8 minutes agoWriter: Rajesh Sahu
On 23 June 1980 i.e. exactly 42 years ago, an aircraft was seen eating gulatis in the sky of Delhi. By the time people could understand, he went behind Ashoka Hotel and fell on the ground. Both the people on board died. When people reached near, they saw that the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s son Sanjay Gandhi was lying dead.
We will tell the third story related to Sanjay’s death in the characters and stories series of politics. You can read the first two stories here.
1: During the Emergency, Sanjay Gandhi cut off the power of media institutions, people were surrounded and sterilised.
2: Sanjay Gandhi and Maneka’s love story, Indira did not even want the second son to bring a foreign daughter-in-law
Sanjay’s license was canceled by the opposition
When Sanjay Gandhi was studying in England, he took training in flying an aircraft. His mother Indira Gandhi was the Prime Minister when he came to India. Sanjay got the license to fly light aircraft. Whenever Sanjay got time, he used to fly light aircraft by going to Delhi Flying Club. When the Emergency ended in 1977 and the Janata Dal government was formed, Sanjay Gandhi’s license was taken away.
This photo is from the time when Sanjay and Rajiv Gandhi returned after taking training to fly a foreign plane.
When Indira Gandhi came to power again in 1980, Sanjay Gandhi’s license was returned. He already liked the Pitts-S2A aircraft. When the government was formed, the talk about importing it from abroad started. In May 1980, the Customs Department approved the importation of Pitts to India.
A day before the accident, the flight took off with Maneka
Sanjay Gandhi was so much curious about that plane that it was quickly assembled and sent to the Delhi Flying Club in Safdarganj. On 21 June he first boarded the Pitts and flew it. At that time he was accompanied by a member of the Flying Club. On June 22, he flew for about 40 minutes with his wife Maneka, Indira Gandhi’s special secretary RK Dhawan and Dhirendra Brahmachari.
He had taken Maneka Gandhi in the same plane just a day before the accident.
There was a preparation to fly with Madhavrao on 23 June.
June 23 means the day of the accident. Sanjay got up at 7 in the morning and took the car and left for Delhi Flying Club. A day earlier it was decided that Madhavrao would fly with Scindia, but Sanjay Gandhi’s mood changed after halfway through and he did not go to Scindia’s house and reached the house of former Delhi Flying Club instructor Subhash Saxena.
In The Red Sari book, Spanish writer Javier Moro writes, “Subhash Saxena knew that Sanjay did not have experience. So he wanted to avoid traveling with him. Sanjay insisted that he agreed.” Pitts took off at 7.58 pm. Sanjay made a loop and flew in the sky of New Delhi for 12 minutes. Then he flew to the house on Safdarganj Road where Indira Gandhi had told him an hour earlier, “Be careful, everyone says you act in a hurry.”
rear engine stopped working
The plane was showing acrobatics in the air when the rear engine stopped. A person present there at the time of the incident told that the ship went straight up like an arrow at first and started taking a loop in preparation for hitting the drive, but then it could not get up. Ashoka fell on the vacant ground behind the hotel. Sanjay Gandhi and Captain Saxena were killed.
The plane was so badly damaged that it was difficult to identify the body.
Prime Minister Indira went to the hospital in an ambulance
The information about the plane crash was given to Indira Gandhi. Hearing the news of her daughter’s death, Indira boarded the ambassador car and immediately reached the spot. At that time, UP CM VP Singh was sitting to meet him. Seeing Indira upset, she also walked back and forth. The body was being kept in an ambulance at the scene of the incident. Indira boarded that ambulance instead of the ambassador. Perhaps they hoped that Sanjay was breathing.
Sonia was in Italy at that time. Indira’s secretary Usha called her in a panicked voice and said, Madam, an accident happened with Sanjay. Sonia went to the square. They didn’t understand anything. Usha told the whole story of the plane crash. She immediately agreed to return to India, arriving in India in the evening of the same day.
Officers could not complain to Indira due to fear of Sanjay
In May, former director general of civil aviation, Air Marshal J Zaheer, told his officers, “Sanjay often violates security protocols. He had asked the officials to speak to Indira Gandhi about this. Everyone had agreed to talk, but no one could talk to Indira because of Sanjay’s fear.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Chandrashekhar reach the hospital
When Sanjay’s body was brought to the hospital, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Chandrashekhar also reached. Indira was wearing dark glasses to hide the grief of her son’s death. When Chandrashekhar proceeded to console him, Indira Gandhi told him about the ongoing turmoil in Assam, “We hold a meeting on this matter.”
Chandrashekhar said, “Ma’am, do not pay attention to all these things now.” Then Indira’s eyes fell on VP Singh. He asked them to immediately go to Lucknow and pay attention to the important works. The last rites were performed on the banks of Yamuna on June 24. The whole time Indira Gandhi was holding Sanjay’s wife Maneka’s hand.
To make everything look normal, Indira Gandhi had glasses on her eyes.
Indira cried after 72 hours
She was sitting in the office with party leaders 72 hours after her son’s death. When Sanjay’s name came, I cried. This was the first time that Indira’s tears were visible in front of people. Somehow managed. On June 27, she reached her office for the first time. Then he said, “People come and go, but the nation is always alive.”
After Sanjay’s death
After Sanjay’s death, his supporters made his idols. Name the roads and intersections. The newly opened college and hospital were named after Sanjay. But in the midst of all this there was a section which was happy. To rejoice was the same class who had been forcibly sterilized three years ago.