The scion of the first and the most powerful family of India. The great grandson of Jawaharlal Nehru , grandson of Indira Gandhi , son of Rajiv Gandhi all Prime Ministers of Independent India. Life must have been easy for this lad ,born with a silver spoon in his mouth as they say. The best of facilities and literally the whole of India at his service . As the opposition often says the crown prince or ‘Shehzada’ of Indian National Congress . He has also been the most mercilessly trolled politician .
Why is he trolled ? Why is he an important feature in every attack by the people in power ? Is he really a fool as the opposition tries to paint him as ? And what lies behind the picture that is painted by the opposition ? In the course of this article I will try and answer all the questions raised .
Let us go through his childhood first . Does the lineage make him superhuman and make him anything more than blood and sweat ?
Young Rahul Gandhi :
Born on 19th June ,1970 he was the first of two children born to Sri.Rajiv Gandhi & Smt.Sonia Gandhi .He did his schooling in St.Columbas School,Delhi . He secured admission in the reputed Doon School in Dehradoon,Uttarakahand from 1981-1983.
On 31st October ,1984 the 14yr adolescent boy Rahul witnessed the assassination of his beloved grandmother and the Prime Minister of India Smt.Indira Gandhi . It was one of the most brutal and shocking assassinations in the history of India. The whole country was in a state of shock and mourning , one can very well imagine the kind of an effect it had on an impressionable mind of a 14yr old. Due to the security threats faced by the Gandhi family he was homeschooled from thereon. The boy who was recovering from the shock of losing his grandmother had to lose his friends as well.
19yr old Rahul Gandhi then went on to join St.Stephens College in 1989 but moved to Harvard on securing admission there. He was well settling in his life when he received another jolt , 22yr old Rahul Gandhi had to witness the death of his beloved father Sri.Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. The normalcy that was returning to his life post moving to Harvard received another rude shock. He soon had to move to Rollins College ,Florida USA due to security concerns and assume the pseudonym Raul Vinci.Only people aware of his identity at that time were his college authorities and security agencies. Inspite of all the pressure he managed to complete his B.A in 1994 and further went on to obtain M.Phil from Trinity College ,Cambridge. After completing studies he began working for the monitor Group ,a management consulting firm in London.
After witnessing two assassinations in his formative years it was his sheer will power and determination which helped him sail through the tough times and manage a career of his own while security agencies looked over his shoulder.
Politician Rahul Gandhi :
In March 2004 he announced his intent to contest elections in May 2004 from his father’s constituency in Amethi ,UP in Lok Sabha. He fought the election even when most political commentators were of the opinion that his younger sister Priyanka Gandhi was better suited to take up the mantle. His arrival into politics was itself a change in the political playing field . He represented the youth and managed to infuse new life in the cadre base. In his very first interview to foreign media he condemned divisive politics. He wanted to set the beginning of harmony in India which was then prone to caste and religious based tensions. The country that had recently witnessed riots in 2002 . His arrival itself sounded alarm bells for the divisive and communal forces in India. For a boy who had witnessed the worst of violence was determined that no other soul in the country suffered a similar fate. His connect with the youth and his new brand of politics propelled to the position General Secretary of All India Congress Committee on 24th September,2007 .In the same reshuffle he was given the charge of Indian Youth Congress and NSUI. He began ground work to connect with the youth in a party that was filled with veterans and were readily open to new ideas. He was relentless in fight to change the politics and policies to suit young India.Under his leadership the IYC & NSUI increased their members from 2,00,000 to 25,00,000. His connect with the masses helped revive Congress fortunes in UP in 2009 .He was more than instrumental in Congress winning 21 out of 80 seats in UP Lok Sabha. His hardwork at ground level helped the incumbent Congress led UPA win clear majority. He was clearly a big headache to opposition .The man of few words and a camera shy youth Icon was often targeted for being that.
His brand of politics was never seen or witnessed earlier ,he was always a man who could always been seen by the side of people in distress , be it farmers ,women or poor. At time he would be seen protesting against the policies of his own party , which went on to show he cared for the people beyond party or politics.
He is a rare breed of politicians who has always been graceful in defeat and has accepted peoples mandate with all humility . He even offered to relinquish all party position after the defeat in 2014 general elections.
Why Troll Rahul Gandhi ?
He was targeted by the opposition in the run-up to 2014 general election ,since then they have been relentlessly doing the same. His speeches are mostly misquoted and turned into trolls . In the run-up to general elections he was interviewed by a popular journalist of a reputed media house in which he kept stressing the need for women empowerment . A country which had witnessed rapes and murders of women ,in numerous cases of domestic violence ,he believed it needed to be the top and foremost priority . Women’s reservation bill in Parliament happened under his guidance. He was poked fun at for sticking to his core ideas and beliefs.
On 4th April 2013 he addressed CII in which he stressed on digitization ,connecting villages to cities and vice versa to create an eco system of seamless information sharing. He talked about skill development and setting up funding sources to young Indians who were brimming with ideas. He talked about how India was a young nation and why there is an absolute need to effect changes in education system. He was trolled back the with the #PappuCII but the same people when moved to power post election took a leaf out of his speech and tried to implement every idea.
Rahul Gandhi was also right about Demonitization. Most of his fears and observations turned out to be true when the data relating to demonitized currency was revealed by RBI . The war on black money actually turned out to be a war on poor . Yet Rahul Gandhi was trolled and the brains behind the disaster were applauded .
On the run-up to Manipur elections Rahul Gandhi said Here (in Manipur) you grow nimbu (lemon), narangi (oranges), pineapple… I hope that a day comes when someone in London drinks pineapple juice, and sees ‘Made in Manipur’ on the box,” he said at an election rally in Hafta Kangjeibung in Imphal East district.
It was interpreted by our PM as “There is a Congress leader, and I want to pray for his long life… he recently went to Manipur to address an election rally. There he told farmers that he would extract juice from coconuts and send it to London. In fact, a coconut possesses water (and not juice) and it is grown in Kerala,”.
It is absolutely necessary for the opposition to intercept Rahul Gandhi’s connect to the masses , as he is one leader who truly cares about the poor and wants to effect something significant in that direction. While communal and divisive politics take fore once again, Rahul Gandhi fights to unite Indians under India.