New Delhi: Rajiv Ratna Gandhi, fondly known as Rajiv Gandhi, the sixth and the youngest Prime Minister of India is paid homage on his 68th birth anniversary. Born to Indira and Feroze Gandhi, Rajiv was his parents' eldest son.
Gandhi studied at Trinity College, Cambridge and became a professional pilot for Indian Airlines after his college. It was after his mother's assassination on October 31, 1984 that he was nominated as PM by the Indian National Congress party leaders. His reign brought about a major revolution in the country with the introduction of modern techniques in various fields and reforms in education, science and technology. He also strengthened ties with United States. However, Bofors scandal did bring a blot to his honest and corruption free image.
Rajiv also tried to maintain peace in Sri Lanka during 1987, through Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) but unfortunately it ended in conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). He remained in office till 1991, unless he was assassinated by a human bomb, campaigning in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu on May 21. The attack was blamed on LTTE.
The leader was awarded with the highest National Award of India, Bharat Ratna in 1991 for his work. He was an amateur radio operator and also founded INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage).
Throwing light at his personal life, he hailed from a prominent political family, as India's first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru was his grandfather and his mother Indira was a prime minister too. Brother Sanjay Gandhi was also one of the most powerful politicians of 70s. Rajiv married then waitress Antonia Albina Maino, now known as Sonia Gandhi, whom he met in London. His son Rahul Gandhi is a Member of Parliament from Amethi constituency and daughter Priyanka Gandhi is also an active political featurer.
In spite of mixed events in his life, he is remembered as one of the best leaders India ever had.