Rajiv Gandhi’s younger brother Sanjay died in an aero plane crash in June 1980. At that time, Rajiv Gandhi was in London as part of his foreign tour. Hearing the news, he returned to Delhi and cremated Sanjay’s body. In the week following Sanjay’s death, Shankaracharya Swami Shri Swaroopanand, a saint from Badrinath, visited the family’s house to offer his condolences. He advised Rajiv not to fly aeroplanes and instead “dedicate himself to the service of the nation”. 70 members of the Congress party signed a proposal and went to Indira, urging Rajiv to enter politics. Indira told them it was Rajiv’s decision whether to enter politics. When he was questioned about it, he replied, “If my mother gets help from it, then I will enter politics”. Rajiv entered politics on 16 February 1981, when he addressed a national farmers’ rally in Delhi. During this time, he was still an employee of Air India.