“India is an old country but a young nation and like the young everywhere, we are impatient. I am young and I too have a dream. I dream of an India – Strong , Independent, self-reliant, and in the front ranks of the nations of the world in the service of mankind” – Rajiv Gandhi.
The Rajiv Gandhi Memorial (Ninaivagam) has been built by the Central Government of India at the site of Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in Sriperumbudur, which is a suburban area of Chennai. Timings: 10 AM to 5 PM.
He was killed at this place by the LTTE using a human suicide bomber in 1991 while campaigning for the local Loksabha candidate. Rajiv Gandhi is the former Prime Minister of India (1984 – 1989).
I quote the following from an inscription at the site – “Rajiv Gandhi was inspired by a vision of India as the treasure house of the highest aspirations of humanity. He believed that modern India’s role and task is not just to establish a political identity and attain power and prosperity in the world, (but) It is to serve and promote the millennial Indian ethos.
From our ancient texts and the edicts of Emperor Asoka up to the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, India has directed humankind’s gaze to a moral order enshrined in the doctrine of non-violence. Symbols of this vital code of ethics are here set atop seven pillars as beacons to successive generations, reminders for each of us to renew and reaffirm the values for which Rajiv Gandhi lived and died”
It seems, Rajiv Gandhi was responsible for dismantling the License Raj, allowing individuals / companies to purchase goods without Government intervention and removing import restrictions. He also announced a national policy on education which, among others helped rural children to get free residential higher education from 6th to 12th Standards.
His efforts let to the creation of MTNL which popularized the PCO’s (Public Calling Offices – Public telephone booths) across India. He brought about a closer relationship with the United States and started to move away from the Nehru-Indira socialism.
It seems, the above sculptures which are found on the wall leading to the exit of this huge lawn and campus was inspired from the nearby Mahabalipuram site. In fact, the whole place is maintained so neatly with a huge green lawn and circular pathways. As you can see in the first photo, there is a gigantic Indian flag and seven big pillars carrying various moral symbols India stands for. These two are visible from the highway.
Chakra represents Dharma (Compassion, generosity, duty)
Bodhi Tree represents Satya (Truth)
Chhatri represents Nyaya (Justice, Law)
The star of knowledge represents Vigyan
The flames of sacrifice represents Tyaga
The lotus of peace represents Shanti
The prosperity of Grass represents Samruddhi