Rajiv Gandhi: The Prime Minister who only wanted to fly

Yahoo News

May 21, 2020 marks the 29th death anniversary of the former Prime Minister and Congress leader Rajiv Gandhi, a preeminent member of India’s powerful Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. Before he became India’s youngest PM, Rajiv was a commercial pilot with a deep love for aviation and flying. Here’s a look at his life in pictures.

Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru tells his grandson Rajiva Gandhi a story in the family garden.
Young Rajiv with grandfather Pandit Nehru
Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru tells his grandson Rajiva Gandhi a story in the family garden.
28th October 1950: Indian Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 - 1964) by a lily pond in the garden of his New Delhi home. WIth him are his daughter Indira Gandhi (born Indira Priyardarshini Nehru, 1917 - 1984), and her son Rajiv (1944 - 1991), who both succeeded him as Prime Minister of India. Original Publication: Picture Post - 5141 - A Voice Above The Battle - pub. 1950 (Photo by Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Young Rajiv with grandfather Pandit Nehru
28th October 1950: Indian Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (1889 - 1964) by a lily pond in the garden of his New Delhi home. WIth him are his daughter Indira Gandhi (born Indira Priyardarshini Nehru, 1917 - 1984), and her son Rajiv (1944 - 1991), who both succeeded him as Prime Minister of India. Original Publication: Picture Post - 5141 - A Voice Above The Battle - pub. 1950 (Photo by Bert Hardy/Picture Post/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
This picture taken 21 March 1977 shows Indian prime Minister Indira Gandhi with her two sons Rajiv (L) and Sanjay in New Delhi (Photo credit should read /AFP via Getty Images)
Young Rajiv and Sanjay with mother Indira Gandhi
This picture taken 21 March 1977 shows Indian prime Minister Indira Gandhi with her two sons Rajiv (L) and Sanjay in New Delhi (Photo credit should read /AFP via Getty Images)
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This picture taken 21 March 1977 shows Indian prime Minister Indira Gandhi with her two sons Rajiv (L) and Sanjay in New Delhi (Photo credit should read /AFP via Getty Images)
Young Rajiv and Sanjay with mother Indira Gandhi
This picture taken 21 March 1977 shows Indian prime Minister Indira Gandhi with her two sons Rajiv (L) and Sanjay in New Delhi (Photo credit should read /AFP via Getty Images)
The Indian politician Indira Gandhi stands with her two sons, Rajiv and Sanjay, in the garden of their Delhi home. (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Indira Gandhi and Family
The Indian politician Indira Gandhi stands with her two sons, Rajiv and Sanjay, in the garden of their Delhi home. (Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
May 1964: Studio headshot portrait of Rajiv Gandhi (1944 - 1991), son of Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi, while he was a student at Cambridge University, England. (Photo by Express/Express/Getty Images)
Rajiv Gandhi
May 1964: Studio headshot portrait of Rajiv Gandhi (1944 - 1991), son of Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi, while he was a student at Cambridge University, England. (Photo by Express/Express/Getty Images)
The ashes of India's late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru are carried in an urn by his grandsons Rajiv and Sanjaya Ghandhi in a funeral procession from New Delhi to Allahabad, Nehru's birthplace.
Grandsons Carry Nehru's Ashes in Urn
The ashes of India's late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru are carried in an urn by his grandsons Rajiv and Sanjaya Ghandhi in a funeral procession from New Delhi to Allahabad, Nehru's birthplace.
