Gandhi, Rajiv (Ratna)

Gandhi, Rajiv (Ratna)

biographical name

(born Aug. 20, 1944, Bombay [Mumbai], India—died May 21, 1991, Sriperumbudur, near Madras [Chennai]) Indian politician, prime minister of India (1984–89). Son of Indira Gandhi, he studied engineering at the University of Cambridge and became a commercial airline pilot in 1968. He entered politics after the death of his brother, Sanjay, in 1980. Sworn in as prime minister the day his mother was assassinated (Oct. 31, 1984), he led the Congress (I) Party to a landslide victory in elections that year. His administration took vigorous measures to reform the government bureaucracy and liberalize the country's economy, but his attempts to discourage separatist movements failed, and his government became embroiled in financial scandals. He resigned in 1989 but remained leader of the Congress (I) Party. He was assassinated in 1991 while running for reelection.

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