This refers to Aditi Phadnis’ article “A prince’s tale” (BS Weekend, January 26). It goes to the credit of Rahul Gandhi that he aims at an MBA-like professional and candid approach to politics, breaking from the culture of rampant hypocrisy and false promises. But political success also requires winning friends and influencing people. He needs to change himself before changing his party’s self-serving image. He should correct the public perception of his being a reluctant entrant to politics, and dependent on his advisors for inputs. He would have to increase his visibility, availability and communication in Parliament, and with the masses. He should travel throughout the country and communicate more often with people from all walks of life. India is too big a country to be understood through guest-like appearances before select gatherings. Second, he needs to articulate precisely his vision of India in a way that appeals to the young Indians, who now constitute 75 per cent of the population. In his maiden speech as the Congress vice-president, he – instead of using the opportunity to disclose the big picture – chose to elicit tears from his followers (by harping on entitlement emanating from the tragedy of the loss of his grandmother and father). But he will be judged by how much he toils to move from planning to execution — a herculean task with the time constraint of one year before the 2014 elections.
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