Agreed his father Rajiv became the prime minister at 40 and he could at 38, but Rahul Gandhi should not only stay away from becoming the PM, but he should also avoid the pitfalls of being a Cabinet minister. Here is why…
1. Becoming a Cabinet minister would mean managing a portfolio solely and largely ignoring the party’s growth prospects. This would take away from his very aim of strengthening the party’s grassroots.
2. As a Congressman, he can do what he wants and also exert pressure on the government from the outside. He could be the Third Eye and ensure that the national party doesn’t falter on crucial issues. What’s more, he can plan for the long term and learn the intricacies of being within the government and still outside. This would give him a balance of opinion that he will immensely benefit from.
3. India resides in its villages, and Rahul’s love for rural India is well-known. So he would do well to do many more padh yatras even though the elections are over to gauge people’s opinion (apparently, he travelled 87,000 kms during the run up to this year’s general elections that secured the party crucial votes in UP, Bihar and even MP, say insiders).
4. Rahul would do well to build a youth think tank that mirrors the aspirations of a growing class of people who are in touch with their political sensibilities.
5. Rahul would do well to stay away from issues that concern caste, creed and colour and do anything that could jeopardise his very existence by learning from the mistakes made by his grand mother Indira Gandhi (who sent the army to flush out terrorists from inside Amritsar’s Golden Temple of the Sikhs) and father Rajiv Gandhi (his three year campaign against the LTTE in Sri Lanka through the Indian Peace Keeping Force led to his death four years later).
6. The India of tomorrow needs a party and a leader who is aiming at a peaceful and prosperous nation that could give China a run for money. It’s looking at a central government that meets the aspirations of the poor and the middle class (the rich don’t need any consideration because they have the means to look after themselves).
Best of luck, Rahul! India rides on hope! Don’t let them down after this mammoth verdict for stability and prosperity.