Margaret Thatcher was the longest serving British PM of the 20th century whose well crafted policy of governance known as "Thatcherism" earned her the title of "Iron Lady". British politics has been always dominated by two major political outfits- the Labour Party (proponent of socialism) and the Conservative Party (proponent of capitalism). Thatcher belonged to the latter.
Her aggressive foreign policy became conspicuous for the first time when Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands in March 1982. The Falkland Islands were British dependent territories in the South Atlantic over which Argentina claimed sovereignty.
In the absence of unconditional support from the United States and faced with a divided Cabinet, she made a momentous decision by dispatching the Naval Task Force to repossess the Falklands. She knew that it could have all gone horribly wrong, and end with her resignation. However, it ended in a British military success and a rapid turnaround in her popularity which left a lasting mark on the rest of her premiership thereby upholding the proverb "where there is a will, there is a way" .
On the economic front, Thatcher’s first move was to slash income taxes. By reducing the tax burden on earnings, she aimed to unleash long-suppressed entrepreneurial impulses and to make it easier for Britons to get back into business for themselves. Post-Thatcher Britain thereby has a far livelier and more diverse capitalist culture than it did before she took charge.
One of Thatcher’s signature achievements was her privatization program in which some of the key industries that had been nationalized by the Labour Party in 1945 were restored to private ownership. British Gas, the telephone company, and industrial firms were removed from state control and their shares were sold off to investors. This policy was in complete contrast to idea of the "welfare state" that the Labour Party stood for.
Throughout the years of Thatcher's prime ministership, she enjoyed a very close and warm camaraderie with India's then Prime Minister- Indira Gandhi. She gave Mrs Gandhi, Britain's full support in the immediate aftermath of the 1984 Golden Temple raid (Operation Blue Star), according to a private correspondent of the Guardian (a leading UK newspaper).
She sent a personal note saying that Britain supported India's unity in the face of demands for a separate Sikh homeland (Khalistan) and disclosed that the UK police was investigating threats against the safety of Indian diplomats.
Thatcher once rightly said "Don't follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you". Her powerful demeanor and able governance indeed set an example for the rest of the Europe to follow. An epitome of bravery, perseverance and efficient diplomacy, Margaret Thatcher's name lies inscribed in the golden chapters of modern history.