Remembering Rajiv Gandhi on his 77th birth anniversary
People of every generation in India agree to the fact that despite his short tenure as the prime minister, Rajiv Gandhi has left his mark on Indian politics
Though it’s been three decades since Congress leader and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi passed away, his reforms and policies are still relevant today. He is one of those leaders who has left his mark on Indian politics.
Remembering the former PM on his birth anniversary, Azaan Khan, an engineer with NPCI, says that Gandhi is the one who transitioned India and brought it on a global platform. He adds, “I think Rajiv Gandhi was a leader with a great vision. Many of the policies he introduced are still being followed today. Had he been alive today, he would have been a great asset to the country.”
Khan’s father, Tauheed Siddiqui, who is the Chairman of the Minority Department of Congress party in Lucknow, agrees. He believes that Rajiv Gandhi is the leader India needs today. He says, “Even though Modi takes credit for Digital India, it is only because of Rajiv Gandhi that we can even talk about Digital India today. He was the one who brought the IT Revolution.”
Siddiqui recalls that Rajiv Gandhi had given private loans to businessmen back in the 1980s and built many factories in Uttar Pradesh that gave employment to thousands of youth. Siddiqui adds, “Rajiv Gandhi ji brought economic reforms that made India stand at par with the developed countries. His policies like Digital India and Panchayati Raj have also stood the test of time.”
Paras Chaudhary, who works with the Congress party’s social media unit, thinks that for a person who never even wanted to join politics, Rajiv Gandhi showed his caliber and ability as a leader in the truest sense. Chaudhary says that one of Gandhi’s speeches has stuck with him, where he said- “In doing what I ought, I deserve no praise, because it is my duty”.
Chaudhary thinks that Rajiv Gandhi laid the foundation for modern India by bringing in the telecom revolution and the computer era. But what stands apart for him is the former PM’s Panchayati Raj system which, he says, “gave the people in villages, the power and hope of development”.
However, though Chaudhary thinks that Rajiv Gandhi was an ideal leader, he does acknowledge that there were some things the Congress politician could have handled better- like the Shah Bano case.
This is something Akhilesh Kumar, an LIC employee from Meerut, agrees with. He feels that despite the many good things that the leader did, like introducing the importance of computer science and starting degree courses like MCA, there were somethings that were not so good.
On the other hand, Kumar’s daughter, Garima Shakya, a History graduate, says that she has grown up listening to stories about Rajiv Gandhi from her father, who clearly remembers each detail from the day the leader was assassinated.
Despite everything, Khan says that the former PM was a very promising leader. He adds, “He set up MTNL, BHEL, VSNL, and so many other industries. He gave a boost to businesses and the automobile industry, and relaxed taxes for foreign companies setting up plants in India.”
Khan believes that what Rajiv Gandhi did, in his only term as the PM, is no mean feat.