Book Summary of Decoding Rahul GandhiIn a bid to demystify Brand Rahul, Decoding Rahul Gandhi chronicles his political path, which is different from that pursued by his mother Sonia, father Rajiv, and grandmother Indira. Although the 42-year-old Rahul has borrowed a few elements from them, he has carefully and deliberately added new ideas, strategies and practices from the world of business and management. Rahul’s philosophy is a form of corpo-politics, where management principles are applied to political leadership, and socio-politics, where beliefs in inclusive growth are ingrained in overall strategies.
Why have Rahul’s plans flopped so far? His initiatives to inculcate internal democracy in the Congress youth and student wings were well-intentioned, but lacked a clear-cut thrust and have failed to grapple with realpolitik. Decoding Rahul Gandhi is based on dozens of interviews with political actors, members of Rahul’s team in the Indian Youth Congress (IYC) and National Students Union of India (NSUI), and his friends and acquaintances. Coupled with in-depth reportage of his electoral and political campaigns, the book establishes how Rahul’s politics is riddled with inconsistencies, symbolism and an opportunistic, rather than committed, engagement with national issues.
The book throws light on the factors that have shaped him as a person and politician. It details his working style, which is nearer to a CEO of a Fortune 500 company, and the role played by the members of his A-Team (which includes Kanishka Singh and Sachin Rao).
How did Rahul Gandhi’s years abroad as a student and as a management consultant influence his politics? What was his much-hyped revamp of the IYC and the NSUI all about? What are the reasons for the Congress and Rahul’s humiliating defeat in the 2012 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections? How has he applied global management principles, like The Toyota Way and Bottom of the Pyramid, to domestic politics? Prime Minister Rahul Gandhi what would this mean for India?
About the AuthorAarthi Ramachandran is a political journalist who has worked with leading Indian newspapers such as The Economic Times and Business Standard. She has written about the Congress for the past seven years and tracked Rahul Gandhi’s political career closely. She is now a freelancer, attempting the transition from being a full- time journalist to a full-time mother. She lives in Delhi with her husband and daughter.