Did little Rajiv Gandhi know about Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination

21 August 2018, 12:16 AM
India remembers its youngest prime minister - Rajiv, Gandhi on his 74th birth anniversary
India remembers its youngest prime minister - Rajiv, Gandhi on his 74th birth anniversary

As much as his assassination shook the nation, his stories made the nation sit up. India today remembers its youngest prime minister - Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister, on his 74th birth anniversary. His birth anniversary is celebrated as Sadbhawana Diwas in tribute to his contribution towards the country.

Born to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Feroze Gandhi on August 20, 1944, Rajiv became the youngest PM of India at the age of 40. He was a successful leader despite being a reluctant politician. He was assassinated on May 21, 1991.

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As Indians across the world celebrates Rajiv Gandhi’s birth anniversary, News Nation brings alive a glimpse of his early life that left quite an impression. One strange incident was when for the first time, Rajiv Gandhi met Mahatma Gandhi.

There were several strange incidents reported in the last 48 hours of Mahatma Gandhi’s life as Bapu hinted that he would not remain with his loved ones for long.

Mahatma Gandhi was extremely upset on January 29, 1949, a day before his assassination, because a group of villagers confronted Bapu and claimed that he was behind their damages due to the communal clashes that were going around at that time. That same day Gandhi had told his grand-niece Manuben that the cries of these villagers are a death warrant for both of them.

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But, a few hours later, a four-year-old Rajiv Gandhi alongside Indira Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru’s sister met Mahatma Gandhi. On meeting Bapu, the little Rajiv Gandhi put some flowers on Gandhi’s feet. On seeing this, Bapu advised the little Gandhi that one only places flowers around people’s feet when they are dead. These are the incidents of a book ‘My Experiments with Gandhi’ written by Pramod Kapoor, that is based on lesser-known aspects of Mahatma Gandhi’s life.

On the next day, Bapu took a nap and as he walked towards the bathroom after waking up, his grand-niece Manuben asked why did he look a bit strange referring to the fact that Bapu had not gone anywhere recently without her. To her reply, Gandhi, quoted Rabindranath Tagore and said ‘Ekla Chalo, ekla chalo’ Walk alone, walk alone). And that was his last lone walk.

First Published: Monday, August 20, 2018 11:35 AM
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