National Integration Day, also known as Quami Ekta Divas, is observed annually on November 19 across India to mark the birth anniversary of India’s First Female Prime Minister (PM), Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi, popularly known as Indira Gandhi.
- The purpose of this day is to inculcate in the minds of the citizens of India the value of unity in diversity in this socioculturally diverse nation.
National Integration Day 2022, November 19, 2022, marks the 105th birth anniversary of Indira Gandhi.
Note: “Qaumi Ekta Week” (National Integration Week) will be observed all over India, from November 19, 2022 – November 25, 2022.
Significance of National Integration & National Integration Day
i.National integration is the process of bringing people together and fostering universal acceptance, brotherhood, peace, and unity despite differences.
ii.India is diverse in terms of culture, many languages, religions, geographical diversity, and ethnicity; hence, it is essential that everyone respects all the different cultures and religions and works together to preserve the country’s unity.
iii.The National Integration Day promotes the concept of preserving unity and integrity among Indian citizens, regardless of caste, colour, language, religion, or societal status.
i.Indira Gandhi (Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi) was born on November 19, 1917, in Allahabad (officially Prayagraj) Uttar Pradesh, India.
- She was born to India’s first PM, Jawaharlal Nehru, and his wife, Kamala Nehru.
ii.Indira Gandhi was India’s third PM and the country’s only female PM till date.
- In addition, she was India’s second-longest-serving PM after her father, Jawaharlal Nehru (August 15, 1947 – May 27, 1964).
iii.She was a member of the Indian National Congress (INC) and was elected to the highest post as PM for the first time in 1966, following the untimely death of then-Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri in Tashkent, Russia.
- She served as India’s PM from January 1966 – March 1977, and then again from January 14, 1980, till her assassination by her bodyguards on October 31, 1984.
iv.She was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1971.
v.Her best-known works include “The Years of Challenge” (1966-1969), “The Years of Endeavour” (1969-1972), “India” (London) in 1975, and “Inde” (Lausanne) in 1979.
Important Events During Her Tenure
i.Indira Gandhi nationalized 14 major banks on July 19, 1969, which accounted for more than 80% of India’s bank deposits.
ii.India won the Indo-Pakistan war in 1971 during Indira Gandhi’s tenure.
iii.During her tenure, various treaties were signed, including the Indo-Soviet Treaty of Peace, Friendship, and Cooperation and the Shimla Pact.
iv.Rakesh Sharma, the first Astronaut Squadron Leader, has gone to space during her period.
v.Under her skillful leadership, the Indian Space Research and Peaceful Nuclear Development programmes have progressed.
i.On the recommendation of the Indira Gandhi-led Congress government, then-President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed declared a National Emergency in India on June 25, 1975, under Article 352 (National Emergency).
- This was India’s third declaration of a national emergency; the first two took place during the wars with China and Pakistan in 1962 and 1971, respectively.
ii.The Emergency lasted 21 months, from June 25, 1975 – March 21, 1977, and is still one of the most disputed chapters in modern Indian history.