INDIA - FEBRUARY 26: Indira Gandhi'S Son, Rajiv And His Fiance Sonia Maino Visiting The Young Woman'S Parents Just Prior To Their Wedding, On February 26, 1968 In New Delhi. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
Rajiv Gandhi And Sonia Maino Before Their Wedding 1968
INDIA - FEBRUARY 26: Indira Gandhi'S Son, Rajiv And His Fiance Sonia Maino Visiting The Young Woman'S Parents Just Prior To Their Wedding, On February 26, 1968 In New Delhi. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
Funeral Ceremony (Photo by David Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
Funeral Ceremony of Indira Gandhi
Funeral Ceremony (Photo by David Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
Rajiv Gandhi and his Italian-born wife Sonia campaign in the Indian city of Amethi. (Photo by Alain Nogues/Sygma via Getty Images)
Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi's Electoral Campaign
Rajiv Gandhi and his Italian-born wife Sonia campaign in the Indian city of Amethi. (Photo by Alain Nogues/Sygma via Getty Images)
US Pres. Ronald W. Reagan (R) standing with Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi during WH ceremony. (Photo by Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
Rajiv Gandhi;Ronald W. Reagan
US Pres. Ronald W. Reagan (R) standing with Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi during WH ceremony. (Photo by Dirck Halstead/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
Frunze, Kirghiz SSR, Soviet Union. India Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi (C front) attend a horse racing competition. V. Vorotnikov/TASS (Photo by TASS via Getty Images)
India Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in Kirghizia, 1985
Frunze, Kirghiz SSR, Soviet Union. India Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi (C front) attend a horse racing competition. V. Vorotnikov/TASS (Photo by TASS via Getty Images)
Paris, France, 08 06 1985, Rajiv Gandhi in the cockpit of an a passenger plane during the Bourget Air Show near Paris. (Photo by Francis Apesteguy/Getty Images)
Rajiv Gandhi
Paris, France, 08 06 1985, Rajiv Gandhi in the cockpit of an a passenger plane during the Bourget Air Show near Paris. (Photo by Francis Apesteguy/Getty Images)
Gorbachev Shaking Hands with Rajiv Gandhi (Photo by Peter Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
Gorbachev Shaking Hands with Rajiv Gandhi
Gorbachev Shaking Hands with Rajiv Gandhi (Photo by Peter Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
(FILES) Pope John Paul II is seen in this file picture taken 01 February 1986 in New Delhi as he meets India's Premier Rajiv Gandhi (r) and his wife Sonia at the beginning of his ten-day visit to India. (Photo credit should read MICHEL SCOTTO/AFP via Getty Images)
Pope John Paul II with Rajiv Gandhi
(FILES) Pope John Paul II is seen in this file picture taken 01 February 1986 in New Delhi as he meets India's Premier Rajiv Gandhi (r) and his wife Sonia at the beginning of his ten-day visit to India. (Photo credit should read MICHEL SCOTTO/AFP via Getty Images)
India-Rajiv Gandhi (Photo by Peter Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
India-Rajiv Gandhi
India-Rajiv Gandhi (Photo by Peter Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
(Original Caption) Washington DC: Vice George Bush (R) chats with Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi during their meeting.
George Bush and Rajiv Gandhi Conversing
(Original Caption) Washington DC: Vice George Bush (R) chats with Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi during their meeting.
Indian Premier Rajiv Gandhi and his Italian-born wife Sonia visit 20 December 1988 in Badaling the Great Wall during their trip to China. On 21 May 1991, Rajiv Gandhi, then Indian Prime minister, was assassinated by a woman activist allegedly belonging to Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels. Sonia, eleven years after the assassination of Rajiv, is leading a revival of the Congress party and carrying forward the legacy of India's most powerful political dynasty. AFP PHOTO JOHN GIANNINI (Photo credit should read JOHN GIANNINI/AFP via Getty Images)
Indian Premier Rajiv Gandhi and his Ital
Indian Premier Rajiv Gandhi and his Italian-born wife Sonia visit 20 December 1988 in Badaling the Great Wall during their trip to China. On 21 May 1991, Rajiv Gandhi, then Indian Prime minister, was assassinated by a woman activist allegedly belonging to Sri Lankan Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rebels. Sonia, eleven years after the assassination of Rajiv, is leading a revival of the Congress party and carrying forward the legacy of India's most powerful political dynasty. AFP PHOTO JOHN GIANNINI (Photo credit should read JOHN GIANNINI/AFP via Getty Images)
Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi during meeting with Thailand PM Chatichai Choonhavan. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
Rajiv Gandhi;Choonhavan Chatichai
Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi during meeting with Thailand PM Chatichai Choonhavan. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
INDIA - MAY 10: Rajiv Gandhi filing Nomination Papers While Sonia Gandhi, P Shiv Shankar, ND Tiwari and other party leaders watching him ( Congress, News Portrait ) (Photo by Pramod Pushkarna/The The India Today Group via Getty Images)
Rajiv Gandhi filing Nomination Papers
INDIA - MAY 10: Rajiv Gandhi filing Nomination Papers While Sonia Gandhi, P Shiv Shankar, ND Tiwari and other party leaders watching him ( Congress, News Portrait ) (Photo by Pramod Pushkarna/The The India Today Group via Getty Images)
INDIA - MAY 27: Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister with his wife Sonia Gandhi offering floral tributes at Shakti Sthal ( Congress, News Profile ) (Photo by Pramod Pushkarna/The The India Today Group via Getty Images)
Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister with his wife Sonia Gandhi
INDIA - MAY 27: Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister with his wife Sonia Gandhi offering floral tributes at Shakti Sthal ( Congress, News Profile ) (Photo by Pramod Pushkarna/The The India Today Group via Getty Images)
FRANCE - JULY 13: Benazir Bhutto with Rajiv Gandhi on her right in Paris, France on July 13th, 1989. (Photo by Eric BOUVET/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
Human Rights Ceremonies at Trocadero in Paris, France on July 13th, 1989.
