Was Indira Gandhi involved in the death of Sanjay Gandhi?

Was Indira Gandhi involved in the death of Sanjay Gandhi?

Sanjay Gandhi's Assassination: Did His Own Mother Orchestrate It?

Sanjay Gandhi was the younger son of Indira Gandhi and Feroze Gandhi, and a prominent politician in India. He was widely expected to succeed his mother as the leader of the Indian National Congress and the Prime Minister of India, but his life was cut short by a plane crash on June 23, 1980. He was only 33 years old.

Sanjay Gandhi was a controversial figure who played a key role during the Emergency (1975-1977), when his mother suspended civil liberties and ruled by decree. He was accused of being authoritarian, corrupt and ruthless, and of implementing policies such as forced sterilization, slum demolition and media censorship that violated human rights and caused public resentment.

He also faced several legal cases and investigations after the Emergency, when the Janata Party came to power and defeated his mother's party in the 1977 general election. He was charged with fraud, corruption, conspiracy and misuse of power in relation to his Maruti Limited car project, which was allegedly a scam to siphon off public funds.

However, he made a political comeback in the 1980 general election, when his mother returned to power with a landslide victory. He won the Amethi constituency in Uttar Pradesh by a huge margin and became a member of parliament. He was also seen as the de facto second-in-command of his mother's government and party, and as her heir apparent.

But his rise to power was abruptly halted by his death in a plane crash near Safdarjung Airport in New Delhi. He was flying a new aircraft of the Delhi Flying Club and while performing an aerobatic manoeuvre over his office, he lost control and crashed. He died instantly from head injury.

His death shocked the nation and left a void in the Indian political scene. His mother and his elder brother Rajiv Gandhi, who was not interested in politics, were devastated by his loss. His wife Maneka Gandhi and his son Varun Gandhi, who later joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, were also grief-stricken.

But his death also raised many questions and suspicions. Was it an accident or a murder? Who was behind it and what was the motive? Did his own mother orchestrate it to eliminate him as a rival or a threat?

These are some of the conspiracy theories that have been circulating since his death:

He was killed by the CIA or the KGB: Some believe that Sanjay Gandhi was assassinated by foreign intelligence agencies, such as the CIA or the KGB, who wanted to destabilize India and prevent him from becoming the next Prime Minister. They allege that the plane he was flying was sabotaged or shot down by agents or mercenaries hired by these agencies.

He was killed by his political enemies: Some believe that Sanjay Gandhi was assassinated by his political enemies, who feared his growing influence and popularity and wanted to stop him from becoming the next Prime Minister. They allege that the plane he was flying was sabotaged or shot down by rivals or opponents within or outside his party, such as the Janata Party, the RSS, the Sikh separatists, the Naxalites, or even some Congress leaders.

He was killed by his own mother: Some believe that Sanjay Gandhi was assassinated by his own mother, who saw him as a liability and a danger to her own power and reputation. They allege that Indira Gandhi was unhappy with his authoritarian and corrupt style of functioning, his involvement in scandals and controversies, and his interference in her government and party affairs. They also allege that she was jealous of his popularity and charisma, and felt threatened by his ambition and dominance. They claim that she orchestrated his death by arranging for the plane he was flying to be sabotaged or shot down by her loyalists or associates.

These conspiracy theories have not been proven or verified by any credible evidence or investigation. They are based on speculation, hearsay, rumor and bias. They also ignore the fact that Sanjay Gandhi had faced three previous assassination attempts in his life, one of which involved someone firing a high-powered rifle at him when he was visiting Uttar Pradesh in 1976. These attempts indicate that he had many enemies who wanted him dead, and that he was living under constant threat.

Sanjay Gandhi's death remains a mystery and a tragedy that has haunted Indian politics and history. He was a controversial and influential figure who left a lasting impact on the nation, for better or for worse. He was also a son, a brother, a husband and a father who died too young and too soon. His legacy and his assassination will continue to be debated and discussed for years to come.

Sanjay Gandhi’s Assassination: Did His Own Mother Orchestrate It?

The Impact of His Death

Sanjay Gandhi’s death had a profound impact on Indian politics and society. It changed the course of history and the fate of many individuals and groups.

