Old Delhi and Indira Gandhi memorial

Below is the Jama Masjid, the Mughal-era mosque located in the heart of Old Delhi, which is also called Shahjahanabad. It was built in the middle of the 17th century when Shahjahan was constructing the Mughal capital in Delhi. Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in India.

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Two snapshots of Old Delhi below. It is extremely congested. If you ever visit, make sure to stop by Karim’s, next to Jama Masjid. This restaurant was run for centuries during the Mughal era, before the family owners were expelled when the Mughal dynasty was ended by the British in 1857. They returned in 1911 and have maintained the restaurant ever since.

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Below are photos from Indira Gandhi’s house and memorial. Indira lived here during her prime ministership (1966-1977 and 1980-1984). The museum covers the events of her childhood and prime ministership, skating over the darker aspects of her legacy such as the suspension of India’s democracy during the Emergency from 1975-1977, and Operation Blue Star, a ham-handed raid on a Punjabi insurgency in the Harmandir Sahib of Amritsar in 1984. As you can see from the crowds below, she remains India’s most popular politician. Indira was assassinated outside her house by Sikh bodyguards several months after she ordered Operation Blue Star.

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Indira crowds

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The sari Indira Gandhi was wearing when she was assassinated on October 31, 1984

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The spot where Indira Gandhi was assassinated

A section of the museum is dedicated to Rajiv Gandhi as well. Indira’s younger son Sanjay was her closest political adviser and expected to succeed her. When Sanjay died in a plane crash in 1980, Rajiv was pulled into politics.

He immediately succeeded his mother as Prime Minister in 1984, and led the country until 1989. When campaigning for elections in 1991, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a suicide bomber from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, several years after he had sent an Indian peace keeping force to Sri Lanka.

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The clothes Rajiv Gandhi was wearing when he was assassinated on May 21, 1991

Rajiv’s wife Sonia Gandhi is now the President of the Indian National Congress. Her son Rahul is the Vice President, and led the Congress campaign during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

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