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National Integration Day on November 19 is also known as Quami Ekta Divas and is an Indian celebration that commemorates the birthday of the country’s first-ever female Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. Schools, colleges, and universities across India remember her leadership and the ways in which she changed the country. The day’s underlying message is one of unity and the importance of integration, regardless of race or religion.
History of National Integration Day
National Integration Day is a day for promoting peace, unity, and integration between all of the different segments of society living in India. Indira Gandhi’s birthday was chosen as a day to celebrate as she is seen as somebody who embodies the good intentions of the holiday.
Gandhi became India’s first female Prime Minister in 1966 and stayed in the role for 11 years. She played a major role in strengthening democratic structure and tradition in the country. She won the war with Pakistan in 1971 and signed a subsequent peace treaty.
After losing her battle for reelection in 1977 she was ousted from her role as Prime Minister, only to be voted back in again in 1980. Gandhi was assassinated in 1984 by two of her own bodyguards at her home in New Delhi.
National Integration Day was created in her honor as a way to encourage all Indians to integrate, regardless of race or religion.
National Integration Day timeline
Indira Gandhi was born Indira Nehru in Allahabad. Her father, Jawaharlal Nehru, went on to become the first Prime Minister of India.
Indira married Feroze Gandhi and became Indira Gandhi
Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri dies and Gandhi is elected leader by the Congress legislative party, making her India’s first-ever female Prime Minister.
Gandhi calls an election but loses and Morarji Ranchhodji Desai becomes prime minister.
Gandhi wins reelection by an overwhelming majority and returns to her role as prime minister of India.
Gandhi is assassinated at her home in New Delhi by two Sikh bodyguards.
National Integration Day FAQs
What is the meaning of National Integration Day?
National Integration Day is all about celebrating unity and the bond and togetherness between people, regardless of their race or religion.
What is an integration camp?
Integration camps have been prominent in India for quite a while, it’s where people are brought together from different cultures with the aim of building unity and peace.
Who is Indira Gandhi?
Indira Gandhi was India’s first female Prime Minister, she led the country between 1966 and 1977 and then again from 1980 until her assasination in 1984.
How To Celebrate National Integration Day
Attend an integration program
Each year Indians conduct a variety of exchange programs aimed at encouraging integration. No matter where you are in the world, you can see what is happening in your local area and do the same.
Learn about a different culture
The whole philosophy behind National Integration Day is to respect other cultures, so why not spend the day learning more about a culture that you know very little about?
Learn more about Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi lived a phenomenal life. She was the first (and to this date only) female Prime Minister in India and was eventually assassinated at her own home. Do some research and learn more about her achievements.
Why We Love National Integration Day
It promotes unity
We’re all different from one another in some way, but there’s no reason we can’t get along. National Integration Day recognizes this and promotes a shared peace and love that is healthy for the world and its inhabitants.
It respects different cultures.
Any holiday that understands we all come from different cultures and respects that fact is a holiday worth observing in our book!
It honors a strong female leader
When it comes to Presidents or Prime Ministers the pool of female leaders from throughout history is still somewhat despairingly empty. For breaking that mold alone, Gandhi deserves recognition.
National Integration Day dates