Rajiv Gandhi Wiki, Age, Caste, Wife, Children, Family, Death, Biography & More

Rajiv Gandhi was an Indian politician and the 7th Prime Minister of India. He was the son of Indira Gandhi and husband of Sonia Gandhi. Like his mother, he was also assassinated while he was the Prime Minister.

Wiki/Biography

Rajiv Gandhi was born on Sunday, 20 August 1944 (age 46 at the time of death) in Bombay, Bombay Presidency. His zodiac sign is Leo. He received his primary education from Shiv Niketan School, New Delhi, Welham Boys School, Dehradun and The Doon School, Dehradun. He studied B.Tech at Trinity College, Cambridge in 1965, but did not obtain the degree. He took admission in Imperial College, London in 1966 to study mechanical engineering, but did not complete that. Rajiv Gandhi was not very studious; A fact which he himself admitted.

Rajiv Gandhi College

Rajiv Gandhi College

Rajiv returned to India in 1966. He went to Delhi and joined the Delhi Flying Club, where he received training as a pilot. He trained for 4 years and was recruited as a pilot by Air India in 1970. He had no interest in joining politics and hence, he chose a career in aviation.

Rajiv Gandhi as a pilot

Rajiv Gandhi as a pilot

When he was in college in Cambridge, he met Sonia Gandhi. Their affair lasted for 3 years and they got married in 1968. Sonia’s real name is Edwige Antonia Albina Maino; Which she changed to Sonia after marriage.

Physical Appearance

Height (Approx): 5′ 10″

Weight (Approx): 70 kg

Eye colour: black

Hair Color: Black

Rajiv Gandhi

Rajiv Gandhi

Family, Wife and Caste

Rajiv Gandhi belongs to a Brahmin family. His father, Feroze Gandhi, was an Indian politician. His mother Indira Gandhi was the former Prime Minister of India. His younger brother, Sanjay Gandhi, was a politician. Sanjay Gandhi was married to Maneka Gandhi, who is an Indian politician.

Rajiv Gandhi's parents Feroze Gandhi and Indira Gandhi

Rajiv Gandhi’s parents Feroze Gandhi and Indira Gandhi

Rajiv Gandhi married Sonia Gandhi on 25 February 1968. Their marriage followed a Hindu ceremony; Even though Sonia was Italian. They have two children, a son, Rahul Gandhi, and a daughter, Priyanka Gandhi. Rahul is bachelor while Priyanka is married to Robert Vadra.

Rajiv Gandhi with his family

Rajiv Gandhi with his family

Rajiv Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra

Rajiv Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra

political career

Rajiv Gandhi had no interest in joining politics, but after the unexpected death of his younger brother, Sanjay Gandhi, in a plane crash, Rajiv began his political career on 16 February 1981. His mother, Indira Gandhi, convinced him to join politics. He contested his first election from Amethi Lok Sabha constituency of Uttar Pradesh and won. On 17 August 1981, he took oath as a Member of Parliament.

Rajiv Gandhi in Parliament

Rajiv Gandhi in Parliament

In December 1981, he was appointed President of the Indian Youth Congress. When his mother Indira Gandhi died on 31 October 1984, he was asked to become Prime Minister. In November 1984, Rajiv took over as Prime Minister, and he asked the President to dissolve Parliament and hold fresh elections; Because the Lok Sabha had completed its five-year tenure. Then he was elected National President of Congress. The Congress won a landslide victory and Rajiv took oath as Prime Minister on 31 December 1984; Became the youngest PM at the age of 40. He was the Prime Minister until 2 December 1989 when the VP Singh government came to power.

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Rajiv Gandhi is taking oath as Prime Minister

Rajiv Gandhi is taking oath as Prime Minister

controversies

  • His mother’s murder in November 1984 was followed by anti-Sikh riots in Delhi. During a speech he said, “When a huge tree falls, the earth beneath shakes.” This statement was seen as justification for the anti-Sikh riots; Which were composed by Congress leaders. He was criticized a lot for this statement.
    Rajiv Gandhi addressing a rally

    Rajiv Gandhi addressing a rally

  • After taking the oath, he appointed a fourteen-member Cabinet. He said that he will keep an eye on everyone and remove those who are not performing well. During his tenure as Prime Minister, Rajiv reshuffled his cabinet several times; This led to criticism and confusion as to whether Rajiv was capable of holding the post of PM or not. Media houses called it a wheel of confusion. Many political leaders said-

The change in the cabinet reflects the instability of the Congress government at the Centre.

  • In 1985, the Supreme Court of India ruled in favor of Shah Bano and said that her husband would have to pay maintenance. Many Indian Muslim men protested against the Supreme Court’s decision under Muslim Personal Law. Rajiv Gandhi accepted their demands and passed the “Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act 1986”; Which overturned the decision of the Supreme Court. The new Act states that alimony should be paid only for 90 days after divorce; According to Islamic law. This angered many people in India. Newspapers and magazines called this act ‘minority appeasement by Gandhi’. Former Law Minister Ram Jethmalani explained the whole matter as follows-

Regressive chauvinism for short-term minority populism”

