India’s sixth and youngest Prime Minister so far, Rajiv Gandhi, was one of modern India’s most famous political leaders. His vision, ideas and Rajiv Gandhi quotes inspire the nation. Rajiv Gandhi was sworn in as the Prime Minister of India at a highly crucial time after the assassination of Indira Gandhi. While dealing with sensitive international issues like the cold war and Sri Lankan Civil war, Rajiv Gandhi also ushered India’s computer and telecom revolution and the Panchayati Raj, which were essential landmarks in the history of modern India.
We bring you some of the most significant and influential Rajiv Gandhi quotes.
1. “India missed the Industrial Revolution; it cannot afford to miss the Computer Revolution.”
2. “For some days, people thought that India was shaking. But there are always tremors when a great tree falls.”
3. “She was mother not only to me but to the whole nation. She served the Indian people to the last drop of her blood.”
4. “Education must be a great equaliser in our society. It must be the tool to level the differences that our various social systems have created over the past thousands of years.”
5. “Our task today is to bring India to the threshold of the twenty-first century, free of burden of poverty, legacy of our colonial past, and capable of meeting the rising aspirations of our people.”
6. “Women are the social conscience of a country. They hold our societies together.”
7. “Development is not about factories, dams and roads. Development is about people. The goal is material, cultural and spiritual fulfilment for the people. The human factor is of supreme value in development.”
8. “India is an Old country but a young nation… I am young and I too have a dream, I dream of India Strong, Independent, Self-Reliant and in the front rank of the nations of the world, in the service of mankind.”
9. “Our task today is to bring India to the threshold of the twenty-first century, free of burden of poverty, legacy of our colonial past, and capable of meeting the rising aspirations of our people.”
10. “Better a brain drain than a brain in the drain.”
11. “Development is not about factories, dams and roads. Development is about people.”
12. “Our biggest poverty alleviation programme is to improve the living standard of our farmers.”
13. “We must be clear that secularism as we understand is not only anti-religion or non-religion; it is only the separation of government from religion.”
14. “A responsive administration is tested most at the point of interface between the administration and the people.”
15. “India is indivisible. Secularism is the bedrock of our nationhood. It implies more than tolerance. It involves an active effort for harmony. No religion preaches hatred and intolerance.”
Rajiv Gandhi led Congress to the most significant victory in India’s electoral history in the 1985 General Elections, winning 404 out of the 514 contested seats. Despite several revolutionary policies, Rajiv Gandhi’s tenure was also scarred by the memories of anti-Sikh riots, the Shah Bano case, the Ayodhya Temple issue and charges of rampant corruption like the Bofors scam. This ultimately led to his electoral defeat in the 1989 Lok Sabha elections.
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by the members of the LTTE in 1991. He had several years of political career and statesmanship cut short by his untimely death in a public meeting during the election campaign.