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Rajiv-The Perfect Gentleman

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Kamalji, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

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    Rajiv - The Perfect Gentleman


    I am talking about Rajiv Gandhi, our ex prime minister.I did not put Gandhi in the title, as i want to see how many of u read my blog on the strength of my name, and not on Rajiv Gandhi's

    Yesterday we friends were sitting playing Cards,and the topic shifted to Jaipur Airport.One of my friends,lets call him Avinash, had very interesting tales to tell of the airport here,much before i came to Jaipur.

    This friend had a shop at Jaipur Airport for many years, the only shop, selling Handicrafts.there were no other shops.We are talking of the Seventies here.The only airlines was Indian Airlines, and flights were few and far between.The flights would come, but going time was flexible,as no one was answerable to no one.

    Rajiv Gandhi, was one of the pilots, and he was a regular at Jaipur Airport.In those days,just my friend's shop was there in the departure lounge,with the Govt restaurant behind it(now that has been demolished and now taken over by Taj).Everyone used to be in awe of Rajiv Gandhi.He used to come and sit at my friend's shop, which was very small, like 5 feet by 12 feet, with a wall behind the shop and a glass counter in front and my friend behind.He used to chat with him to pass his time,ordering tea from the restaurant, and some sandwitches for my friend too.

    Now remember this was Emergency time,and his mother was the Prime Minister.Everyone used to fuss around Rajiv,and ask him political questions.Rajiv was allergic to anything called politics, and he used to get up and go away.There was a sweeper in the Restaurant, lets say M, who used to clean the table of Rajiv, and pick the crumbs that had fallen.Rajiv it seems was very fond of him,and adress him by his first name.

    When Rajiv became the Prime Minister,on his first visit to Jaipur, the equations had changed.He had a big entourage,and the Z category security.But the first thing is he came to my friend's shop, greeted him, sat and had a cup of tea with him,and called for the sweeper by his name.My friend says,the guy felt so important, as he was called by the Prime Minister himself.Later he was called by Rajiv for dinner to Governor House where he was staying.

    What humility Rajiv Gandhi had.Imagine being the PM, and asking for the wellbeing of the sweeper.Unheard of really.I was floored by this story.We all knew he as a pilot,but i used to wonder, the son of the PM being just a pilot like so many other pilots ! And that too on Indian Airlines, and not even Air India, where he could travell the world!

    I would credit the development of India to Rajiv.He was the one who first brought Maruti in 83,the computerisation of Railway tickets and Air tickets, which made travell so much easier,as also getting us the best planes money could buy,Airbus A 380.On this purchase too,there was so much controversy, that they were grounded for 8 or 9 months, and when we had to evacuate Indians from the Gulf during Gulf War in 91, these planes were pressed into service,after being idle for so many months.And they flew without a hitch,and creating the Guiness Record for the maximum sorties .

    Bofors too the gun was good, no doubt.It was his coitrie of friends that let him down.Amitabh and Abhishek were rumoured to be involved in the rice shipments Rusia,and in the Bofors Gun Deal.
    ri involved in getting the Le Meridian Hotel land cheap,Arun Nehru got involved elsewhere,Captain Satish Sharma in the petrol punp allotment, and so on.He was let down by his friends, but i feel he was a perfect gentleman at heart, and in his dealings.

    I dont share the same feelings for Sonia Gandhi, and her son,Rahul who somehow i dont like for reasons i dont know myself.These are all my personal views, and I may wrong too.Unfortunately the one whom he saved from the Gallows,Prabhakaran, killed him ultimately.God bless his soul.

    KAMAL MAHTANI
     
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  2. Saraswathipv

    Saraswathipv IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi Kamaji,

    Somehow from the title I guessed..it was about Rajiv Gandhi.

    I was in school when he became PM and exactly on the day my 12 std exam result was published...he was assassinated. I was deeply interested in politics and read regularly, "The Hindu" and "The Indian Express".

    I admired him initially, but somehow disliked him during the end of his tenure. I vividly remember all the bofors hungama...But what irritated me and my friends those days were his non-stop projection in the Doordarshan. Out of the 20 mins news..we got to see and hear his "hame dekhna hai....." speech, for 15mins.
    Yes, India took steps ahead during his time....like the credit for so many public telephone booths goes to Sam Pitroda, who was put into service by Rajiv. But kamalji, I thought the credit for Maruti's arrival was Sanjay Gandhi.
    Anyway...I feel I can keep on writing on this topic...

