National Integration Day is observed every year on 19 November. It 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. School and colleges observe this day remembering the valor and courage of Indira Gandhi during her tenure, India saw a remarkable change. The underlying message for the day is one of unity and the importance of integration, regardless of race or religion.
For greater awareness among the public about national integration, a full-week program has also been implemented by the Government of India to celebrate November 19 to 25 as National Integration Week.
The theme of National Integration Day
National Integration Day doesn’t carry a particular theme every year and rather, propagates the message of unity and integrity among all the citizens in the country. Generally, the celebration continues for almost a week with themes stressing on welfare of the minority, cultural and linguistic harmony. The prime focus that carries on is celebrating unity in diversity.
History of National Integration Day
National Integration Day is observed every year on 19 November to celebrate the birthday of the country’s first-ever female Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. She was the daughter of India’s first Prime minister, Shree Jawahar Lal Nehru. She was born on 19 November 1917 in Allahabad and the only child of Nehru. She joined Visva-Bharati University in Shantiniketan, and then the University of Oxford in England. After her mother died, she joined Somerville College in 1937 to study history. At Oxford, she did well in history and political science.
In 1941, she returned to India without completing his studies at Oxford. In 1942, she married Feroze Gandhi. They had two children — Sanjay and Rajiv Gandhi. She served as her father’s personal assistant from 1947 till 1964. In 1959, she was appointed as the president of the Indian National Congress. After Nehru’s death in 1964, she served as a cabinet minister under Lal Bahadur Shastri’s leadership.
In 1966, she became the first female Prime Minister of India, after the sudden death of Lal Bahadur Shastri. She formed her government with Morarji Desai as deputy prime minister and finance minister. She was widely criticized by the media and the opposition as a “Goongi goodiya”. In 1980, when new elections for the Lok Sabha were held, she returned to power. Her son Sanjay, who had become her chief political adviser, also won a seat in the Lok Sabha.
National Integration Day was created in her honor as a way to encourage all Indians to integrate, regardless of race or religion.