Rajiv Gandhi birth anniversary: From being dubbed ‘Mr Clean’ to being a pilot, facts about India’s youngest PM

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This year marks the 77th birth anniversary of Rajiv Gandhi, the seventh Prime Minister of India. The youngest Prime Minister India ever had, he was only 40 years old when he assumed office after the assassination of his mother, then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

To promote national integration and peace among different communities, 20 August is also marked as Sadbhavana Diwas.

On the occasion of his birth anniversary, here are some interesting facts about Gandhi:

– Gandhi was a pilot by profession. He had started working with Air India in 1970.

– Gandhi met his future wife, Edvige Antonia Albina Maino, while he was studying in the United Kingdom. In 1968, the couple got married and Maino changed her name to Sonia Gandhi.

– He remained apolitical till the death of his brother, Sanjay Gandhi, in 1980.

– Gandhi was an avid photographer. After his death, his wife Sonia Gandhi released his work in the form of a book- Rajiv’s World: Photographs by Rajiv Gandhi. The book was a collection of pictures clicked by Gandhi over four decades.

– Gandhi was also a fan of music, both Hindustani classical and Western music.

– Gandhi was one of the few political leaders who loved to drive around himself. He even drove himself around during his electoral campaigns.

– He was nicknamed ‘Mr. Clean’ due to his crusade against corruption. He had promised to root out corruption from the country.

– Under his leadership, Congress won its highest-ever majority in Lok Sabha, a staggering 411 seats out of 542.

– Gandhi was assassinated in 1991 while attending a public meeting campaigning for a Lok Sabha Congress candidate in Tamil Nadu’s Sriperumbudur. He was awarded India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna posthumously.

This year, the Congress party has planned a variety of programmes, including blood donation camps and cultural events, to honour the late leader.

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