President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and the departed leader's widow and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi were among the first to pay floral tribute to the late leader at ''Veer Bhumi'', the memorial of Gandhi.
Children of Gandhis, Congress general secretary Rahul and Priyanka along with her husband Robert Vadra were also present on the occasion.
The day is also observed as Anti-Terrorism Day.
The objective behind the observance of Anti-Terrorism Day is to wean youth away from the terrorist/violence cult by highlighting the suffering of the common people and showing how it is prejudicial to the national interest.
These objectives are aimed to be achieved by organizing debates/discussions in schools, colleges and universities; holding of symposia/seminars and lectures on the dangers of terrorism and violence and a determined and sustained drive to bring about a mass awakening against terrorism and violence.
Voluntary organizations, social and cultural bodies are organising their own programmes through lectures, talks, discussions, musical and recitation programmes and cultural functions.
Mass education programmes are held to highlight the ill effects of violence and terrorism. Anti-terrorism/anti-violence pledge will be taken in all Government offices, public sector undertakings and other public institutions.
Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on May 21, 1991 at Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu during a poll campaign.
New Delhi: The Nation on Saturday paid homage to former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 20th death anniversary.
First Published: Saturday, May 21, 2011, 12:16