21st May 1991 is marked as a black day in the pages of Indian history. This was the day India lost one of its great souls, Rajiv Gandhi. Rajiv Gandhi belonged to the longest chain of political family of India – the Nehru – Gandhi family. Grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru and son of Indira Gandhi, Rajiv had seen politics from a very close range since birth.
Born on 20th August 1944, he was the youngest son of Indira Gandhi. Although in the initial years of his life he remained at a distance from Politics, he couldn’t remain away from his legacy for long. Following the death of his elder brother Sanjay, the prodigal son returned to his roots and joined politics. After this, he bore many responsible positions in their party, the Indian National Congress.
Before joining politics, Gandhi worked as a professional pilot in Indian Airways. He completed his education in the UK. He was married to Sonia Gandhi, one of the leading political figures of the country today and the couple had two children – Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi.
Rajiv’s most intimate link with politics started when his mother, Indira Gandhi, the 5th Prime Minister of India was assassinated on 31st October 1984. On the same day, he was appointed as the 6th Prime Minister of India.
His tenure as the Prime Minister of India was surrounded by many controversies and difficult times. He remained the President of Congress till his death. Rajiv Gandhi became the victim of a very untimely death. He began target of a suicide bomber from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam ( LTTE) while campaigning for the elections of ’91 in Tamil Nadu.
Rajiv Gandhi is known for taking many positive steps for promoting education in the country. Because of this, a great number of educational institutions of the country are named after him.
After his death, the Indian government conferred him with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award posthumously in 1991. He was also given the Revolutionary Leader of Modern India Award posthumously at the India Leadership Conclave, 2009. Remembering his father on his death anniversary, Rahul Gandhi tweeted, ” My father taught me to hate is a prison.”
Along with his family, the whole country mourns his death today. Today may be his 27th Death Anniversary, but his memories and good works will always remain fresh in the hearts of his loved ones. On this dark day we can only pray to God to give peace to this departed soul.