rajiv Gandhi was an unique example in Indian politics. He was the anti-politician who became the Prime Minister without wanting it, perhaps without ever having dreamt of it, at least until Sanjay Gandhi was around. Everything had come to him on a platter: membership of Parliament, post of general secretary of the Congress, and now the country’s topmost job. All of this in less than four years. In March 1977, he had been under pressure from his wife, Sonia Gandhi, to leave the country; when Sanjay Gandhi died, she was set against his getting into politics even if it meant ‘just helping Mamma’; and if Sonia Gandhi could not even press him this way or that on October 31, 1984, it was more because of the failure of nerves all around.