Today India is remembering the former Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi on his 77th birth anniversary. He was the sixth Indian prime minister. Gandhi was reluctant to enter the political sphere, but after his brother’s demise in an aeroplane crash, he made his mind to join his mother, Indira Gandhi.
He was the eldest child of the only female prime minister in Indian history, Indira Gandhi and her husband Feroze Gandhi. The youngest son of the couple, Sanjay Gandhi, died in 1980 due to an aeroplane crash. Indira Gandhi was facing both internal and external pressures after Sanjay Gandhi’s death, Rajiv then went on to win the by-election from Amethi, Uttar Pradesh.
However, the Gandhi family had to endure the assassination of Indira Gandhi after Operation Blue Star on 31st October 1984. At the age of 40, Rajiv was not only sworn in as the prime minister of the country but also became the president of the Indian National Congress.
7 Interesting Facts About Rajiv Gandhi
Here are some interesting facts about the late prime minister, Shri Rajiv Gandhi.
- He never thought about politics as a career option for him. Before entering the political landscape of India, he was a professional pilot. He worked in state-owned Indian Airlines.
- His classmates suggest that his shelves had books related to Science and engineering rather than books on politics and history.
- He met his wife Sonia Gandhi (then Sonia Maino) at Cambridge. She was studying English there. The couple married in New Delhi in 1968.
- His mother Indira Gandhi, was brutally assassinated by her own two Sikh bodyguards. This led to violent riots against the Sikh community.
- Following the assassination of Indira Gandhi, Congress won 411 Lok Sabha seats out of 542. It is their largest Lok Sabha majority win.
- Tragedy struck the Gandhi family when Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) suicide bomber on May 21, 1991.
- He was posthumously awarded Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 1991.
‘A secular India alone is an India that can survive’, writes his son, Rahul Gandhi, on his birth anniversary.