  • In April 1987, VP Singh revealed details about corruption in the Rajiv Gandhi government. He revealed that millions of dollars had been paid by the Swedish arms company Bofors. These payments were received by Italian businessmen and Gandhi family associate Ottavio Quattrocchi in exchange for Indian military and arms contracts. An inquiry was set up regarding the Bofors scam. Rajiv Gandhi lost the 1989 general elections; Because his image of an honest politician was tarnished.
  • In November 1991, a Swiss magazine, Schweizer Illustrierte, claimed that Rajiv had 2.5 billion Swiss francs in various secret accounts in Switzerland. The opposition raised this issue and demanded investigation into the matter. Many people called it shameful and embarrassing that such allegations are being made against a former PM by a Swiss magazine.
    Rajiv Gandhi's name appeared in Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrator

    Rajiv Gandhi’s name appeared in Swiss magazine Schweizer Illustrator

  • The Bhopal gas tragedy of 1984 resulted in thousands of deaths and lakhs of people suffering from diseases. Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) owner Warren Anderson arrived in India 4 days after the tragedy and was immediately placed under house arrest by the government. However, Anderson was released within 24 hours of his arrest. Reportedly, Anderson contacted several US officials and the US Embassy pressured the Rajiv Gandhi government to let him go. Anderson fled the country and never returned to India to face trial; Because this incident was classified as corporate negligence. Several police officers claimed that orders to arrest Anderson came in writing, but that verbal orders to let him go were issued by someone in a higher position.warren anderson
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the killing

On 21 May 1991, Rajiv addressed his last public meeting in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu. He was there to campaign for the Sriperumbudur Lok Sabha candidate. While Rajiv was meeting and greeting people in the crowd, a woman named Thenmozhi Rajaratnam came up to Rajiv and greeted him. While bending to touch Rajiv’s feet, she detonated a belt bomb filled with 700 grams of RDX under her dress. Rajiv Gandhi and 25 others died in the blast.

Minutes before the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi

Minutes before the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi

Rajiv Gandhi’s mutilated body was airlifted to New Delhi. His body was taken to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences for post-mortem, reconstruction and embalming. Rajiv Gandhi’s state funeral was performed on 24 May 1991. It was broadcast live and attended by dignitaries from more than 60 countries. Rajiv Gandhi was cremated at Veer Bhoomi; On the banks of the Yamuna River and near the tombs (samadhis) of his mother, Indira Gandhi, his brother Sanjay Gandhi and his grandfather, Jawaharlal Nehru.

Rajiv Gandhi's mortal remains were cremated by his son Rahul Gandhi.

Rajiv Gandhi’s mortal remains were cremated by his son Rahul Gandhi.

fact

  • His name means Kamal (lotus flower). She was named after her grandmother Kamala (Jawaharlal Nehru’s wife).
    Rajiv Gandhi with his grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru

    Rajiv Gandhi with his grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru

  • Rajiv Gandhi was a very shy child and was interested in painting and drawing.
  • In 1987, he was visiting Sri Lanka for the signing of the India-Sri Lanka Agreement. While he was on his way to a meeting, an honor guard tried to hit him over the head with his rifle; To kill him. Rajiv saw the guard swinging his rifle and quickly fell silent; Due to which the rifle hit his shoulder.
    assassination attempt on rajiv gandhi

    assassination attempt on rajiv gandhi

  • Rajiv Gandhi pushed for the formation of BSNL and MTNL; To help people communicate easily. He introduced the concept of Public Calling Office (PCO); Which provided easy access to communication in rural areas where not everyone could afford BSNL services.
  • He introduced the system of computerized railway tickets, which marked the beginning of the modernization of Indian Railways. Rajiv Gandhi
  • Rajiv Gandhi helped change the face of communication in India. He wanted people to use computers, and he reduced tariffs and import duties on computers. He encouraged companies to manufacture computers in India. Due to his efforts in bringing modern technology into the communication sector, he has been called the “Father of the Information Technology and Telecommunication Revolution in India”.
    Rajiv Gandhi addressing a conference on telecommunications

    Rajiv Gandhi addressing a conference on telecommunications

  • Rajiv Gandhi had reduced the voting age from 21 years to 18 years. He believed that the youth of the country should also have a stake in electing their MPs. In 1989, the 61st Amendment to the Constitution was passed, giving people over the age of 18 the right to vote.
  • Rajiv Gandhi is credited with the creation of Panchayati Raj. He believed that Panchayati Raj was the only way to take democracy to the grassroots level. Panchayati Raj was created by the 73rd and 74th amendments of the Constitution in 1992; One year after Rajiv’s assassination.
    Rajiv Gandhi is explaining the benefits of Panchayati Raj in a village.

    Rajiv Gandhi is explaining the benefits of Panchayati Raj in a village.

  • In May 1988 he launched Operation Black Thunder. The objective of the operation was to flush out the extremists from inside the Golden Temple. Two teams were sent to eliminate the terrorists. The operation continued for 10 days, after which the operation was declared successful. The terrorists were eliminated and arms and ammunition were recovered.
  • In 1991, he was posthumously awarded the Bharat Ratna.
    Sonia Gandhi accepting Rajiv Gandhi's Bharat Ratna

    Sonia Gandhi accepting Rajiv Gandhi’s Bharat Ratna

  • Since the death of Rajiv Gandhi, 21 May has been declared Anti-Terrorism Day in India.
  • The Central Government built a Rajiv Gandhi Memorial in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, at the spot where he was assassinated. It was opened in 2003 by Sonia Gandhi, wife of Rajiv Gandhi, and former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam. The memorial contains the blast site surrounded by seven pillars.
    Rajiv Gandhi Memorial

    Rajiv Gandhi Memorial

  • His blood group was O-negative.
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Categories: Biography
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