Rajiv Gandhi's 74th Birth Anniversary: 10 facts you must know
New Delhi, Aug 20: Former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, born on August 20, 1944 was the youngest prime minister of India taking office at the age of 40 years.
Hailing from a highly political family, his inclination to politics was touted by many as reluctant. Gandhi, however, had to take charge after his mother Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984.
Here are the 10 facts you must know
Rajiv Gandhi's full name was Rajiv Ratna Gandhi
He was christened as 'Rajiv' after his maternal grandmother Kamala Nehru's name. Since 'Kamala' refers to goddess Lakshmi and 'Rajiv to lotus, his name is in reference to the flower that is used to worship the goddess.
Rajiv Gandhi offered flowers at Mahatma Gandhi's feet. To which, he was advised that such offerings are made only when someone is dead. Much to everyone's surprise, Mahatma was killed just a day after on August 2 1st.
Rajiv fell in love with Sonia when he met her for the first time at a Greek restaurant. He wrote a poetry for her on a paper napkin and gave it to the manager to give it to her, along with a bottle of most expensive champaigne. Rajiv married Sonia Maino in 1968. He considered Sonia as the most beautiful woman in the world and was very expressive about his feelings towards her.
After returning to India, he joined the Flying Club and got trained as a pilot. He chose to pursue a career in the Indian Airlines as a pilot. He remained a pilot until he entered politics.
He stayed out of politics until the death of his younger brother Sanjay Gandhi but after he died in a plane crash, Indira Gandhi urged him to join the Indian politics and be her adviser
He loved computers and gadgets. As a minister, he stressed on the advancement of digitisation within the country
Till date, he is still the youngest Prime Minister the country has ever had. He took the position at the young age of 40
It was under his leadership that the Congress won its largest majority in the Lok Sabha, with a record 411 seats of the 542.
On May 21, 1991 Rajiv Gandhi, the seventh prime minister of India was assassinated by LTTE cadres in a suicide bombing at an election rally in Sriperumbudur, around 40 km off the Tamil Nadu capital Chennai.