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Indira Priyadarshini was born on November 19 1917 she was the only child of Jawaharal Nehru and his wife Kamala in the city of Allahabad in Northern India The second part of her name Priyadarshini meansdear to behold In the Indian tradition theirs was a joint family headed by Indiras grandfather Motilal Nehru a man with a powerful personality and an enormous passion for life Allahabad was an upper class town and Motilal a self-made man was one of the most successful barristers in his time With success came wealth and the Nehru family lived in a sprawling whitewashed villa surrounded by lawns tennis courts and a swimming pool and attended by numerous servants Being the only child in this huge household Indira was pampered and was the center of her grandfathers attention Then when Indira was barely three the Indian freedom movement entered the Nehru house changing Indiras life and the course of Indian history Currimbhoy 25-26 Jawaharal Nehru had come into contact with Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi who became the leader of Indias freedom struggle Both Jawaharal and Motilal were drawn to Gandhi They believed in Gandhis nonviolent noncooperation The family also supported Gandhis policy of promoting domestic cottage industries by boycotting all foreign goodsJayakar 67-68 Motilals involvement with the Congress made his home the hub of the freedom movement It became the place where earnest khadi-clad men came and went at all hours of the day and night it became a place that rang with drafts declarations and debates Indira absorbed the tension and excitement of those days and became a quiet serious child fired by a sense of mission she did not quite understandCurrimbhoy 31 Even the games Indira played had to do with politics Her dolls were divided into freedom fighters who formed picket lines and British soldiers who clubbed them on the head and ragged them to off to jail Her aunt remembers her out on the porch
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