Through his life, Rahul Gandhi has always been the strongest proponent of politics of purpose. Over the years, he has lent his voice to a number of issues but has always remained focused on propagating non-violence, equality and justice. He has imbibed these virtues through a lifelong tryst with Indian politics and history and has developed a keen understanding of the Indian social fabric. Having experienced the pain of losing both his father and grandmother to acts of violence and hatred, Rahul Gandhi has always been a champion of Gandhian philosophies of ahimsa and truth.
Born on 19 June 1970, Rahul Gandhi spent his early childhood between Delhi, the political center of India, and Dehradun, a town nestled in the valley between the Himalayas and Shivaliks. He began his undergraduate career at Delhi’s St. Stephen’s College before moving to Harvard University in the USA. In his second year, Rahul transferred to Rollins College in Florida due to security threats following his father’s, the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s, assassination. Rahul Gandhi graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1994. The year after, he obtained his M. Phil from Trinity College, Cambridge.
Rahul began his professional career with the Monitor Group, a management consulting firm based out of London – he was adamant on creating a professional career before joining politics. He soon returned to India and set up his own technology consultancy in Mumbai, where he led his team as the Director. The influence of his work in the management and technology sector is apparent in his political leanings. Rahul has always been a strong proponent of harnessing the scale and dexterity that technology can lend while amplifying the power of India’s greatest asset — her citizens.
The call to serve our nation and to be an instrumental part of her growth came to Rahul Gandhi in 2004. He chose to stand from his father’s constituency and continue the legacy of serving the people of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh.
Rahul won his first election with an overwhelming margin of 100,000 votes over his opponents — a testament to the faith placed by the people of his constituency in him. From the beginning, it was apparent that Rahul believed that our nation’s future lies with her people. Through the ebbs and flows of a decade-long political career, Rahul has held true to the very principles that won him the hearts of the people in his very first election.
In 2013, Rahul Gandhi was elected as the Vice-President of the Congress Party. Within the Congress party, Rahul Gandhi played the key role of channeling the party along the lines of Congress’ core principles. He tirelessly worked to democratise the student wing and youth wing of the Congress party and ensured a breath of fresh air entered the grand old party by encouraging young leaders to take up leadership positions. His pivotal role in shaping the party along Congress’ core values over his political career earned him the post of President of the Congress Party in 2017. Under Rahul Gandhi’s guidance, the Congress Party has once again emerged as the voice of the nation.
As the President of the Opposition party, Rahul Gandhi has played a key role in raising the demands of various stakeholders of the country. He has championed the rights of the poor & the marginalised. He has led the battle against the ruling government on poorly implemented policies such as Demonetisation, Aadhar, Net Neutrality, GST and more.
Achievements of Rahul Gandhi
1) Speech at University of Berkeley:
One of the striking highlights of Gandhi’s connection with students at Berkeley was his frank affirmation that “certain arrogance” had crawled into the Congress halfway through UPA II, and it had stopped having “discussions with people.” He said that the vision of the UPA government shaped in 2004 had a ‘sell by date’ of 10 years.
During the answer session after his speech on ‘India At 70: Reflections On The Path Forward’, Rahul Gandhi said most political party had a “dynastic issue” in India. He quoted “Most parties in India have that issue (dynastic governmental issues). Akhilesh Yadav is a dynast. Stalin is a dynast. (Prem Kumar) Dhumal’s child is a dynast… Even Abhishek Bachchan is a dynast. That is the way India runs… don’t get after me since that is the way entire country is running…. last I recall, Ambani’s children were maintaining their business and that was happening in Infosys.”
2) Social media makeover:
It is an undeniable fact that Grand Old Congress Party presence over social media was laggard and so was Rahul. Today, however, Rahul Gandhi is still nowhere near to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the number of followers and image (Modi has 37.3 million supporters, while Rahul has quite recently contacted 4.6 million), he has figured out how to influence individuals to notice what is being posted at @OfficeofRG.
3) Gabbar Singh Tax and assault on demonetization:
Ramesh Sippy’s famous villain character from movie ‘sholey’ Gabbar Singh returned as GST as Rahul Gandhi excoriated the Centre over its ‘defective and rushed usage’ of the tax regime. “Their GST isn’t Goods and service tax. GST implies Gabbar Singh Tax. This is making a misfortune to the nation. Small businessmen are done. Millions of youngsters have been jobless. Still, the BJP government is not going to listen” he said in October just before the battle for Gujarat elections. The analogy stuck in the minds of the common people and to some degree played a crucial part in the government cutting down the GST rates of 200 things and pruning the top tax slab of 28% to only 50 things.
Gandhi likewise pummelled PM Modi’s demonetization decision and connected it to the farmer’s issues, indicating how the move was a pincer assault on the farmers during a period of agriculture distress and returning from the drought year. “Modi ordered notebandi. Nation endured enormous loses. Farmers purchase seeds by paying in real money. When you purchase seeds, do you pay mobile? Do you pay through check or credit card? Don’t comprehend what happened, but Modi propelled a serious assault on the economy of the nation without counselling anyone,” he had said.
4) One-man show in Gujarat:
Rahul Gandhi’s dauntless election battle constrained the BJP to draw out its big guns and right now, the vibes could be felt that the ground had begun slipping for BJP. Modi, who was the state’s CM for 12 years, was not just compelled to address 34 election campaigns in his home state, but rely on survey optics like arriving on a seaplane to grab attention.
On the other note, Rahul GAndhi visited no less than 25 temples, hence providing a counter to BJP’s elite claim on Hindutva. He conveyed the message that that he is an “aficionado of Lord Shiva” and, contradictory to his ancestors in the Congress, he would not hesitate to show it out in the open even at the danger of being marked as an election trick. This technique went far in affecting the conventional Hindu voters of Gujarat. In addition, Rahul Gandhi abstained from specifying Muslims particularly during his election battles, which helped in dispersing the popular notion that the Congress works for the “appeasement of Muslims”.
5) The crown of Congress president:
Rahul Gandhi turned into the fifth person from the Nehru-Gandhi family to lead the Congress party when he was made party president on December 16. He has already demonstrated how he will run the party when veteran pioneer Mani Shankar Aiyar was expelled from his membership after he called PM Modi “neech kisam ka aadmi”.
Even though he faced a lot of controversy, Rahul Gandhi has maintained to encourage the youth in politics. It seems like he have sensed the revolution in the air which is arising in every part of the nation from the past four years of growing intolerance, hate and violence in the country. His modern approach to connect with people by putting himself in their shoes is quite effective and contradictory to his own Congress or any other party of this nation.
Vision of Rahul Gandhi
The vision of Rahul Gandhi and his strategy to fight the democratic battle with love and unity is what makes the Congress Party the true representative of a united India. Going forward, he aims to put these principles into action by creating systems that provide India’s citizens with the tools and opportunities they need to reach their full potential.