- Name : Rajiv Gandhi
- Date of Birth : Aug 20, 1944
- Passed Away On : May 21, 1991
- Religion : Hindu
- Death Place : Sriperumbudur, Chennai
- Address : New Delhi
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DATE OF BIRTH: 20 August 1944
PASSED AWAY ON: 21 May 1991
PLACE OF BIRTH: Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India
DEATH PLACE: Sriperumbudur, Chennai
OCCUPATION: 6th Prime Minister of India
Rajiv Gandhi was the 6th Prime Minister of India. He was not just a politician but a visionary who looked ahead of his times.
Rajiv Gandhi was born to parents Indira Gandhi and father Feroze Gandhi on 20 August 1944 in Bombay.
• He was admitted in Doon School for his early education in the year 1954. He was a shy and introvert child.
• Rajiv Gandhi went to London to study A-Levels and he went to Trinity College Cambridge to pursue a degree in Engineering. But Rajiv did not complete his graduation and stayed at Cambridge only till 1965.
• Rajiv Gandhi returned to India when his mother became the Prime Minister in the year 1966.
• He joined the Flying club at Delhi and got formal training. He later on became the pilot with Air India in the year 1970 and was very keen on joining politics.
Rajiv Gandhi married an Italian Edvige Antonia Albina Maino popularly known as Sonia Gandhi. They have two children named Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi. The latter married Robert Vadra.
His entry into politics
It was 31 Oct 1984 when Gandhi was in West Bengal when two sikh guards assassinated Indira Gandhi at her residence in Delhi. The move was a revenge for operation Blue star held at Golden Temple Amritsar to stop Sikh militancy.
Sardar Buta Singh and then President Zail Singh forced Rajiv to take on his mother’s position as the PM and lead the country during the that time of sudden crisis. Rajiv Gandhi thus took on office and that was his foray into the world of politics. Soon after joining he asked to dissolve the Parliament and asked for fresh elections. He became the President of the Congress party and won the elections with Landslide victory due to his corruption free image.
He appointed 14 Cabinet Ministers and also mentioned that he will "fire ministers who do not come to the mark". As his first move he passed the Anti Defection Law on January 1985. According to this law, an elected Member of Parliament or legislative assembly could not join an opposition party until the next election.
Liberalisation and Privatisation
It was during the reign of Gandhi that the waves of globalisation and privatisation hit India. Many international companies set up their offices here thereby increasing employment opportunities. Telecom giants MTNL and VSNL developed during his leadership. Gandhi reduced import quotas, taxes and tariffs on technology, airlines, defence, telecommunications and computer industry.
His efforts for education sector
He also established Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya educational institutes and announced National Policy on education to modernise education system in India.
Rajiv Gandhi was addressing the crowd at Sriperumbudur in Chennai on 21 May 1991 where he was assassinated while campaigning for the Lok Sabha Congress candidate of that area. A woman suicide bomber later on identified as Thenmozhi Rajaratnam approached the former PM at 10.10 pm to greet him. As soon as she bowed down there was a blast of high intensity that not just killed Rajiv Gandhi but the assailant herself as well as 25 more people who were present on the stage then.
On 24 May 1991 a state funeral for Mr. Gandhi was held at Veer Bhumi on the Yamuna river banks. The cremation ceremonies were telecast live on the National channels.
It was later on declared that Mr. Gandhi was killed due to a personal grudge by LTTE chief Prabhakaran as the former against the wishes of the latter sent Peace Mission in Sri Lanka.