Rahul Gandhi Birthday: What were Nehru, Indira, Rajiv Doing at 45?
On his birthday, let’s have a look at Rahul Gandhi’s achievements compared to those of his illustrious ancestors.
Rahul Gandhi, the scion of India’s most prominent political dynasty turns 45 today. Still considered a ‘young’ politician by Indian standards, Rahul has quite a legacy to live up to.
Beginning from Motilal Nehru, his family has dominated the Congress party and Indian politics for well over a century.
On his birthday, let’s have a look at how the ‘young’ Rahul Gandhi’s achievements compare to those of his illustrious ancestors, when they were of at his age.
By the time RaGa’s great great grandfather Motilal Nehru was 45, he was already among the first generation of young Indians to receive ‘Western-style’ college education. He secured first place in law examination, started his practice in Kanpur and made a mark for himself as one of the best lawyers of the country.
Rahul’s academic and professional credentials don’t quite match up, do they?
At 45, Nehru was already Congress President. The Congress under his leadership dominated the Indian political scene. Even though he was a barrister from Cambridge, politics entirely replaced his legal career. From being a prominent leader of the left faction of the Congress, he took over the Congress leadership with Mahatma Gandhi as his mentor. Before he was 45, he had called for complete independence and was also seen as a big chllange by Muslim league leaders.
Post his sabbatical Rahul seems to be firing on all cylinders. Let’s hope that he can finally match his great grandfather’s commitment to and focus on politics.
For most of 2015, there have been rumours that RaGa will take over from his mother as Congress President. But by the time she was 45, his grandmother Indira Gandhi had already achieved that goal. She also served as her father’s unofficial secretary while he was Prime Minister.
Will this year see Rahul match his grandmother and finally replace Sonia as Congress President?
In 1989, when he was 45, Rahul’s father lost the elections after serving as the Prime Minister of India with the highest ever majority. No government, since Rajiv’s term ended, has commanded as vast a majority in Parliament.
While matching Rajiv Gandhi’s 1984 electoral success may be nearly impossible, Rahul is yet to even hold ministerial office. And remember, there was a Congress led government in power for the last decade.
In sum, Rahul does have a lot live up to. And the Congress, at least, is hoping that he can match up to his ancestors before the next General Elections.
(This article was co-authored by Rishika Baruah)
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