Rajiv Gandhi

Rajiv Gandhi was one of the most popular politicians of India who served as the 6th Prime Minister of India.

Updated: October 25, 2019


Rajiv Gandhi was one of the most popular politicians of India who served as the 6th Prime Minister of India from 1984 to 1989. He was born in 20th August 1944 and died on 21st May 1991.
As a trained commercial pilot, he was happy in his life until his brother, Sanjay Gandhi died in a plane crash leaving behind a void. To fill in the void, he stepped into his brother's shoes quite reluctantly but within a short span of time became a frontrunner in Indian politics. He took office after the 1984 assassination of his mother, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He become the youngest Indian Prime Minister at the age of 40.
He laid the foundation of information technology revolution whose rewards we are reaping today. He spread the network of telephones to the rural and remote corners of the country through PCOs (Public Call Offices). He also brought a positive uproar in the educational sector by launching the national educational policy.

Childhood of Rajiv Gandhi:

Rajiv Gandhi was born in India’s politically affluent family to Feroze Gandhi, member of the Indian National Congress party and editor of the National Herald newspaper, and Indira Gandhi.
His maternal grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru was Prime Minister. During the time when his mother contributed significantly in the Indian political scenario, he was relocated to Delhi along with his mother and younger brother.

Education of Rajiv Gandhi:

Rajiv attained his preliminary education from Welhams Boys' School and The Doon School in Dehradun before moving to London to complete his A levels. He enrolled at the Trinity College Cambridge in 1962 to study engineering. Four years henceforth, he moved out but without a degree. Following year, i.e. in 1966, he was offered a seat at Imperial College London, which he took up but a year later dropped out of the same too. Same year, his mother ascended to premiership.
Upon returning to India, he was dispassionate about politics and instead took to working as a professional pilot for Indian Airlines.
The tragic untimely death of his younger brother, Sanjay Gandhi, in 1980 changed the course of his life, as he was forced to enter politics.

Family of Rajiv Gandhi:

In 1968 Rajiv married Sonia Gandhi. The couple settled in Delhi to a domestic life with their children Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra. His mother Indira Gandhi was prime minister and his brother Sanjay Gandhi an MP.

Some facts about Rajiv Gandhi:

  • After the death of his younger brother Sanjay in an aeroplane crash in 1980, Gandhi reluctantly entered politics at the behest of Indira. The following year he won his brother's Parliamentary seat of Amethi and became a member of the Lok Sabha.
  • On the morning of 31 October 1984, his mother was assassinated by one of her bodyguards and later that day, Gandhi was appointed Prime Minister. He was also unanimously elected as the President of the Congress Party.
  • It was during his rule that a new education policy was framed and Indira Gandhi Open National University was established.
  • He brought about a revolution in country’s information technology and telecom industry, by initiating MTNL Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited in 1986.
  • The Bofors scandal was a black mark in his career which had shattered his image of honest politician.
  • In 1991 he was awarded Bharat Ratna posthumously, India’s highest civilian award.
  • He was assassinated by a female suicide bomber on May 21, 1991 at a public meeting in Sriperumbudur. The woman bomber bent down to touch his feet, detonating a belt laden with 700 grams of RDX explosives.


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