Shri Rajiv Gandhi

 

Rajiv Ratna Gandhi (20 August 1944 – 21 May 1991) was the sixth Prime Minister of India (1984–1989). He took office after his mother's assassination on 31 October 1984; he himself was assassinated on 21 May 1991. He became the youngest Prime Minister of India when he took office at the age of 40.

Rajiv Gandhi was the eldest son of Indira and Feroze Gandhi. He went to study at Trinity College, Cambridge, and later at Imperial College London, but did not complete a degree at either. At Cambridge he met the Italian-born Sonia Albina Maino, then a waitress in a restaurant, whom he later married. After dropping out of university, 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, the Indian National Congress party leaders nominated him to be Prime Minister.

Rajiv Gandhi was posthumously awarded the Highest National Award of India, Bharat Ratna (1991), joining a list of 40 luminaries, including Indira Gandhi.

 
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