Rajiv Gandhi (1944 - 1991) MP

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Death: Died in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, India
Cause of death: Assassinated
Managed by: Anilkumar Nair Puthalath
Last Updated:

About Rajiv Gandhi

Rajiv Ratna Gandhi (Kashmiri/Hindi: राजीव गांधी; 20 August 1944 – 21 May 1991) was the sixth Prime Minister of India, serving from October 1984 to December 1989.

Rajiv Gandhi was the elder son of Indira and Feroze Gandhi. He was educated at Cambridge, where he met Italian-born Sonia Maino, whom he later married. After Cambridge, he became a professional pilot for Indian Airlines. He remained aloof from politics despite his family's political prominence. It was only following the death of his younger brother Sanjay Gandhi in 1980 that Rajiv entered politics. Following the assassination of his mother in 1984 after Operation Blue Star, Indian National Congress party leaders nominated him to be Prime Minister.

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Rajiv Gandhi's Timeline

1944
August 20, 1944
August 20, 1944

Rajiv Ratna Gandhi (Hindi: राजीव गांधी; 20 August 1944 – 21 May 1991) was the Former 7th Prime Minister of the Republic of India, serving from his mother's death on 31 October 1984 until his resignation on 2 December 1989 following a general election defeat. He became the youngest Prime Minister of India when he took office at the age of 40. He was the elder son of Indira Gandhi and Feroze Gandhi.

Rajiv Gandhi was a professional pilot for Indian Airlines before entering politics. While at Cambridge, he met Italian-born Sonia Gandhi whom he later married. He remained aloof from politics despite his mother being the Indian Prime Minister, and it was only following the death of his younger brother Sanjay Gandhi in 1980 that Rajiv entered politics. After the assassination of his mother in 1984 after Operation Blue Star, Indian National Congress party leaders nominated him to be Prime Minister.

Rajiv Gandhi led the Congress to a major election victory in 1984 soon after, amassing the largest majority ever in Indian Parliament. The Congress party won 411 seats out of 542. He began dismantling the License Raj - government quotas, tariffs and permit regulations on economic activity - modernized the telecommunications industry, the education system, expanded science and technology initiatives and improved relations with the United States.

In 1988, Rajiv reversed the coup in Maldives antagonising the militant Tamil outfits such as PLOTE. He was also responsible for first intervening and then sending Indian troops (Indian Peace Keeping Force or IPKF) for peace efforts in Sri Lanka in 1987, which soon ended in open conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) group. In mid-1987, the Bofors scandal broke his honest, corruption-free image and resulted in a major defeat for his party in the 1989 elections.

Rajiv Gandhi remained Congress President until the elections in 1991. While campaigning, he was assassinated by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers) group. His widow Sonia Gandhi became the leader of the Congress party in 1998, and led the party to victory in the 2004 elections. His son Rahul Gandhi is a Member of Parliament and the General Secretary of All India Congress Committee.[1]

Rajiv Gandhi was posthumously awarded the Highest National Award of India, Bharat Ratna, joining a list of 40 luminaries, including Indira Gandhi.

Rajiv Gandhi was an active amateur radio operator, and used the callsign VU2RG

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajiv_Gandhi

August 20, 1944
Bombay, Bombay Presidency, British India

Rajiv Gandhi was born into India's most famous political family. His grandfather was the Indian independence leader Jawaharlal Nehru, who was the India's first Prime Minister after independence.

Rajiv is not related to Mahatma Gandhi, although they share the same surname. Rajiv's father, Feroze, was one of the younger members of the Indian National Congress party, and had befriended the young Indira, and also her mother Kamala Nehru, while working on party affairs at Allahabad. Subsequently, Indira and Feroze grew closer to each other while in England, and they married, despite initial objections from Jawaharlal due to his religion (Zoroastrianism).[citation needed]

Rajiv was born in 1944 in Mumbai, during a time when both his parents were in and out of British prisons. In August 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru became the prime minister of independent India, and the family settled in Allahabad, and then at Lucknow, where Feroze became the editor of The National Herald newspaper (founded by Motilal Nehru). However, the marriage was faltering and, in 1949, Indira and the two sons moved to Delhi to live with Jawaharlal, ostensibly so that Indira could assist her father in his duties, acting as official hostess, and helping run the huge residence. Meanwhile, Feroze continued alone in Lucknow. Nonetheless, in 1952, Indira helped Feroze manage his campaign for elections to the first Parliament of India from Rae Bareli.

