the one hand, the rich look askance at our continuing poverty -- on the other, they warn us against their own methods.
There are only moments of happiness -- from contentment to ecstacy.
Still, in international matters, the treaty changes nothing. That is, it doesn't prevent us from being friends with other countries, which indeed we are.
If we offer something to Bangladesh, it's obvious that Bangladesh is offering something to us. And why shouldn't Bangladesh be able to keep its promises? Economically it's full of resources and can stand on its feet. Politically it seems to me led by trained people. The refugees who took shelter here are going home.
In the Western world, women have no other choice. In India, no. And I'll explain the reason. It's a reason that also has to do with my own case. In India women have never been a hostile competition with men -- even in the most distant past, every time a woman emerged as a leader, perhaps as a queen, the people accepted her. As something normal and not exceptional.
We have to prove to the disinherited majority of the world that ecology and conservation will not work against their interest but will bring an improvement in their lives.
I think basically I'm lazy, but I have a housewife's mentality when I go about my job.
We do not wish to impoverish the environment any further, and yet we cannot for a moment forget the grim poverty of large numbers of people. Are not poverty and need the greatest polluters?
To bear many children is considered not only a religious blessing but also an investment. The greater their number, some Indians reason, the more alms they can beg.
In today's world no country can be absolutely independent of another. It is a world of interdependence.
I examine the consequences later, when a new situation arises and I then face the new situation. And that's it.
One must beware of this ministers who can do nothing without money and those who want to do everything with money.
I'm certainly not a workaholic.
People with clenched fists can not shake hands.
The greatest of all contraceptives is affluence.
Winning or losing of the election is less important than strengthening the country.
At no point, at a very important point: that of having convinced the Indians that they can do things.
Poverty assumes so many aspects here in India. There aren't only the poor that you see in the cities, there are the poor among the tribes, the poor who live in the forest, the poor who live on the mountains. Should we ignore them as long as the poor in the cities are better off? And better off with reference to what? To what people wanted ten years ago? Then it seemed like so much. Today it's no longer so much.
The power to question is the basis of all human progress.
This is why we feel that democracy's important: because democracy allows you to have small explosions and therefore avoid the bigger explosions.
I went back into politics only when it was clear that things weren't going as they should have in my party. I was always arguing, I argued with everyone -- with my father, with the leaders I had known since I was a child...and one day, it was in 1955, one of them exclaimed, 'You do nothing but criticize! If you think you can correct things, correct them. Go ahead, why don't you try?' Well, I could never resist a challenge, so I tried.
I certainly won't have an empty life!
It's a law of life -- check it and you'll see it holds true in every situation of life.
There exists no politician in India daring enough to attempt to explain to the masses that cows can be eaten.
Wearing khadi was a badge of honour. It was something one was proud to do.
If you only knew, for instance, how much I enjoy being a grandmother! Do you know I'm twice a grandmother? Rajiv and Sonia have had a boy and a girl.
You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.
As for the job of prime minister, I like it, yes. But no more than I've liked other work that I've done as an adult.
The India I want, I'll never tire of repeating, is a more just and less poor India, one entirely free of foreign influences. If I thought the country was already marching toward these objectives, I'd give up politics immediately and retire as prime minister.
The environmental problems of developing countries are not the side effects of excessive industrialisation but reflect the inadequacy of development.
However, the treaty exists and it puts us in a different position toward the Soviet Union than the one we have toward other countries. Yes, the treaty exists. Nor does it exist on only one side. Look how w3e're situated geographically and you'll see that India is very important for the Soviet Union.
I am not a person to be pressured -- by anybody or any nation.
Naturally, if the Americans had fired a shot, if the Seventh Fleet had done something more than sit there in the Bay of Bengal...yes, the Third World War would have exploded. But, in all honesty, not even that fear occurred to me.
We would rather starve than sell our national honor.
I don't care if I remain prime minister. I'm only interested in doing a good job as long as I'm capable and for as long as I don't get tired.
I have certain objectives. They're the same objectives my father had to give people a higher standard of living, to do away with the cancer of poverty, to eliminate the consequences of economic backwardness.
The sterilization of men is one method of birth control. The surest, most radical method. To you it seems dreadful. To me it seems that, properly applied, it's by no means dreadful.
Until the day she died, my mother continued to fight for the rights of women. She joined all the women's movements of the time; she stirred up a lot of revolts. She was a great woman, a great figure. Women today would like her immensely.
I want to succeed. And I want to succeed in the best way possible, without caring whether people call my actions leftist or rightist.