|Full Name||Rahul Gandhi|
Rahul Gandhi was born on 19 June, 1970 in Delhi. He is the elder of the two children of the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. His mother, Sonia Gandhi originally hails from Italy and now holds an Indian citizenship. His younger sister, Priyanka Vadra, is married to Robert Vadra who is a businessman. Rahul Gandhi’s initial schooling was in St. Columba’s School in Delhi. Thereafter, from 1981 to 1983, he studied in The Doon School in Dehradun, Uttarakhand.
His great grandfather, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, was the first Prime Minister of independent India. His grandmother, Indira Gandhi, the first and only woman Prime Minister of India, was a very influential and powerful lady. His father, Rajiv Gandhi, was the President of Congress and also served as Prime Minister. His mother, Sonia Gandhi, is at present the President of the Indian National Congress. Rahul Gandhi is considered to be the new and young face of the party.
After his graduation, Rahul Gandhi worked for Monitor Group in London for three years, which is management guru Michael Porter’s consulting firm. After returning to India in late 2002, Rahul Gandhi became the director of a technology outsourcing firm, Backops Services Private Ltd. based in Mumbai.
Rahul Gandhi declared his entry in Indian politics in March 2004. He announced that he would contest in the May 2004 Lok Sabha elections from the constituency of Amethi, Uttar Pradesh, from where his father had also contested earlier. At that time, his mother Sonia Gandhi was holding the seat. She moved to the neighbouring constituency of Rae Bareilly. During this time the situation of the Congress party was not so good and it was holding only ten of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh. This announcement generated mixed reactions among different political associates. The political commentators regarded Priyanka as more charismatic and even started comparing her to her grandmother Indira Gandhi. They were of the opinion that there is greater likelihood that Priyanka would be more successful in the endeavour, while others thought that this move would kindle the Congress party’s fortune, that the presence of one of the young members of India’s most famous political family would usher hope among the young generation. Rahul Gandhi in his first foreign media interview conveyed that he condemns “divisive” politics in India. He said that he would work as a uniting force and try to reduce tensions cropping out of religion and caste issues. Rahul Gandhi won the elections and retained the family stronghold.
Despite tough competition from Aam Aadmi Party's Kumar Vishwas and Bharatiya Janata Party's Smriti Irani, Congress Vice President and fifth-generation politician Rahul Gandhi won his seat at Amethi in Uttar Pradesh by a margin of 1,07,903 votes in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The Congress party, as a whole, suffered its worst ever defeat in that election. This win came in spite of attacks from the BJP's prime-ministerial candidate Narendra Modi that Rahul lacked leadership qualities and had "only entertainment value" besides the media's predictions that he stood no chance in the election.
Rahul Gandhi's win in Amethi put him in a strong position in the political scene of India. His win, however, came as a surprise to his detractors who had pointed out the lack of development in Amethi since Rajiv Gandhi's time. The media had reported that Rahul Gandhi had not done anything for the constituency to better the health, education, roads and sanitary condition of the place. It may be said that the people have shown faith in the Nehru-Gandhi family who have been representing Amethi for over forty years. Rahul Gandhi himself has won from the constituency twice in his ten-year political career – first in 2004 parliamentary election and second in 2009 Uttar Pradesh legislative election.
In June 2013, Modi was selected to head the BJP’s 2014 election campaign to the Lok Sabha (the lower house of India’s parliament), while a grassroots campaign was already in place to elect him prime minister. Modi campaigned hard, portraying himself as a pragmatic candidate capable of turning around India’s economy, while his critics portrayed him as a controversial and divisive figure. In May 2014, he and his party were victorious, taking 282 of the 534 seats in the Lok Sabha. The victory marked a crushing defeat to the Indian National Congress, which had controlled country politics for most of the previous 60 years, and sent a message that India’s citizens were behind an agenda that moved away from a secular, socialist state to a more capitalist-leaning economy with Hindu nationalism at its core.
On May 26, 2014 Modi was sworn in as the 14th prime minister of India and the first to have been born after the country got its independence from the U.K.
Since becoming prime minister, Modi has encouraged foreign businesses to invest in India. He has lifted various regulations - permits and inspections - so that businesses could grow more easily. He has decreased spending on social welfare programs and has encouraged the privatization of healthcare, although he has devised a policy on universal healthcare for those citizens with serious ailments. In 2014 he launched a "Clean India" campaign, which focused on sanitation and the construction of millions of toilets in rural areas.
His environment policies have been lax, especially when those policies hamper industrial growth. He has lifted restrictions on protecting the environment and is more open to the use of genetically modified crops, despite protests from India's farmers. Under Modi's power, he has suppressed the influence of civil society organizations, such as Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, Avaaz, and other humanitarian groups, citing they prevent economic growth.
In terms of foreign policy, Modi has taken on a multilateral approach. He has participated in the BRICS, ASEAN, and G20 summits, as well as aligned himself with the United States, China, Japan and Russia to improve economic and political ties. He has also reached out to Islamic republics, most notably fostering diplomatic ties with Pakistan, although he has repeatedly labeled the country a "terrorist state" and an "exporter of terrorism."
Under his rule, Modi has substantially centralized his power compared to previous administrations.
Jatin Gandhi and Veenu Sandhu in 'Rahul: The First Authoritative Biography' gives insight into the Nehru-Gandhi family and explore the interesting relationship between modernity and dynasty. The authors take the readers into the life of Rahul Gandhi – his public moves, his trips across India to reach out to common man, his Youth Congress. It focuses on both, his achievements and his inabilities. The book, no doubt, brings to light how Gandhi’s actions will affect the lives of Indians.