    Bye.....
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2007
  3. padmasowrirajan

    padmasowrirajan Senior IL'ite

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    Dear Kamalji,
    The gentleman did pull me into the thread.1984, i must have hardly been a year old, when he took the President Seat. He was definitely the most respected prime minister and the first youngest PM of India. If only he had withdrawn the IPKF, he would have been alive today and our India would not have had his wife to rule her. But his humanity and humble face still live with us, if not the family what he left behind him.
    I share your view about sonia and her son Rahul.
    But, i have a doubt here? Why is it the party always have to insist on the Wife or Son of the dead PM to take over??? hasn't it become some kind of a trait in India? Aren't we out of those King's kind of rule?
    Oh i am just out of topic. Pardon me
     
  4. Saraswathipv

    Saraswathipv IL Hall of Fame

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    Hi Padma,

    Though out of topic of what Kamalji started.....it is not just in India...many Asian countries have the trend of banking on the sympathy and popularity of slain leaders and persuade their family members to take over...

    It happened in SriLanka with the Bandaranaike family, then in Philippines--Aquino family ....
    Why even in our regional politics we have this trend....of preparing family members for the higher positions....

    bye
     
  5. Nivedi

    Nivedi New IL'ite

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    Kamalji,

    Rajiv Gandhi had a lot of charisma and although a reluctant politician in his initial political days, he did shine well. A strong leader attracts a lot of critics and enemies. And he did too.

    I remember the live broadcast of his tours within India that were aired on DD. He visited many many villages. After him, I have'nt seen or heard of any PM who toured rural India so deeply. Even though he enjoyed political clout because he carried the Nehru-Gandhi name tag, he had his own brilliance and leadership qualities. His name was linked to many controverises, but it is not easy leading such a huge nation and not being drawn to some or the other issues.

    The events that you mention show his down-to-earth nature. His daughter seems to have inherited his charisma more than his son has.
     
  6. padmasowrirajan

    padmasowrirajan Senior IL'ite

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    Hi Saraswati
    Yeah,thats exactly what's happening in our regional politics, and thats what i had in mind when i asked those questions. Some how their families think its their birth right to hold up the title, their predecessor left behind. Do, they have the welfare of the people in mind, of course not, all they want is to add some extra sacks(of money, of course) to their existing one. Very funny they dont know they are adding thier "paava mutai" (sin sacks)too..
    Kamalji, sorry topics got carried away.....
     
  7. Jananikrithsan

    Jananikrithsan Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Kamalji,
    I do vey much agree with you that he was a perfect gentleman and there are very few like him who do not let the power and adultation that comes with it, get to their head. I read somewhere that even when he was PM, the kind of life he led did not change, his fridge was never loaded with five star stuff the article said and he had to appease his hunger eating a bananna. Coming from what is called the first family of politics he was a rare gem.
     
  8. kanaka Raghavan

    kanaka Raghavan IL Hall of Fame

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    I always thought Rajiv Gandhi had lot of zest in him to carry forward.Was very sad when I heard that he was killed.The entire nation came to a standstill when he died.I still remember there was bandh in Chennai the next day.I was in a small shop to buy milk powder for my daughter,suddenly couple policemen came rushing into the shop asking the owner to pull the shutters as they expected lot of chaos in that area.Lo I literally barged out of the shop lest the shutters were to be clamped.For the next 3 days we did not even get milk.He did a lot in the field of communication and opening out India to the world.Long live his soul.
     
  9. krish22

    krish22 Senior IL'ite

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    Hi Kamalji,


    I guessed it is about Rajiv gandhi as you were the one who posts the incidents that celebrities are involved .
    Every person in the course of life do the good and bad deeds.If they are celebrities those are highlighted aand the even can get sympaathy for their bad deeds from that of little good.
    The same Raajiv gandhi once scolded the ex cheif minister in front of his followers,press aand journalists for putting a garlend on him.That man was a sincere follower of his mother Indira.This happened in year 83 itself.
    I agree he was young and thought in a new way to get invovled in technology etc.but
    he was also a mere politician.
     
  10. Kamalji

    Kamalji IL Hall of Fame

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    Krish,

    Yes he was a politician, no doubt and had his faults.I am not a staunch follower of any political party, or a politician.

    I admire Laloo Yadav too for his turning about the railways into profits, an unheard of thing ever in the history of India.He was involved definetly in the Chara Ghotala,everyone has their faults, no doubt on that Krish.

    This was just a part of his life that i stated.Thanks for yr repsonse.REgards.kamal



    Kanaka,

    It must have been terrible being without milk and other necessities for 3 days.Jaipur was peaceful during that time,Delhi was in turmoil.Regards.kamal


    Janani,

    Yes he had a simple lifestyle,and i did not know that his fridge was not loaded with stuff.You do read a lot eh !Thanks and regards.kamal
     

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