Bishwa Nath Singh
Let us ponder over the significant role that our youngest Prime Minister had played in development of our country who was posthumously awarded the Highest National Award of India, Bharat Ratna!
( Photo of Rajiv Gandhi,the former Prime Minister of India)
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Bishwa Nath Sing:
Rajiv Gandhi was born on August 20, 1944, into the country's eminent political dynasty - the Nehru-Gandhi family. He was the eldest son of Feroz Gandhi and Indira Priyadarshini Gandh His grandfather Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru was the first P...rime Minister of India who had held the high office for seventeen years whereas his mother Indira Gandhi was the first and the only woman Prime Minister of India. His father Feroze Gandhi was a key member of the Indian National Congress who had become the editor of The National Herald newspaper founded by Motilal Nehru in Allahabad and later on,he had become the Member of Parliament who was known for his oratory and truthfulness. His parents lived separately and Rajiv Gandhi was raised at his grandfather's home where her mother lived.Rajiv Gandhi initially attended the Welham Boys' School and subsequently sent to the elite Doon School in Dehradun of Uttranchal of India.Later, he went to the United Kingdom to study at the Cambridge University. It was here in Cambridge University, young Rajiv met Sonia Maino (later Sonia Gandhi) from Italy In 1964 Sonia had gone to study English at the Bell Educational Trust's language school in the city of Cambridge in 1964. S had met Rajiv Gandhi, who was enrolled in Trinity College at the University of Cambridge in 1965 at a Greek restaurant while working there, as a waitress to make ends meet. Sonia and Rajiv Gandhi married in 1968, following which she moved into the house of her mother-in-law and then Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi. After his return from the United Kingdom, Rajiv Gandhi had exhibited least interest in the politics and focused onto becoming a professional pilot. He, later, worked for Indian Airlines, as a pilot. was a professional Pilot for Indian airlines. Sanjay Gandhi, his younger brother who was two years younger to him had already entered politics and became an aid to her mother Indira Gandhi Sanjay's died in 1980 in Plane crash while flying., After his brother death , Rajiv gandhi entered politics at the instance of his mother. In 1981, He won his first Lok Sabha, later with in a short period he had held a position as General Secretary of the Congress Party. In 1984 he became the seventh Prime Minister of India at the age of forty after his mother Indira Gandhi’s assassination ,he was sworn in as the Prime Minister of India on October 31, 1984. Soon after, he had called for general elections in 1984 and riding on a massive sympathy wave led Congress to a thumping victory. Congress gathered eighty percent of the seats in the lower house and achieved its greatest victory since independence and was sworn in as the Prime Minister.He was the seventh and youngest Prime Minister of India from October 31,1984 to December 2,1989. As a Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi had made a valuable contribution in modernizing Indian administration. He had the vision and foresight to see that information technology will play a key role in the 21 century and worked actively to develop India's capacity in this realm. He had improved mutual relations with the United States and expanded economic and scientific cooperation and also he increased government support for science and technology and associated industries, and reduced import quotas, taxes and tax on technology-based industries, especially computers, defense, airlines, and telecommunications. In 1986, Rajiv declared that a National Policy on Education to Improve and expand higher education Programs in India. In 1986, he established the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya System, which is a Central government based institution that concentrates on rural areas sections and provides free residential education from the sixth to twelve standards. In his initial days as Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi was immensely popular. During his tenure as Prime Minister of India, he brought certain dynamism to the premiership, which had always been occupied by older people. He is credited with promoting the introduction of computers in India. He began leading in a direction significantly different from Indira Gandhi's socialism. He improved bilateral relations with the United States and expanded economic and scientific cooperation. He increased government support for science and technology and associated industries, and reduced import quotas, taxes and tariffs on technology-based industries, especially computers, airlines, defense and telecommunications. He worked towards reducing the red tape in the governance and freeing administration from bureaucratic tangles. In 1986, Rajiv Gandhi announced a national education policy to modernize and expand higher education programs across India.He had authorized an extensive police and army campaign against the militants in Punjab. Rajiv's government suffered a major setback when its efforts to broker peace between the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE rebels backfired. As per the peace accords signed in 1987, the LTTE would disarm to the Indian Peace Keeping Force which was sent to Sri Lanka. But distrust and a few incidents of conflict broke out into open fighting between the LTTE militants and Indian soldiers. Over a thousand Indian soldiers were killed, and at last Rajiv Gandhi had to pull out Indian forces from Sri Lanka. It was a failure of Rajiv's diplomacy. Although Rajeev Gandhi promised to end corruption, he and his party were themselves implicated in corruption scandals. The major scandal being Bofors Gun scandal involving alleged payoffs by the Swedish Bofors arms company. In 1988, Rajiv reversed the coup in Maldives antagonizing 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.He had 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 on on May 21, 1991.His legacy is being carried ot very well by his wife Sonia Gandhi who became the leader of the Congress party in 1998, and led the party to victory in the 2004 & 2009 election of lower house who continues to be the Member of Parliament and Chair person of UPA. His son Rahul Gandhi is a Member of Parliament and the General Secretary of All India Congress Committee where his daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra though married but a great figure in Public’s view draws huge crowd wherever she goes ror canvassing for her mother and brother during Poll period..He was posthumously awarded the Highest National Award of India, Bharat Ratna in 1991.Let us pay our respectful homage and floral tribute to that great son of India who is still adored by over billions of peole spread round the globe!