FRANCE - JULY 13: Benazir Bhutto with Rajiv Gandhi on her right in Paris, France on July 13th, 1989. (Photo by Eric BOUVET/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images)
066362 03: (NO NEWSWEEK - NO USNEWS) Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and his wife Sonia attend the memorial service for Indira Gandhi October 31, 1989 in India. Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two Sikh bodyguards in 1984 in retaliation for her crackdown on Sikhs. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Liaison)
Rajiv Gandhi At Indira Gandhi's Memorial Service
066362 03: (NO NEWSWEEK - NO USNEWS) Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and his wife Sonia attend the memorial service for Indira Gandhi October 31, 1989 in India. Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two Sikh bodyguards in 1984 in retaliation for her crackdown on Sikhs. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Liaison)
Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi attends a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) event with Prince Philip, president of the organization. Gandhi is announcing the launch of the WWF Indias Community Biodiversity Programme. (Photo by © Shepard Sherbell/CORBIS SABA/Corbis via Getty Images)
Rajiv Gandhi and Prince Phillip
Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi attends a World Wildlife Fund (WWF) event with Prince Philip, president of the organization. Gandhi is announcing the launch of the WWF Indias Community Biodiversity Programme. (Photo by © Shepard Sherbell/CORBIS SABA/Corbis via Getty Images)
INDIA - DECEMBER 04: Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister with VP Singh, Shankar Dayal Sharma, Balram Jakhar at a Defence Ministry Function ( Congress, News Profile ) (Photo by Sharad Saxena/The The India Today Group via Getty Images)
Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister with VP Singh, Shankar Dayal Sharma, Balram Jakhar at a Defence Ministry Function ( Congress, News Profile )
INDIA - DECEMBER 04: Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister with VP Singh, Shankar Dayal Sharma, Balram Jakhar at a Defence Ministry Function ( Congress, News Profile ) (Photo by Sharad Saxena/The The India Today Group via Getty Images)
Congress (I) ldr., ex PM Rajiv Gandhi being garlanded by supporters, working crowd, campaigning for May parliamentary election, in Uttar Pradesh state. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
Rajiv Gandhi
Congress (I) ldr., ex PM Rajiv Gandhi being garlanded by supporters, working crowd, campaigning for May parliamentary election, in Uttar Pradesh state. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
Congress (I) ldr., ex PM Rajiv Gandhi, decked in garlands, w. supporters, campaigning for May parliamentary election, in Uttar Pradesh state. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
Rajiv Gandhi
Congress (I) ldr., ex PM Rajiv Gandhi, decked in garlands, w. supporters, campaigning for May parliamentary election, in Uttar Pradesh state. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images/Getty Images)
96646 08: Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhis son Rahul lights the fire to burn the pyre holding Gandhis body May 24, 1991 in New Delhi, India. Gandhi was assassinated in a suicide bombing by Tamils taking revenge for his intervention in the Sri Lankan civil war. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Liaison)
Rajiv Gandhis Funeral
96646 08: Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhis son Rahul lights the fire to burn the pyre holding Gandhis body May 24, 1991 in New Delhi, India. Gandhi was assassinated in a suicide bombing by Tamils taking revenge for his intervention in the Sri Lankan civil war. (Photo by Robert Nickelsberg/Liaison)

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