Rajiv Gandhi was born in Bombay on August 20, 1944 to Indira and Feroze Gandhi. In 1951, Rajiv and Sanjay were admitted to Shiv Niketan school, where according to his teachers, Rajiv was shy and introvert and 'greatly enjoyed painting and drawing'. All pictures/mid-day archives
Rajiv Gandhi was named after his maternal grandmother Kamala Nehru, wife of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Kamala revered Goddess Lakshmi and Rajiv means Lotus
Rajiv Gandhi studied in Welham Boys' School and Doon School in 1954. He was then sent to London in 1961 to study A-levels. From 1962 to 1965 he studied engineering at Trinity College, Cambridge, but did not obtain a degree. In 1966, Rajiv Gandhi began a course in mechanical engineering at Imperial College London, but did not complete it
Rajiv Gandhi returned to India in 1966, the year his mother became Prime Minister. He went to Delhi and became a member of the Flying Club, where he was trained as a pilot. In 1970, he was employed as a pilot by Air India. he did not harbour any intention of joining politics
In 1968, he married Edvige Antonia Albina Maino, after three years of courtship, who changed her name to Sonia Gandhi. Their first child, a son, Rahul Gandhi was born in 1970. Rahul Gandhi is still unmarried. In 1972, the couple had a daughter, Priyanka Gandhi, who married Robert Vadra
After Rajiv Gandhi's younger brother Sanjay Gandhi died unexpectedly in an airplane crash, Shankaracharya Swami Shri Swaroopanand, a saint from Badrinath, visited the family's house to offer his condolences and advised Rajiv not to fly aeroplanes and instead 'dedicate himself to the service of the nation'
70 members of the Congress party signed a proposal and went to Indira Gandhi, urging Rajiv Gandhi to enter politics. Indira Gandhi told them it was Rajiv's decision whether to enter politics. When he was questioned about it, he replied, "If my mother gets help from it, then I will enter politics". Rajiv Gandhi entered politics on February 16, 1981, when he addressed a national farmers' rally in Delhi. He was still an employee of Air India during this time
Rajiv Gandhi sworn-in as the seventh Prime Minister of India on October 31, 1984, as his mother's assassinated, the same day, by her own bodyguards
Rajiv Gandhi led the Congress Party to a landslide victory in elections to the Lok Sabha in December 1984, and his administration took vigorous measures to reform the government bureaucracy and liberalise the country's economy.
In picture: Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, Anatoly Dobrynin meeting with former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on 21-5-1987.
On relations with Pakistan and Benazir Bhutto, Rajiv Gandhi had said that Bhutto and he have agreed to work together and remove the suspicions and misgivings that have characterised Indo-Pak relations and build bridges of friendship, understanding, and cooperation.
In picture: Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in conversation with his Pakistan counterpart Benazir Bhutto
In 1987, Rajiv Gandhi was attacked by a Sri Lankan sailor while the Indian premier was inspecting a guard of honour in Colombo
Post 1990, Rajiv Gandhi introduced measures for reducing Licence Raj allowing business and individuals to purchase capital, consumer goods and import without bureaucratic restrictions. He introduced the age of voting rights as 18 and also included Panchayati Raj
In picture: Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Pakistan President Zia Ul-Haq meets at New York on October 23, 1985
Rajiv Gandhi encouraged youth power and said that the development of the country depends only on the awareness of the youth of the country. Jawahar Rozgar Yojana was started thus to give jobs to the youth
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991 in a public meeting while campaigning for Sriperumbudur, a Lok Sabha Congress candidate. A woman named Dhanu approached him and bent down to touch his feet and exploded a bomb, which was placed under her dress. He was cremated at Veer Bhumi, located on the banks of the river Yamuna
In picture: Rajiv Gandhi with Simi Garewal
In 1991, Rajiv Gandhi was posthumously awarded India's highest civilian award Bharat Ratna by the Indian Government
Here are some photos of the former Indian Prime Minister. Rajiv Gandhi with singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika
Leader of the Tibetan people His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama - Tenzin Gyatso - in conversation with the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on January 18, 1988
Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar
On the occasion of late Rajiv Gandhi's death anniversary, here's a look at some rare images of the former Prime Minister of India from mid-day archives...
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