Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, born on August 20, 1944 was the youngest prime minister of India taking office at the age of 40 years, before he was tragically assassinated On May 21, 1991. Remembered for his charismatic personality and indelible contribution to the Indian economy, Rajiv Gandhi was a successful political leader despite not growing up with intentions to join politics.
Rajiv Gandhi was born to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Politician-Journalist, Feroze Gandhi. His birth anniversary is celebrated as Sadbhawana Diwas to commemorate the values, attitudes and ideals of the latest PM.
He was professionally a pilot for the state-owned Indian Airlines and was always reluctant to enter politics, however, after the sudden death of his brother Sanjay Gandhi in a plane crash, Rajiv Gandhi took up the political mantle.
After Indira Gandhi’s assassination in 1984, Rajiv was appointed as the Prime Minister. He urged then-President Zail Singh to dissolve Parliament and hold fresh elections as the Lok Sabha had completed its 5-year term. Gandhi officially became the President of the Congress party which won a landslide victory in the elections, winning with the largest majority in the history of Indian Parliament with 411 seats out of 542.
During his 5-year tenure as Prime Minister from 1984-1989, Rajiv Gandhi planted the seeds for the IT revolution and mobile telephony and brought together Left and Right parties.
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in a suicide bombing attack near Madras in Tamil Nadu on May 21, 1991 and was later cremated in Delhi’s Veer Bhoomi.
On the occasion of Rajiv Gandhi’s 74th birth anniversary, political leaders paid tribute to him on Twitter.