Anti-Terrorism day is observed every year on May 21 in India in the memory of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi who was assassinated on this day in 1991. On this day, anti-terrorism pledge is taken in all the government offices, public sector undertakings and other public institutions. The day is observed by spreading the message of peace and humanity and to promote unity among the people. The Anti-Terrorism day also aims to provide education and training to youngsters in order to prevent them from joining the terrorist groups. Rajiv Gandhi 27th Death Anniversary: Why it is Observed as Anti-Terrorism Day & Other Rare Facts Linked to the Late Prime Minister.
The official announcement of National Anti Terrorism Day was made after the assassination of Gandhi on May 21, 1991, at Sriperumbudur in Chennai during a public meeting. At 10:10 pm on that, a woman identified as Thenmozhi Rajaratnam, who was a member of Liberation of Tamil Tigers Eelam (LTTE) a terrorist group, approached Gandhi in public and greeted him. She then bent down to touch his feet and detonated a belt laden with RDX explosives tucked under her dress. In the explosion the former prime minister, Rajaratnam, and at least 25 other people. Rajiv Gandhi Didn't Use INS Viraat For Holiday: Retd Vice Admiral Rejects PM Narendra Modi’s 'Personal Taxi' Charge.
The assassination was captured by a 21-year-old local photographer, whose camera and film were found at the site. The cameraman, named Haribabu, also died in the blast. Gandhi, a scion of the politically powerful Nehru–Gandhi family became the prime minister of India in 1984 after the assassination of his mother and the then PM Indira Gandhi. He served as the prime minister from 1984 to 1989. Rajiv Gandhi remained Congress president until the Lok Sabha elections in 1991. After his death, Rajiv Gandhi was awarded Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award. A floral tribute is also paid to him every year by various political leaders on his death anniversary. LTTE Issues Statement on Rajiv Gandhi’s Murder, Denies Charge of Assassinating Former PM.
India suffered a lot from terrorism, as of 2013, 205 of the nation’s 608 districts were affected by terrorist activity. So, May 21 is observed to generate awareness in the country about the danger of terrorism, violence and its dangerous effect on the people, society and whole country. Seminars promoting anti-terrorism are organised and marches are carried out by the Congressmen all around the country on this day. This year, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has directed varsities and higher educational institutions to observe 21 May as Anti-Terrorism day to wean away the youth from terrorism.