Rahul Gandhi seems to have a strong personal code of conduct, which enables a highly evolved sense of right and wrong. He may be incorruptible, for instance.
He may be naturally inclined to treat women with dignity – so far there has been no report of inappropriate conduct with women involving Rahul Gandhi.
His treatment of women places him differently from Narendra Modi whose apparent abandonment of his wife has never been fully explained.
Rahul has a mind of his own, having spent half his life [thus far] as his own master. His mother has guided him but Rahul has a line beyond which he is in a world of his own.
He spoke of this when I met him in 2005. He said no one, not even his sister and mother, could make him change his mind once it is made up. Which is why he referred to Sonia’s tears in his room in Jaipur like he might have described any visitor who had dropped by.
Rahul Gandhi’s emotional trajectory so far appears to have caused intimacy issues. For instance, no one in the Congress knows him.
The party knows of him and understands him only as much as a lay person does. Almost all of this is interpretation based on hearsay and media reports.
Also, the personal and intense loss of loved ones might have made Rahul emotionally vulnerable. Perhaps this is why he almost never lets anyone know him fully.
We don’t as yet know how Rahul Gandhi deals with emotional issues. Subramanian Swamy of the Janata Party has often hinted at this as a weak area for Rahul.
Politically, Rahul has had fruitful probation of eight years. He has lost more than one election he helmed and this is priceless.
In our 2005 meeting, Rahul spoke of political lessons as invaluable. He said he would only learn adequately if he loses at least two elections. He has.
This too places him separately from Narendra Modi, who has not known what a personal electoral loss is like.
In Picture: An April 18, 2009 file photo shows Rahul Gandhi being felicitated by party workers with a garland during an election rally in Amethi.
Image: AP. Any unauthorised reproduction is prohibited