Rajiv Gandhi 74th birth anniversary: Congress pays homage to ‘Computer Man of India’

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New Delhi | Published: August 20, 2018 11:50:55 AM

The nation pays homage to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 74th birth anniversary today.

Rajiv Gandhi 74th birth anniversary: Congress pays homage to ‘Computer Man of India’

Rajiv Gandhi birth anniversary: The nation pays homage to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 74th birth anniversary today. Several Congress leaders including UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi along with Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Robert Vadra, former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Chief Minister of Rajasthan Ashok Gehlot paid floral tribute to the late Prime Minister at New Delhi’s Veer Bhumi. The day is being celebrated as ‘Sadbhavna Divas’ or ‘Harmony Day’ across the nation by party supporters.

In a tweet, the grand old party said, “We remember former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the architect of far-reaching reforms in Telecom, IT, Panchayati Raj amongst many many others, on his birth anniversary.” Prime Minister Narendra Modi also remembered Gandhi on his death anniversary. In a tweet, the Prime Minister said, “Tributes to our former Prime Minister Shri Rajiv Gandhi Ji on his birth anniversary. We remember his efforts towards the nation.”

Rajiv Gandhi was born on 20th August 1944 in Bombay (presently Mumbai) and represented Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi parliamentary constituency four times. Gandhi became Prime Minister (1984) after the assassination of his mother, the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. He served as the sixth Prime Minister from 1984 to 1989. Gandhi was the youngest Prime Minister (at the age of 40) in Independent India so far. He was also considered as one of the youngest heads of any government in the modern world. Rajiv’s greatest passion was flying. He joined Delhi Flying Club and obtain a commercial pilot’s license. However, later he joined Indian Airlines as a pilot. He always uses to stay away from politics but the death of his brother Sanjay Gandhi in 1980 forced him to enter the politics.

On achievement that Rajiv Gandhi is often credited with is the transformation of the country’s communication system under his watch as India’s Prime Minister. Many fondly remember Gandhi as the ‘Computer man of India’. Prior to Gandhi’ reign, the Indian government was unaware of the Information Technology. After the introduction of the computer in 1985, several opposition parties had launched a protest and demonstrations across the country stating that a computer is a super robot and will snatch labour jobs.

But today, it is the early adoption of computer technology that has provided jobs to millions of people in the country’s IT and BPO sectors. Noted technocrat Sam Pitroda, who is credited as the father of the nation’s telecom revolution, had said, “Digital India was started in Rajiv Gandhi’s time with the launch of the National Informatics Centre.” Apart from this, he took steps to liberalise country’s economic policy, a new foreign policy where India’s place will be on front rank, passing of Anti- Defection law among others.

Gandhi was assassinated in a suicide bombing during his visit to Tamil Nadu’s Sriperumbudur (about 40km from Chennai) on May 21, 1991, for campaigning during Lok Sabha elections.

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