Rajiv Ratna Gandhi (August 20, 1944 – May 21, 1991), the eldest son of Indira and Feroze Gandhi, was the 6 th Prime Minister of India. He worked as a professional pilot for Indian Airlines before coming into politics. He was married to Sonya Maino, an Italian national he had met while in college.

Rajiv Gandhi started to get interested in HAM Radio in 1974 and was granted the Call VU2RG. He was a keen enthusiast of his hobby and even forced his wife Smt. Sonya Gandhi (VU2SON) to learn the operation of radio which their children also mastered later.

Rajiv was an active Ham operator even at the height of his political life. He was instrumental in promoting Ham Radio activities in India and used Hamradio intensively while flying around as Prime Minister. Till a few hours before his assassination he was “on air”, making his last call from Visaklapatnam on May 21, 1991 in the midst of a hectic election tour.

It was in 1980 when Shri S. Suri, VU2MY, was honored to become aquainted with Rajiv Gandhi. Since that date a close friendship raised because both had the same vision: to promote Ham Radio at their great country. Convinced by the strenuous efforts of Shri S.Suri, national Ham organisation activities were non-existent or very low at that time, Rajiv Gandhi encouraged and supported him and in consequence the National Institute of Amateur Radio was established in 1983.

Until today NIAR, lead by Shri S.Suri, remains the most active Indian Ham organisation actively involved into training courses, disaster management in close teamwork with Indian agencies.

In remembrance of late Rajiv Gandhi VU2RG, sorely missed by all Indian Hams, the National Institute of Amateur Radio plans to use the call VU7RG.

Contacts: Web-master: pa2r @ muurkrant.com - International Advisory Committee: frank @ dl4kq.de - N.I.A.R.: niarvu7 @ gmail.com