Remembering Rajiv Gandhi

Updated: May 21, 2011 13:44 IST
Here's a look at some of the key moments in the iconic leader's life.
Remembering Rajiv
His charisma left millions awe struck as he brought a certain dynamism to the premiership with his powerful personality and great leadership skills.

The elder son of Indira and Feroze Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi was the 7th Prime Minister of India from 1984 to 1989.

His assassination marked an end to what could have been one of India's most successful political sojourn.

Here's a look at the journey he traversed.
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi
Son of Indira Gandhi and Feroz Gandhi, who were at the forefront during India's freedom struggle, Rajiv was born in 1944 in Mumbai, during a time when both his parents were in and out of British prisons.

Rajiv lived with his mother and grandfather, India's then Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru in New Delhi.
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv did his schooling initially at the Welham Boys' School and later The Doon School, Dehradun.

He was sent to London in 1961 to study his A-levels.

In this picture, Rajiv Gandhi with mother Indira Gandhi and brother Sanjay Gandhi.(AFP image)
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi
In January 1965, Rajiv Gandhi met Italian born Antonia Maino (now Sonia Gandhi).

In 1964, when Sonia was eighteen years old, her father sent her to Cambridge, England, to study English. That's where she met her future husband, Rajiv Gandhi, who was studying engineering at Cambridge.
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi
According to Sonia Gandhi, it was love at first sight.

Their courtship lasted three years, during which Sonia's parents expressed their reluctance over her becoming involved in such a different culture.

Sonia herself was nervous about meeting Rajiv's famous mother, Indira Gandhi, the "first lady" of India.(AFP image)
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi
The couple married in 1968. Sonia wore the same pink sari her mother-in-law had worn at her own wedding many years before.
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi
Following the wedding, Sonia and Rajiv moved in with Indira Gandhi, who by then had become the prime minister of the country.
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi
The couple had two children, daughter Priyanka, born on January 12 1972 and son Rahul, born on June 19, 1970.
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi was chosen as the successor to the Gandhi-Nehru crown following the death of his brother Sanjay Gandhi in a plane crash in 1980.

Rajiv entered politics out of a sense of family duty. Sonia Gandhi was vehemently opposed to the idea, given the explosive nature of Indian politics but finally supported her husband's decision.

He eventually fought his first election from Amethi Loksabha seat and went on to defeat Lokdal leader Sharad Yadav by more than 200,000 votes.(AFP image)
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi
In 1984, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in retaliation for her decision to send troops into the Golden Temple. After the assassination of his mother, the Indian National Congress party leaders nominated Rajiv to be the Prime Minister. (AFP image)
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi
The tragedy of his mother's untimely end thrust Rajiv Gandhi, a commercial pilot with Indian Airlines, into the limelight as the country's Prime Minister.
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi
He led the Congress party to a major election victory in 1984 amassing the largest majority ever in Indian Parliament. He became India's youngest Prime Minister on October 31, 1984.(AFP image)
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi
With his futuristic approach, Rajiv Gandhi led the nation to progress and tapped the potential of the youth to a great extent too. He improved India's long strained bilateral relations with the United States and expanded economic and scientific cooperation. (AFP image)
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi
Seven years later, tragedy struck the Gandhi family again. On May 21, 1991, Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu by a suicide bomber. (AFP image)
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi
People in large numbers gathered as Rajiv Gandhi was cremated at Shakti Sthal on the banks of the holy Yamuna River.(AFP image)
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi
A May 24, 1991 file photo shows the funeral procession for slain Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi moving through the crowded streets of New Delhi.
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi's close associates said that he was one of the most positive people around who greeted everybody with a smile no matter how much burden he had on his shoulders.(AFP image)
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi
After her husband's death, Sonia Gandhi shouldered the responsibility of a century old party, and helped it leapfrog to power, silencing her worse critics along the way. Today, she is the President of the Congress Party and under her leadership, the party won two successive General elections with Manmohan Singh as the Prime Minister.
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi's family invariably inherited the qualities he possessed. While Rahul Gandhi is seen as the future Prime Minister of India, Priyanka has been widely compared to her grandmother.(AP image)
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pays tribute at the memorial service on Rajiv Gandhi's 19th death anniversary. (AP Image)
Remembering Rajiv Gandhi
In this picture, Congress party president Sonia Gandhi at her husband's memorial service.(AP Image)

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