Today is Rajiv Gandhi’s 20th death anniversary, people still remember India’s youngest Prime Minister. He was the first to talk about India’s emergence as a great power in the 21st century.

Rajiv Gandhi is remembered today by many people for many things At 40, he was the youngest Prime Minister of India, perhaps even one of the youngest elected heads of Government in the world. He was a modern-minded, decisive leader. His government encouraged foreign investment, and industry boomed with the loosening of business controls. He sought to increase Indian investments in modern technology. He removed many restrictions on imports and encouraged foreign investment. He introduced measures significantly reducing the License Raj, allowing businesses and individuals to purchase capital, consumer goods and import without bureaucratic restrictions.

On May 21, 1991, Rajiv Gandhi was at the last public meeting where he was assassinated while campaigning for the Sriperumbudur Lok Sabha Congress candidate. Thousands of supporters, mainly women, were pushing each other for a glimpse of the man who, it seemed, was all set to return as the prime minister. But seconds before Rajiv was about to mount the podium a woman approached Rajiv Gandhi in a public meeting and greeted him bent down to touch his feet, a huge explosion took place.

The explosion killed Rajiv Gandhi and many others. They turned to see and there was no face! The entire thing had blown up. The body was shattered in to pieces. The assassination was caught on film through the lens of a local photographer, whose camera and film were found at the site. The cameraman himself died in the blast but the camera remained intact. His assassination is seen as the result of India’s proactive intervention policy in the nearby island of Sri Lanka, where the Sri Lankan government was fighting Tamil insurgents.

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