India observes the 77th birth anniversary of former Prime Minister of India, Rajiv Gandhi, on Friday, i.e. August 20. Rajiv Ratna Gandhi was born on August 20, 1944, to Indira Gandhi and Feroze Gandhi in Bombay (now Mumbai). He served as the sixth prime minister of India from the year 1984 to 1989. Rajiv Gandhi's birth anniversary is also celebrated as "Sadbhavana Diwas" or Harmony Day. Array of Programmes to Mark 77th Birth Anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi.

Rajiv Gandhi was forced to join politics by his mother and the then Prime Minister of the country Indira Gandhi after the death of his younger brother Sanjay Gandhi. Rajiv Gandhi died on May 21, 1991, at Sriperumbudur, near Madras (now Chennai), in a bomb attack orchestrated by the Tamil Tiger. Rajiv Gandhi Birth Anniversary: Notable Quotes by The Congress Leader Who Served as Youngest PM of India.

Here Are Interesting Fact About Rajiv Gandhi:

  • Rajiv Gandhi studied at the prestigious Doon School in India. He was sent to London in 1961 to study A-levels. He then went to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he met his future wife Sonia Maino. He was enrolled at the Imperial College London to study mechanical engineering but did not complete the course.
  • He was trained as a pilot in Delhi. Before joining politics, he was also employed by the national carrier, Air India.
  • After the death of Indira Gandhi, he was sworn in as the sixth Prime Minister of India and served from 1984 to 1989.
  • Rajiv Gandhi became the prime minister at 40 years, the youngest PM to have ever taken an oath.
  • Rajiv Gandhi was married Sonia in 1968. Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi were born to them in 1970 and 1972, respectively.
  • His tenure as the Prime Minister was tainted due to the anti-Sikh riots which erupted in Delhi in 1984 after the death of Indira Gandhi. In 1989, the Congress lost the general elections, and VP Singh came to power.
  • Rajiv Gandhi died on May 21, 1991. During a rally in Sriperumbudur, an LTTE militant detonated an explosive while approaching him.
  • His birth anniversary is observed annually as 'Sadbhavana Diwas' or Harmony Day. On this day, the message of unity, compassion, tolerance and brotherhood is propagated.

Sadbhavana Diwas:

Sadbhavana Diwas observance began on August 20, 1992, which marked the 48th birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi. The "Sadbhavana pledge" is taken by admirers of Gandhi on this day to reaffirm the values of tolerance, communal harmony, brotherhood and national integration. The Sadbhavana Pledge reads, "I take this solemn pledge that I will work for the emotional oneness and harmony of all the people of India regardless of caste, creed, region, religion or language." Rajiv Gandhi's 77th Birth Anniversary: IYC, NSUI to Organise Blood Donation Camps, Photo Exhibition, Sports, Cultural Events in Delhi.

Rajiv Gandhi will always be remembered as a visionary leader. He brought technological advancements in India. However, his term as the PM also remains controversial due to the Shah Bano case and allegations of corruption in the Bofors deal. Rajiv was the second member of the Nehru-Gandhi family to be killed by extremists within a span of seven years. He died at the young age of 44. His assassination day is observed as National Anti-Terrorism Day.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Aug 20, 2021 07:30 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website