Rajiv Gandhi (20 August1944-21 May 1991) was an Indian politician who served as the 6th Prime Minister of India from 1984 to 1989.He took office after the 1984 assassination of his mother ,Prime Minister Indira Gandhi,to become the Youngest Indian Prime Minister at the age of 40.
Short biography about Rajiv Gandhi
Born on– 21 May 1991
Father”s Name-Late Feroze Gandhi(Former Indian Politician)
Mother’s Name-Late Indira Gandhi( Former Indian Politician )
Brother’s Name-Late Sanjay Gandhi(Former Indian Politician and Trained Pilot)
- Shiv Niketan School
- Welham Boys School,Dehradun
- The Doon School,Dehradun
- Trinity College,Cambridge
- Imperial College, London
- Delhi Flying Club
Wife Name-Sonia Gandhi
Son Name- Rahul Gandhi
Daughter Name- Priyanka Gandhi
Early Life (Education)
- Rajiv Gandhi was born on 20 August in Mumbai as son of Indira Gandhi and Feroz Gandhi and brother of Sanjay Gandhi. Pt. Jawahar Lal Nehru was his maternal grandfather.Rajiv and Sanjay were admitted to Shiv Niketan School.
- His early education was at St. Columbus School,Imperial College,London and Trinity College,Cambridge
- Rajiv Gandhi was sent to London in 1961 to study A-levels.
- At Cambridge ,he received his education in Mechanical Engineering and then become a commercial pilot.In this capacity,he served the Indian Airlines for few Years.
- In 1968,after three year of courtship ,he married Edvige Antonia Albina Manio,who changed her name to Sonia Gandhi and made India her home.
- Their first child,a son,Rahul Gandhi was born in 1970.In 1972,the couple had a daughter ,Priyanka Gandhi ,who married Robert Vadra.
- On June 1980 ,Rajiv’s younger brother Sanjay Gandhi died unexpectedly in an airplane crash.At that time, Rajiv Gandhi was in London.
- Smt.Indira Gandhi urgently needed someone to whom she could turn for political help and advice and Rajiv Gandhi could not say no to his mother.
- For about 12 months he was given a sort of basic political training and then ticket to contest the Lok Sabha seat from Amethi in 1980. The seat had fallen vacant because of death of Sanjay Gandhi. In 1983, he was made General Secretary of Congress(I)
- He won the seat ,defeating Lok Dal candidate Sharab Yadav by a margin of 237,000 votes .He took his oath on 17 August as Member of Parliament.
Indira Gandhi’s Death
- On 31 October 1984,the Prime Minister ,Rajiv Gandhi’s mother Indira Gandhi ,was assassinated by her Sikh body guards,which led to violent riots against Sikhs.
- Sardar Buta Singh and President Zail Singh pressed Rajiv Gandhi to succeed his mother as Prime minister within hour of her murder.
Turning Point in Rajiv Gandhi’s Life
- In 1984 General elections,Rajiv Gandhi won the elections with great self confidence.
- Gandhi took his oath on 31 December 1984; at 40, He was the Youngest Prime Minister of India.
Prime Minister of India
- After his swearing-in as Prime Minister,Rajiv Gandhi appointed his 14-Member Cabinet.He removed two powerful figures;Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Railway Minister A.B.A.Ghani Khan Chaudhary .
- He took some firm and wise decisions which reflected his courage,determination and clear thinking.This Punjab, the Assam and the Mizoram Accords were the result of these remarkable qualities.
- V.P. Singh who was initially appointed as the Finance Minister ,was given the Defence Ministry in 1897.During his tenure as Prime Minister ,Gandhi frequently shuffled his cabinet minister.
- Rajiv Gandhi increased government support for science,technology and associated industries,and reduced import quotas,taxes and tariffs on technology-based industries,especially computer,airlines,defence and telecommunication.
- In 1986,he announced a National Policy on Education to modernize and expand higher education programs across India
- His efforts created MTNL in 1986,and his public call offices-better known as PCOs-helped develop the telephone network in rural area.
Soon after some period of time he became the symbol of people’s expectations and aspiration but could not fulfill them.He had promised clean and honest administration but soon people realised it was an empty promise.He himself and many of his cabinet colleagues got involved into some bitter controversies.
- There was a number of corruption charges against his government
- His arrogant style of functioning and disturbed party affairs were also not liked.
- The Bofors scandal was a major weapons-contract political scandal that occurred between India and Sweden during the 1980s and 1990s for winning a bid to supply India’s 155mm field howitzer.
For all the above shortcoming and failure ,Rajiv Gandhi had to pay dearly and lost badly on next election.
- BHARAT RATNA in 1991
- Indira Gandhi Prize in 1991
- Rajiv Gandhi’s last public meeting was on 21 May 1991,at Sriperumbudur,a village approximately 40 km(25 mil) from Chennai,where he was assassinated while campaigning.
- At 10:10 pm, a woman later identified as Thenmozhi Rajaratnam,approached Gandhi in public and greeted him.She then bent down to touch his feet and detonated a belt laden with 700g(1.5lb) of RDX explosive tucked under her dress
- The explosion killed Gandhi,Rajaratnam ,and at least 25 other people.
- The assassination was captured by a 21-year-old local photographer,whose camera and film were found at the site.