Biography of Rajiv Gandhi – The youngest Prime Minister of India

Rajiv Gandhi is a powerful politician who made his position strong in Indian politics at the end of the 20th century. Gandhi was from the politically powerful Nehru Gandhi family, which had been associated with the Indian National Congress party. Rajiv Gandhi, who took over as the Prime Minister of India at the age of 42, influenced Indian politics as well as world politics. As Prime Minister, he played a key role in giving India a new look. It may be recalled that Rajiv Gandhi is said to be the builder of modern India.

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Biography of Rajiv Gandhi

Biography of Rajiv Gandhi

Table of Contents

NameRajiv Gandhi[1]
Date of Birth20 August 1944
Place of BirthMumbai, India
Father’s NameFeroze Gandhi
Mother’s NameIndira Gandhi
Education1/ Welham Boys School, Dehradun
2/ Doon School
3/ Trinity College, Cambridge(dropped out)
4/ Imperial College, London(dropped out)
DiedMay 21, 1991

Early Life of Rajiv Gandhi

The Gandhi family and Nehru’s family have been playing an important role in Indian politics since before independence. It may be recalled that three persons from the Gandhi family have also held the Prime Minister’s seat in India. One of the special figures in this family was Rajiv Gandhi, the youngest Prime Minister of India to take over as prime minister at the age of 40.

Rajiv Gandhi was born in Mumbai on August 20, 1944. His father’s name is Feroze Gandhi and mother’s name is Indira Gandhi. Even though, Gandhi grew up into a royal atmosphere he was shy and introvert during his childhood.

Rajiv Gandhi studied at Boarding School from the age of ten even though his formal education started in Shiva Niketan. Gandhi who studied at Welham Boys School in Dehradun later studied at Doon School as well. Gandhi subsequently studied engineering at Trinity College in Cambridge from 1962 to 1965. But without completing this education, he started engineering courses in the mechanical department at Imperial College, London in 1966 but did not finished the course.

Rajiv Gandhi was not attracted to direct politics even though he grew up in a political atmosphere from a young age. For which he studied abroad, and trained as a pilot in Delhi after returning to India in 1966 and started his career as a pilot at Indian Airlines in 1970.

It may be recalled that while studying in Cambridge, Rajiv Gandhi developed an spiritual relationship with Antonia Albina Maino, an Italian resident. In the wake of which Rajiv Gandhi got married to Antonia Albina Maino in 1968. After getting married, Antonia Albina Maino took Indian citizenship and changed her name to Sonia Gandhi. They have two children. The name of the son is Rahul Gandhi and the name of the daughter is Priyanka Gandhi.

Also Read : Biography of Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed

Entry and participation in active politics

Rajiv Gandhi’s entry into direct politics was a sudden phenomenon. Rajiv Gandhi’s brother Sanjay Gandhi unexpectedly died in a plane crash on June 23, 1980. In view of which Rajiv Gandhi entered politics with a mindset of helping Indira Gandhi by honouring the proposals of several members of the Congress party. He entered politics on 16 February 1981, when he addressed a national farmers’ rally in Delhi. During this time, he was still an employee of Air India. On 4 May 1981, Indira Gandhi presided over a meeting of the All India Congress Committee. Vasantdada Patil proposed Rajiv Gandhi as Amethi constituency, which was accepted by all members at the meeting. A week later, the party officially announced his candidacy for the constituency. He won the seat, defeating Lok Dal candidate Sharad Yadav by a margin of 237,000 votes. He took his oath on 17th of August as Member of Parliament.

On 31 October 1984, the prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi’s mother Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguard, which led to violent riots against Sikhs. Rajiv Gandhi was in West Bengal on 31 October 1984 when his mother, Prime minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two of her Sikh bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh. It was followed by Indian National Congress leaders who nominated Rajiv Gandhi as prime minister as Indira Gandhi’s worthy successor. The Indian National Congress led by Gandhi won the highest majority in the elections in1984 after the death of Indira Gandhi. It may be recalled that the Congress party had won 411 of the 542 seats. He was subsequently sworn in as India’s youngest Prime Minister on December 31, 1984 at the age of 40. Gandhi was the new face in politics. He took over as prime minister after serving as an MP for just three years. Gandhi as a prime minister took all responsibilities to the best of his ability for his nation and its citizens.

Rajiv Gandhi, who believes in socialist ideals, introduced the mixed economy in India during his prime ministership. He emphasized on social justice, poverty alleviation, women empowerment, women’s education etc. He took various steps to usher in modernization in India.

Importantly Gandhi tried to liberalise the economy of the country. He encouraged all citizens to make private production profitable. It may be recalled that corporate companies were subsidized to increase industrial production. He hoped that it would boost economic growth and improve the quality of investment.

Rajiv Gandhi in 1986 announced the National Education Policy for modernization and expansion of higher education programmes across India. It may be recalled that in 1986, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya system was established, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya is a Central Government based educational institution and students from rural areas are provided free residential education from classes six to twelve. He also played an important role in developing telephone networks in rural areas.

Importantly, during Rajiv Gandhi’s prime ministership, insurgency in northeast India increased. Mizo National Front claimed independence for Mizoram. In 1987, Gandhi solved this issue and granted Mizoram the status of one of the independent states of India.

Moreover, during Rajiv Gandhi’s prime ministership, a massive student movement was launched in the student community industry due to illegal migration of Bangladeshi Muslims to Assam. But Rajiv Gandhi ended the movement by signing the Assam Accord on August 15, 1985.

But the influential leader was killed by the assailants on May  21, 1991 with a suicide bomb attack. It may be recalled that 14 others, besides Rajiv Gandhi, died in the murder carried out by the suicide bomb attack. Such a tragic death of Gandhi, a strong-minded, powerful personality, is unfortunate for the people of India. Gandhi played an important role in making India a welfare nation by trusting in secular democracy with socialist ideology.

FAQ

1/ What is the name of Rajiv Gandhi’s father and mother?

Answer: Rajiv Gandhi’s father’s name is Feroze Gandhi and mother’s name is Indira Gandhi.

2/ When and where was Rajiv Gandhi born?

Answer: He was born on 20 August,1944 at Mumbai, India.

3/ Who is the youngest Prime Minister of India to be sworn in as prime minister?

Answer: Rajiv Gandhi was sworn in as the youngest Prime Minister of India on December 31, 1984 at the age of 40.

4/ How and when did Rajiv Gandhi died?

Answer: The influential leader was killed by the assailants on May 21,1991 with a suicide bomb attack.

5/ How did Rajiv Gandhi ended the problem of student movement that started in Assam?

Answer: During his prime ministership, a large student movement was launched in the student community industry due to illegal migration of Bangladeshi Muslims to Assam and Rajiv Gandhi ended the movement by signing the Assam Accord on August 15, 1985. 

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