‘The crimes of Rajiv Gandhi’

Justice Markandey Katju

Justice Markandey Katju is a former Judge, Supreme Court of India, and former Chairman, Press Council of India. The views expressed are his own.

Today, 20th August is the birthday of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and many people are praising him on social media.

Such people should reply to this :

  1. When Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards in 1984, Rajiv Gandhi went mad, and in his fury gave oral instructions to massacre Sikhs. As a result about 5000 Sikhs were murdered in cold blood in Delhi ( often by pouring petrol on them and setting them on fire ) and many elsewhere.

Instead of condemning these horrible acts Rajiv Gandhi justified them by saying ” Jab bada ped girta hai dharti hil jaati hai ” ( when a big tree falls, the earth shakes ).

The fact that this was done on instructions of Rajiv Gandhi is explained in some detail in this article which I wrote several years ago:


  1. Rajiv Gandhi foolishly sent the Indian army to fight the LTTE in Srilanka, as a result of which 1100 Indian soldiers lost their lives and over 10.3 billion rupees were spent unnecessarily.


  1. The Indian Supreme Court gave a very progressive and humanitarian judgment in Shahbano’s case that Muslim men must give maintenance to their divorced wives ( as is the law in most countries ). But then the All India Muslim Personal, Law Board, reactionary maulanas, and other bigots raised a hue and cry that this was against the sharia.

Fearing the loss of his Muslim vote bank, Rajiv Gandhi got legislation passed in Parliament annulling the humanitarian and compassionate Supreme Court verdict. This shows that he preferred winning elections to the welfare of the people