Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit: Lesser known facts about Jawaharlal Nehru's younger sister

Published: Aug 18, 2019, 09:29 IST | mid-day online correspondent

On Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit's birth anniversary, here are some lesser-known facts about her

Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit: Lesser known facts about Jawaharlal Nehru's younger sister
Indira Gandhi And Vijay Laxmi Pandit in Funeral of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Pic/Twitter/indianhistorypics

In the year 1937 to 1939, when India was struggling for its independence, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, Jawaharlal Nehru's younger sister contributed to the freedom struggle by becoming the first woman to hold a cabinet position of local self-government and public health in pre-independent India. According to India Today, she is a freedom fighter, politician and a diplomat, who was born on August 18 day.

Here are some lesser-known facts about Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit

  • Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit was born as Swarup Kumari Nehru in Allahabad on August 18, 1900, and later was known as one of the world’s leading women in the 20th century. She born to Motilal Nehru and is the younger sister of Jawaharlal Nehru. After receiving private education in India and abroad in 1921, she got married to Ranjit Sitaram Pandit and changed her name.
  • In the years 1932-1933, 1940, and 1942-1943, she was arrested thrice by the British in connection with civil disobedience movements.
  • Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit in 1937, was elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly of the United Provinces, however, in 1939, she resigned from office to protest against British in World War 2.
  • Between 1941 and 1943, she was also the President of the All-India Women’s Conference.
  • Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit became the first woman to be elected president of the UN General Assembly in 1953, and she headed the eighth session.
  • From 1962 to 1964, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit served as a governor of the state of Maharashtra after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru. from 1964 till 1968, she then became a member of the Indian Lok Sabha.
  • She left politics in the late 1960s due to personal reasons, but in 1970s her commitment brought her back by protesting against the Emergency rule (1975) imposed by her niece, Indira Gandhi.
  • In 1978, Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit served as India’s representative to the United Nations Human Rights Commission
  • Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit was also a writer and her work includes, 'So I Became a Minister' (1939) and 'Prison Days' (1946).
  • She died on December 1, 1990, in Dehra Dun

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