Indira Gandhi: Sanjay Gandhi’s death was a huge blow to Indira Gandhi, who was emotionally shattered and politically weakened by his loss. She lost her trusted confidant and advisor, her most loyal and powerful supporter, and her chosen successor. She also faced a leadership crisis in her party and government, as she had to deal with the factionalism and infighting among her followers and rivals. She had to rely on her elder son Rajiv Gandhi, who was reluctant to join politics, to fill the vacuum left by Sanjay. She also had to face the wrath and resentment of Sanjay’s widow Maneka Gandhi, who blamed her for his death and accused her of neglecting him. Indira Gandhi never fully recovered from Sanjay’s death, and was assassinated by her own bodyguards four years later, in 1984.

Rajiv Gandhi: Sanjay Gandhi’s death was a turning point for Rajiv Gandhi, who was forced to enter politics and take up his brother’s mantle. He was initially reluctant and inexperienced, but gradually learned the ropes and became his mother’s political heir and successor. He became the general secretary of the Congress party in 1981, and the Prime Minister of India in 1984, after his mother’s assassination. He led his party to a massive victory in the 1984 general election, riding on a sympathy wave and a promise of change. He tried to modernize India and improve its relations with the world, but also faced many challenges and controversies, such as the Bofors scandal, the Shah Bano case, the anti-Sikh riots, the Sri Lankan civil war, and the rise of communalism and separatism. He was assassinated by a suicide bomber in 1991, while campaigning for the general election.

Maneka Gandhi: Sanjay Gandhi’s death was a bitter and painful experience for Maneka Gandhi, who was widowed at the age of 23 and left with a three-month-old son. She blamed Indira Gandhi for his death and accused her of neglecting him and his interests. She also claimed that she was the rightful heir of Sanjay’s legacy and political base, and demanded a prominent role in the Congress party and government. She had a strained and hostile relationship with Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, who sidelined and expelled her from the party and the family. She formed her own political party, the Sanjay Vichar Manch, in 1982, and later joined the Janata Dal and the Bharatiya Janata Party. She became a vocal critic and opponent of the Congress party and the Nehru-Gandhi family, and championed the causes of animal rights, environmentalism, women’s empowerment, and rural development. She became a member of parliament several times, and a minister in various governments.

Varun Gandhi: Sanjay Gandhi’s death was a traumatic and tragic event for Varun Gandhi, who was only three months old when his father died. He grew up under the shadow of his father’s death and his mother’s estrangement from his grandmother and uncle. He was influenced by his mother’s political views and ideology, and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2004. He became a member of parliament from Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh in 2009, and from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh in 2014 and 2019. He also became a national general secretary of the BJP in 2012. He has been involved in several controversies and cases, such as making inflammatory speeches, violating the model code of conduct, inciting communal hatred, and misusing his official position.

The Congress Party: Sanjay Gandhi’s death was a major setback for the Congress party, which lost its most dynamic and charismatic leader and its future prime minister. It also lost its unity and cohesion, as it faced a leadership crisis and a power struggle among its various factions and leaders. It became dependent on Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, who tried to hold the party together and revive its fortunes, but also faced many challenges and difficulties. It also faced a strong opposition from the Janata Party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, and other regional parties, who challenged its dominance and popularity. It also faced a decline in its ideology and values, as it became more pragmatic and opportunistic, and less secular and inclusive.

The Indian Society: Sanjay Gandhi’s death was a significant event for the Indian society, which witnessed the rise and fall of a controversial and influential figure who shaped the nation’s destiny. It also witnessed the end of an era and the beginning of a new one, as it experienced the changes and challenges brought by his death and its aftermath. It also witnessed the emergence and evolution of new issues and trends, such as democracy and dictatorship, development and corruption, secularism and communalism, nationalism and regionalism, modernity and tradition, and globalization and localization. It also witnessed the growth and diversification of the media, the civil society, the judiciary, the bureaucracy, and the public opinion.


(1) Sanjay Gandhi - Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanjay_Gandhi.

(2) Sanjay Gandhi, Indira's successor was killed in plain crash ... - Oneindia. https://www.oneindia.com/india/sanjay-gandhi-indiras-successor-was-killed-in-plain-crash-on-this-day-3276940.html.

(3) What was the conspiracy behind Sanjay Gandhi’s death?. https://conspiracytheories.in/what-was-the-conspiracy-behind-sanjay-gandhis-death/.

(4) Three attempts were made to kill Sanjay Gandhi before he died ... - OpIndia. https://www.opindia.com/2021/06/sanjay-gandhi-death-anniversary-assassination-attempts/.

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