India has a large number of political parties; it is estimated that over 200 parties were formed after India became independent in 1947. Jawaharlal Nehru, a central figure in Indian politics before and after independence became the first Prime Minister of India. He is considered to be the architect of the modern Indian nation-state. Rajendra Prasad, a freedom fighter during the Indian independence movement was the first President of independent India, and also the longest-serving president, for 12 years. Prominent philosopher and writer Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was also a much acclaimed political leader who served as the president of India from 1962 to 1967. Lal Bahadur Shastri, of the Indian National Congress, was the prime minister during a part of Radhakrishnan’s tenure. Jawaharlal Nehru’s daughter, Indira Gandhi created history when she became the first female Prime Minister of India. As a political leader, she was known for her political ruthlessness and unprecedented centralization of power. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a veteran politician and poet, is also counted amongst the greatest prime ministers of the nation. One of the most respected presidents of the country, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam was a scientist who played a leading role in the development of India's nuclear weapons programs. This section provides you information about the life and works of famous Indian political leaders.