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Updated: April 9, 2013 05:49 IST

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher dead

Hasan Suroor
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In this May 31, 1983 file photo, Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher makes a point during a Conservative Party news conference in London.
AP In this May 31, 1983 file photo, Britain's Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher makes a point during a Conservative Party news conference in London.

Margaret Thatcher, 87, died early on Monday following a stroke, her spokesman said.

Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first woman Prime Minister who led the Conservative party for more than a decade through one of the most tumultuous periods in modern British history and became a deeply divisive political figure, died on Monday following a stroke.

She was 87 and was suffering from Alzheimer’s. Her son Mark and daughter Carol said in a statement that she died "peacefully".

In recent years, the "Iron Lady" of yesteryears had become a shadow of former herself and it was recently revealed that she "did not get" who David Cameron was when the Prime Minister’s name was mentioned at a party.

Over the past year, Baroness Thatcher had been in and out of hospital and had become so frail that her family moved her to a top-notch hotel where she could be looked after better.

Television channels went into a meltdown with wall-to-wall coverage of her death as the Queen led the tributes saying that she was ``sad’’ to hear the news and the Union Jack over No 10 Downing Street flew at half-mast.

But, perhaps, in a nod to her critics, among them millions of ordinary Britons whose lives were blighted by her free-market economic policies, it was announced that Baroness Thatcher would not get a state funeral.

Mr Cameron, who was in Madrid, returned to London. He described her as a "great prime minister and a great Briton".

"Margaret Thatcher succeeded against all the odds… I believe she will go down as the greatest British peacetime prime minister," he said.

John Major, who succeeded her in 1990 after she was ousted from power following a bitter inter-party revolt, called her a "true force of nature" while Labour leader Ed Miliband, rising above political differences, described her as a "unique figure" who "reshaped the politics of a whole generation."

"The Labour Party disagreed with much of what she did and she will always remain a controversial figure. But we can disagree and also greatly respect her political achievements and her personal strength," he said.

Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979 during Britain’s "winter of discontent" marked by a wave of strikes. A grocer’s daughter, who grew up in a small flat without hot water above her father's store in Grantham, east England, she rose to become one of the country’s most controversial but influential leaders whose legacy of ruthless privatization through the eighties still divides the country.

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Respectful farewell to Margaret Thatcher.

from:  Dr.Cajetan Coelho
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 11:37 IST

She was a woman of steel nerves, more or less like our own Indira
Gandhi, she won 4 successive elections as a British PM, yes she had her
defects (dictator style functioning) which caused her own partymen to
dethrone her, one of her other defects was her support to South Africa's
apartheid regime. She was a woman like no other.

from:  veena
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 06:46 IST

Great personality the World lost. She is familiar to every Indian those days and we remember her as a friend of India. Great leader the World should remember with a human touch in her actions. God should bless her soul to rest in peace. We pray for her.

from:  Dr. Pulivarthy Krishnamurthy
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 06:45 IST

The Dynamic Lady Late Margaret Thatcher with a positive and visionary
approach will always remain in the memories of the masses through out
the Global for her role in strengthening the Democratic set up in
Britain .

from:  RAJAT KUMAR MOHINDRU
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 06:37 IST

The Former Prime Minister of Britain Margaret Thatcher is no more but
the memories of determination , visionary approach towards Politics will
always remain intact in the minds of the masses through out the Global .
Really she was an Iron lady who played dynamic role in the Global
Politics for the Britain and other countries in regard to the issue of
Peace and Development .

from:  RAJAT KUMAR MOHINDRU
Posted on: Apr 9, 2013 at 06:25 IST

RIP Iron lady! She will go down in the history of England as one of the
greatest PM they ever had! She was bold,firm and yet displayed her
informal side when with her late husband. In many ways she reminds me
of our own Mrs. Indira Gandhi. Boy, do we miss her. We need leaders
like them not only for India but also for the World at large, especially
when unruly leaders are gaining ground.

from:  Raman
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 22:12 IST

Sir Chellappa,

Maggie's (as well as Reagan's) legacy of unbridled capitalism, has
caused no end of horrors like the recent bank failures and currency
crisis. A good capitalism is one, which is controlled, for the benefit
of the public, and not necessarily, for the share holder alone.

from:  Rajamani
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 21:54 IST

Her swiftness in handling the Middle East Crisis, Her Tactics on
Handling her European Counterparts and Her era will also be remembered
for bringing free-market practices in England.Thank you for your
dedicated service to this world ma'am.
Rest in Peace.

from:  christoper nadar
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 21:37 IST

Baroness Thatcher will not get a state funeral per se because she had long requested that she did not. This means that she will not lay in state. However, her funeral is likely to match that of Diana and the Queen Mother. And her death is still currently the number one story on every newspaper and TV station on the planet.

from:  charles chase
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 21:24 IST

The greatest attribute one can give her is her fearlessness to face the men dominated British politics. The greatest defect in her was her unholy support to the apartheid regime of South Africa. In an equation her virtues triumph over her defects. Her legacy of free market will stay on.

from:  Dr N T Chellappa
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 19:00 IST

Nice little biography. Wish we had such leaders in India who could take bold decisions during tough times. Thanks to Hindu for putting this up. Please also compile an article regarding Mrs. Thatcher's views and relationship with India and it's government then.

from:  prprasad
Posted on: Apr 8, 2013 at 18:46 IST
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