Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews March 8, 2024
March 1, 2024
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
Indira Gandhi was the prime minister of India from 1966–1977, then
again from 1980–1984, a term that ended with her assassination.
Indira was the daughter of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime
minister, and the widow of Feroze Gandhi, an Indian journalist and
politician. Though Mahatma Gandhi was a family friend and political
ally, the two are not related.
In her first term, various political and economic reforms
made Indira Gandhi highly popular, as did an Indian victory in the
1971 conflict with Pakistan over the creation of an independent
Bangladeshi state. However, in 1971, Gandhi was also found guilty
of election fraud. Rather than face charges, Gandhi declared a State
of Emergency, tightening her hold over the government and ushering in
a period of drastically reduced civil liberties, as well as a severe crackdown
on political opposition. The emergency lasted nineteen months, after
which Gandhi—misjudging the extent of the population’s resentment—held
an open election and lost. She stepped down but was reelected to
office in 1980. Four years later, after a disastrous series of events
involving Sikh activists, Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her
Sikh bodyguards. Her son, Rajiv Gandhi, succeeded her and was also
assassinated while in office, in 1991. The Gandhi family, however,
continues to be a central force in Indian politics.
Long before Indira Gandhi enters Saleem’s story in a direct
fashion, vague references to “the Widow” hint at her eventual role
in the destruction of the midnight’s children. Her actual presence
in the story is brief, but it is nonetheless of great significance.
Throughout the novel, Saleem’s personal life constantly reflects
India’s political turmoil. Finally, with the arrival of Indira Gandhi
and the State of Emergency, Rushdie fuses the two narratives with
a single crisis. The reforms of the emergency, which included a
widespread campaign of forced sterilization, were widely seen as
massive abuses of government power and human rights. The nation
of India is metaphorically thrown into perpetual darkness just as
Saleem’s wife, Parvati-the-witch, is killed and the magicians’ ghetto
destroyed. By making Indira Gandhi’s campaign responsible for the
destruction of the fictional midnight’s children, Rushdie holds
her accountable for destroying the promise and hope of a new future
Ace your assignments with our guide to Midnight’s Children!