Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Vijaya Lakshimi Pandit

Vijaya Lakshimi Pandit was born as Swarup Kumari Nehru in Allahabad, India, on August 8, 1900. She was the daughter of a nationalist leader and the sister of the first independent India prime minister. By 1921, Swarup had already completed her private education abroad, and married Ranjit Sitaram Pandit. As it was a custom after marriage, her name changed to show she was married to Ranjit Sitaram Pandit. So, she chose her name to be Vijaya Lakshimi Pandit. After her marriage, she became a supporter of the Nationalism movement in India and was imprisoned three times for her belief and actions. She also entered Allahabad's municipal government, then entered the United Province's legislative assembly.

From the years 1946 to 1948 and 1952 to 1953, Vijaya led India's delegation to the United Nations, and she also started being ambassador. From 1947 to 1949, she was the ambassador of India to Moscow and from 1949 to 1951, she was ambassador to Washington and Mexico. After she became the first female president of the United Nations General Assembly in 1953, she was also the ambassador in London and the commissioner to Dublin from 1954 to 1961.

Vijaya governed the state of Maharashtra from 1962 to 1964 and was part of the Indian parliament called Lok Sabha from 1964 to 1968. In 1977, she joined the Congress for Democracy and left the Congress Party. In 1978, she was appointed to the United Nations Human Rights Commission as an Indian representative. Lastly, in 1979, she published her book The Scope of Happiness: A Personal Memoir.

Vijaya died in Dehra Dun on December 1, 1990 at the age of 90.

Back to Important Women