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 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
Rahiv 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 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
Former Indian President Zail Singh with former Prime Minister of India, late Rajiv Gandhi and his son Rahul Gandhi. (All pics/MiD DAY Archives)
Secretary of the CPSU Central Committee, Anatoly Dobrynin meeting with former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on 21-5-1987.
Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in conversation with his Pakistan counterpart Benazir Bhutto
Leader of the Tibetan people His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama - Tenzin Gyatso - in conversation with the former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on 18th Jan. 1988.
Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi being attacked by a Sri Lankan sailor in 1987, while the Indian premier was inspecting a guard of honour in Colombo.
Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and singer-composer Bhupen Hazarika.
Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar.
Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Pakistan President Zia Ul-Haq meets at New York on October 23, 1985
Rajiv Gandhi in a 'sport'ing mood
A casual Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi with Simi Garewal
Rajiv Gandhi in a thoughtful mood
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 our archives...