- Rajiv Gandhi As Prime Minister As Was My Kind of Indian
On-21-05-17 Rajiv Gandhi’s death anniversary, here is a look back at what his Prime Ministership meant to CongressEvery assassination comes as ashock, but the bomb blast that murdered Rajiv Gandhi 24 years ago took morethan his life and those of others around him. The loss of the man who wouldhave turned 71 today meant far more than “just” the death of a former prime minister.I grieved that day not only for his family, but for the hopes he had raised inme, for the frustration and disappointment he had later evoked, for thepotential he still represented.
When, in the anarchicaftermath of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s murder in 1984, her son wasanointed her successor, my first reaction, like that of so many educatedIndians, was one of dismay. Couldn’t we, a country of more than 800 millionpeople, find anyone better qualified to rule us than a 40-year-old airlinepilot with four years of political experience.
Rajiv Gandhi’s elevation, principally the magic of the Nehru family, itsmystique now burnished by martyrdom. In the frenzy and chaos that followedIndia’s first major political assassination since that of Mahatma Gandhi in1948, the Congress clamoured for the stability and reassurance of a familiarvote-catching name at the helm. Its leaders chose Rajiv Gandhi not for himself,but for his lineage.