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The Lesser Known Facets of Rajiv Gandhi

After a series of attacks from Rahul Gandhi for more than three years now, Prime Minister Modi has finally replied by showing a mirror to the Congress President. At a recent rally, PM Modi said that “Your father was termed ‘Mr Clean’ by his courtiers, but his life ended as ‘Bhrastachari number 1′ (corrupt number 1)”. PM’s remark was in effect merely stating the facts about former Prime minister Rajiv Gandhi’s involvement in Bofors Scam. This has been well documented too. In fact, PM Modi is not the first person to say such things about Rajiv Gandhi.

However, this factual remark on the dynasty didn’t go down well with the Congress Party and its ecosystem. Because they think that they are the final word on truth. It is also to be noted that the amount of outrage that is being shown now, was shockingly absent when Rahul Gandhi had continued with his baseless allegations of ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ against the Prime Minister Modi.

A section of media persons and politicians who are now preaching sermons on morality and ethics in politics, had never questioned Rahul Gandhi and his party men when they unleashed the most sinister vilification campaign against PM Modi.

In this background, we bring to readers a list of some facets of Rajiv Gandhi.

1. Communists in their election rallies had called Rajiv Gandhi a Chor

In an old video going viral on social media, journalist Vir Sanghvi can be seen essentially saying that the opposition parties like CPI(M) in Bengal had campaigned against Rajiv Gandhi. Their popular slogan during those days was ‘Rajiv Gandhi Chor Hai’. So, it is not only PM Modi who has called Rajiv Gandhi a corrupt person. Even the communists, who now are aligned with Congress, had called Rajiv Gandhi a chor in their election rallies, that too as early as 1990s.

Here is the video.

Even Mamata Banerjee’s trusted lieutenant Derek O’ Brien had also reminded the country of Rajiv Gandhi’s history in a subtle way.

2. Back in 1980s, a journalism Professor was assaulted for merely referring to ‘Rajiv Gandhi Chor Hai’ by Congress Party workers, and now the same party preaches morality

In 1988, Pradeep Krishnatray, a journalism professor was beaten, painted black and paraded around the college by Congress workers, for a question asked in an examination that referred to an anti-Rajiv Gandhi slogan popular at that time. Pradeep Krishnatray, the head of journalism department at Sagar University, had merely asked a question in an entrance examination to the university which said, “Which station of All India Radio had broadcast the sentence – ‘Rajiv Gandhi Chor Hai’? Those were the days of Congress’s hooliganism across the country under Rajiv Gandhi’s prime ministership. The country in 1980s had already witnessed the genocide of Sikh community.

3. Rajiv Gandhi was inexperienced and had no knowledge – P Chidambaram

In an interview, P Chidambaram, Congress leader and the former finance minister during the UPA government, had said that Rajiv Gandhi had no understanding about the economic and social issues. P Chidambaram had himself said that Rajiv Gandhi’s decision of reversing Supreme Court’s order on Shah Bano was disastrous. Further, he said, Rajiv didn’t have any experience of defence ministry which is why Bofors crisis had hit the Party.

Here is the video of his interview.

4. How Rajeev used to prioritize ‘Memsahib’ over problems of villagers

An excerpt from the book ‘Durbar’ by Tavleen Singh explains the fact as to how Rajiv Gandhi was cut off from the realities of India.

Congress workers in rural areas in those days said, as Sonia Gandhi – ‘Memsahib’ – was always with Prime Minister Rajeev Gandhi, he had to fly off to nearest town so that ‘Memsahib’ could sleep in a proper bed. Due to this he could never spend enough time in the villages.

5. Rajiv Gandhi wanted Sikhs to be taught a lesson

An India Today story quoting Tavleen Singh from her book Durbar says, “In dealing with the aftermath of the anti-Sikh massacres in Delhi after Indira’s assassination in 1984, Rajiv was quite willing to pander to the basest instincts of those who wanted the Sikhs to be ‘taught a lesson’.”

6. When Rajiv Gandhi insulted a Dalit Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh

In 1982, Rajiv Gandhi, newly appointed General Secretary of Congress Party, landed at Hyderabad airport. He was received by T Anjaiah, the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh who belonged to a Dalit caste and had come with a huge gathering. Rajiv Gandhi had then publicly humiliated him calling him the ‘buffoon’. The episode had left T Anjaiah in tears. It is this insult of T Anjaiah which was responded to by people of Andhra giving TDP a thumping win in the next election. Therefore, Chandra Babu Naidu who is now lecturing Prime Minister Modi on decency, decorum and dignity of his office, can read the history of emergence of his own party.

7. Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination and Congress performance in 1991 elections

In an interview, Mani Shankar Aiyer had said, “I think the figures show that had Rajiv ji not been assassinated in the middle of the election, the Congress party would not have won a majority. In fact, it did not even win a majority despite his assassination.” We leave this statement of Mani Shankar Aiyar for readers to make their own interpretations.

8. When Rajiv Gandhi used India’s premier warship INS Virat for his private vacations

Rajiv Gandhi was known for his luxurious lifestyle at the expense of the nation. Once, he was off to Lakshadweep island along with Sonia Gandhi for a private vacation. India Today in this regard had reported, ‘’Questionable actions were, however, in evidence. India’s premier warship, INS Virat, was used to transport the Gandhis and moved in the Arabian Sea for 10 days. Its daily expenditure at sea is astronomical as the Virat travels with an entire retinue of escort ships. A submarine was also reported to be in attendance and some defence experts questioned the justification of depriving the navy of its most effective fighting component merely to suit Rajiv’s holiday plans.’’

9. When Rajiv Gandhi, a pilot, given leave during Indo-Pakistan war of 1971

During the Indo-Pak war of 1971, under emergency provisions, the leave applications of Indian Airlines pilots were cancelled so that they could be deployed for logistical support. However, Rajiv Gandhi, the son of the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, wasreportedly given leaves from his duties of a pilot. One needs to think as to what made Rajiv Gandhi so special that he didn’t need to take part in the war during the critical hours of the country. Was it a privilege enjoyed by him since he was from the ‘family’?

Congress Party and its ecosystem which has launched an all-out attack on PM Modi for merely telling the truth, should first reconsider all of the above facts. Most importantly, they should muster some courage to ask the dynasty and the family for their relentless tirade against PM Modi, distastefully accusing him of being a Chor without any evidence and despite the CAG’s clean chit and Supreme Court’s verdict.