1968
February 26, 1968
Age 23
1970
June 19, 1970
Age 25
New Delhi, Delhi, India
1972
January 12, 1972
Age 27
New Delhi, Delhi, India
1991
May 21, 1991
Age 46
Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, India

Rajiv Gandhi's last public meeting was at Sriperumbudur on 21 May 1991, in a village approximately 30 miles from Madras, Tamil Nadu, where he was assassinated while campaigning for the Sriperumbudur Lok Sabha Congress candidate.[14] The assassination was carried out by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide bomber Thenmozhi Rajaratnam also known as Gayatri and Dhanu.

At 10:10 p.m., the assassin Dhanu approached him in a public meeting and greeted the former Prime Minister. She then bent down to touch his feet (an expression of respect among Indians) and detonated a belt laden with 700 grams of RDX explosive tucked under her dress.[15] The former Prime Minister along with many others were killed in the explosion that followed. The assassination was caught on film through the lens of a local photographer, whose camera and film were found at the site. The cameraman himself also died in the blast but the camera remained intact.

The Rajiv Gandhi Memorial was built at the site recently and is one of the major tourist attractions to the small industrial town.
The Rajiv Gandhi Memorial at Sriperumbudur.

The Supreme Court judgement, by Judge Thomas, confirmed that the killing was carried out due to personal animosity of the LTTE chief Prabhakaran towards Mr Rajiv Gandhi arising out of his sending the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to Sri Lanka and the alleged IPKF atrocities against Srilankan Tamils. However, it should be noted that the Rajiv Gandhi administration had already antagonised other Tamil militant organisations like PLOTE for reversing the military coup in Maldives back in 1988.

The judgment further cites the death of Thileepan in a hunger strike and the suicide by 12 LTTE cadres in a vessel in Oct 1987.

May 21, 1991
Age 46
Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, India

Rajiv Gandhi's last public meeting was at Sriperumbudur on 21 May 1991, in a village approximately 30 miles from Madras, Tamil Nadu, where he was assassinated while campaigning for the Sriperumbudur Lok Sabha Congress candidate.[14] The assassination was carried out by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) suicide bomber Thenmozhi Rajaratnam also known as Gayatri and Dhanu.

At 10:10 p.m., the assassin Dhanu approached him in a public meeting and greeted the former Prime Minister. She then bent down to touch his feet (an expression of respect among Indians) and detonated a belt laden with 700 grams of RDX explosive tucked under her dress.[15] The former Prime Minister along with many others were killed in the explosion that followed. The assassination was caught on film through the lens of a local photographer, whose camera and film were found at the site. The cameraman himself also died in the blast but the camera remained intact.

The Rajiv Gandhi Memorial was built at the site recently and is one of the major tourist attractions to the small industrial town.

The Supreme Court judgement, by Judge Thomas, confirmed that the killing was carried out due to personal animosity of the LTTE chief Prabhakaran towards Mr Rajiv Gandhi arising out of his sending the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) to Sri Lanka and the alleged IPKF atrocities against Srilankan Tamils. However, it should be noted that the Rajiv Gandhi administration had already antagonised other Tamil militant organisations like PLOTE for reversing the military coup in Maldives back in 1988.

The judgment further cites the death of Thileepan in a hunger strike and the suicide by 12 LTTE cadres in a vessel in Oct 1987.

In the Jain Commission report, various people and agencies are named as suspected of having been involved in the murder of Rajiv Gandhi. Among them, the cleric Chandraswami was suspected of involvement, including financing the assassination.[16][17][18] The interim report of the Jain Commission created a storm when it accused Karunanidhi of a role in the assassination, leading to Congress withdrawing its support for the I. K. Gujral government and fresh elections in 1998. LTTE spokesman Anton Balasingham told the Indian television channel NDTV that the killing was a "great tragedy, a monumental historical tragedy which we deeply regret."[19][20] A memorial christened Veer Bhumi was constructed at his cremation spot in Delhi. The International Airport constructed at Hyderabad has been named after Rajiv Gandhi and was inaugurated by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajiv_Gandhi

May 21, 1991
Age 46
Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu, India
1991
Age 46