National Anti-Terrorism Day 2024: Why it is observed on May 21; Know history and significance - Hindustan Times
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National Anti-Terrorism Day 2024: Why it is observed on May 21; Know history and significance

By, New Delhi
May 20, 2024 10:13 AM IST

National Anti-Terrorism Day is celebrated in India on May 21 every year to commemorate death anniversary of former Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi.

National Anti-Terrorism Day is celebrated in India on May 21 every year to commemorate the death anniversary of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, the sixth PM of India who was assassinated on May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur, a village near Madras (now Chennai), by LTTE's (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) suicide bomber. Gandhi was sworn in on October 31, 1984 as Prime Minister of India at the age of 40 after the assassination of Indira Gandhi; he became the youngest PM of India. Anti-Terrorism Day in India was established by the VP Singh government in the memory of Rajiv Gandhi and aimed to educate people about the adverse effects of terrorism and violence on society and the nation.

Anti-Terrorism Day in India was established in the memory of Rajiv Gandhi and aimed to educate people about the adverse effects of terrorism and violence on society and the nation.(Freepik)
Anti-Terrorism Day in India was established in the memory of Rajiv Gandhi and aimed to educate people about the adverse effects of terrorism and violence on society and the nation.(Freepik)

Anti-Terrorism Day in India date

Anti-Terrorism Day in India is observed on May 21 every year on the death anniversary of India's youngest PM Rajiv Gandhi who was assassinated in 1991 by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), a militant organization fighting for separate homeland for Tamils in Sri Lanka.

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History of Anti-Terrorism Day

Rajiv Gandhi took over as Prime Minister of India after his mother Indira Gandhi was assassinated on October 31, 1984. His tenure lasted from 1984-89. In 1987, Gandhi had sent Indian peacekeeping forces to Sri Lanka to impose peace in the country, but the move was heavily criticized in the country as well as abroad. This also led to animosity with the LTTE, which may have led to his assassination during an election campaign, in Sriperumbudur, about 30 miles from Madras, in Tamil Nadu.

Significance of Anti-Terrorism Day

The day apart from celebrating the memory of late former PM Rajiv Gandhi also aims to raise awareness around the ill effects of terrorism and violence on the society. It encourages people to choose peace and maintain unity and harmony. This day also sends a message across the world that India is determined to combat terrorism in all its forms. The day also honours all the victims of terrorism, hoping for a world free of terrorism and its devastating impact.

On this day, various organisations and educational institutions organize debates, discussions and seminars on impact of terrorism. The day serves a reminder to stay united in the attempts to free our society from the evils of terrorism.

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