Rajiv Gandhi ( 1944 – 1991)  the 46-year-old former Indian prime minister, has been assassinated.The elder son of Indira and Feroze Gandh,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.

A famous politician of the Nehru-Gandhi family, Sanjay Gandhi was born on December 14, 1946. He was the younger son of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Feroze Gandhi. He was the younger sibling of Rajiv Gandhi.Sanjay was quite popular and dominant during 1977-78 and he was widely expected to succeed his mother and an immensely popular leader Indira Gandhi. However, his early death gave way to his elder brother Rajiv Gandhi became her political heir.

Rajiv Ratna Gandhi (20 August 1944 – 21 May 1991) was the seventh Prime Minister of India. He served as prime minister from 1984 to 1989. He took office after the 1984 assassination of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, his mother. He became the youngest Indian prime minister.His charisma left millions awe struck as he brought a certain dynamism to the premiership with his powerful personality and great leadership skills.Gandhi remained Congress President until the elections in 1991. While campaigning for the elections, he was assassinated by a suicide bomber.Rajiv Gandhi's death has shocked the world and marks the end of the Nehru dynasty that had led India for all but five years since independence from Britain.After his brother Sanjay was killed in an air crash in 1980, he gave up his job as an airline pilot and was elected to Sanjay's parliamentary seat.He became prime minister after his mother, Indira Gandhi, was assassinated by her own Sikh bodyguards in 1984.Often seen as a reluctant leader, he and his Congress Party won a record majority later that year.He encouraged foreign investment, a freer economy and rejuvenated his own party, ridding it of his mother's unelected cronies.After he lost the election in 1989, Rajiv Gandhi resigned.This time, the Congress Party was expected to win the largest number of parliamentary seats - but not overall control - against the Hindu BJP Party and the Janata Dal, now split into two parties.The campaign has been marred by sectarian violence between Hindus and Muslims in what has proved to be the most violent election in Indian history. Two hundred people have already been killed.CIA assessed Rajiv Gandhi assassination five years before he was killed.Five years before Rajiv Gandhi was killed in 1991, the US Central Intelligence Agency had prepared a very detailed and thorough "brief" on what would happen if he is assassinated or makes an "abrupt departure" from the Indian political scene.

President Ronald Reagan, Sonia Gandhi, First Lady Nancy Reagan and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, during a state dinner for Prime Minister Gandhi. June 1985.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.

Pope John Paul II arrived  for a 10-day visit to India that has aroused protests from Hindu fundamentalists, despite the Pope's insistence that he is intent on preaching tolerance and harmony.The Pope was greeted by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi,Sonia Gandhi  and President Zail Singh in  February 1, 1986.

A Nehru-Gandhi scion, Rajiv Gandhi was one of the most popular politicians of India, who went on to become the Prime Minister of the country. Interestingly, this political stalwart wasn’t even interested in joining politics, leave alone becoming the leader of nation. Trained as a commercial pilot, he was happy in his life which was extremely private sans all public attention, until a tragic accident changed the course of his life and his family. His brother, Sanjay Gandhi died in a plane crash leaving behind a void that could be filled by none other than Rajiv Gandhi. To fill in the void, he stepped into his brother’s shoes quite reluctantly but within a short span of time became a frontrunner in Indian politics.He laid the foundation of information technology revolution whose rewards we are reaping today. He spread the network of telephones to the rural and remote corners of the country through PCOs (Public Call Offices). He also brought a positive uproar in the educational sector by launching the national educational policy. In addition to this, he set up schools, colleges and institutions.Rajiv Gandhi completed his schooling from the Welham Boys' School and the Doon School in Dehradun. In 1961 he went to London to study A-levels. He then joined Trinity College of Cambridge for an engineering course but did not complete the degree course and left in 1965.

Rajiv Gandhi married Sonia Gandhiin 1968, who was originally an Italian and worked as a waitress in the Varsity Restaurant, a Greek restaurant in the city of Cambridge. They had their first child Rahul Gandhi in 1970 and their Second child Priyanka Gandhi in 1972.Sonia Gandhi was born Sonia Maino on December 9, 1947, in the small village of Orbassano, just outside Turin, Italy.Almost a decade after her husband's death, Sonia Gandhi reluctantly followed in her famous family's footsteps by entering politics. In 2004, after serving as president of India's Congress Party.

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.Their courtship lasted three years, during which Sonia's parents expressed their reluctance over her becoming involved in such a different culture.The couple married in 1968. Sonia wore the same pink sari her mother-in-law had worn at her own wedding many years before.The couple had two children, daughter Priyanka, born on January 12 1972 and son Rahul, born on June 19, 1970.He started working as a professional pilot for Indian Airlines. He married Sonia Gandhiin 1968, who was originally an Italian and worked as a waitress in the Varsity Restaurant, a Greek restaurant in the city of Cambridge. They had their first child Rahul Gandhi in 1970 and their Second child Priyanka Gandhi in 1972.At present both Sonia Gandhiand Rahul Gandhi are members of the 15th Lok Sabha and Sonia Gandhiis the President while Rahul Gandhi is the Vice-President of the Indian National Congress.He was campaigning for the Congress Party on the second day of voting in the world's largest democratic election when a powerful bomb, hidden in a basket of flowers, exploded killing him instantly.No-one has admitted carrying out the murder but it is being blamed on Mr Gandhi's arch enemies, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a violent guerrilla group fighting for a separate homeland for Tamils on the island of Sri Lanka.

A May 24, 1991 shows the funeral procession for slain Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi moving through the crowded streets of New Delhi.Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhis son Rahul lights the fire to burn the pyre holding Gandhis body.Former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, who was assassinated by the Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebel group.

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