Amid Modi’s historic third term, here are some career options for Rahul Gandhi post-2024 election defeat

Sadanand Dhume made observation on X that Rahul Gandhi seems unsuited to the cut-throat world of Indian politics.

The lengthy 7-phase election in the world’s largest democracy India came to an end Saturday June 1, 2024. The Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) is seeking a historic third term for Prime Minister Narendra Modi. While, the votes will be counted on Tuesday June 4, 2024, most exit polls have projected Prime Minister Modi all set to extend his decade in power with a third consecutive term.

Recently, Sadanand Dhume, who is well-known for his incisive commentary on Indian politics and economics, made observation on X that Indian National Congress leader Rahul Gandhi seems unsuited to the cut-throat world of Indian politics.

Dhume wrote: “Recently I pointed out the obvious fact that Rahul Gandhi is unsuited to politics and would be better off pursuing something for which he has natural aptitude. He could set up a private gym in south Delhi, or start his own travel show on YouTube. Maybe he’ll finally get the hint?”

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Rahul Gandhi’s political journey has been marked by a mix of successes and notable failures. As a scion of the Nehru-Gandhi family, he entered politics with high expectations and managed to rejuvenate the Congress party’s youth wing and bring attention to important social issues.

Rahul Gandhi’s notable success includes the Congress party’s victory in the 2009 general elections, where he played a significant role in the campaign. However, his leadership has also been marred by several electoral defeats, most significantly the party’s poor performance in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections, which saw the BJP secure overwhelming majorities.

Political pundits argue that Rahul Gandhi’s inconsistent political strategy and lack of a clear, compelling vision have contributed to the party’s declining influence, raising questions about his effectiveness as a leader in India’s dynamic political landscape.

In light of Dhume’s observation, it’s worth exploring alternative paths where his skills and interests might truly shine, especially if the Congress party and the INDI Alliance face another defeat in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.

  • 1. Fitness Enthusiast and Gym Owner: Rahul Gandhi’s well-documented interest in fitness could pave the way for a new career as a health and wellness entrepreneur. Opening a private gym would not only align with his personal interests but also allow him to inspire and guide others towards healthier lifestyles. His public persona could draw in a substantial clientele, making the venture a potential success.
  • 2. Travel Show Host on YouTube: With his extensive travel experiences and a knack for connecting with people from diverse backgrounds, Rahul Gandhi could start his own travel show on YouTube. This platform would enable him to share his journeys, cultural explorations, and adventures with a global audience. It would also give him a fresh start in a field that values storytelling and authentic engagement.
  • 3. Author and Speaker: Rahul Gandhi’s unique political experience could translate well into writing. He could write books or delve into motivational speaking. His insights, though divisive in politics, might find a more appreciative audience in literary circles or on the speaking circuit.
  • 4. Social Activism and NGO Work: Given his passion for socio-economic issues, Rahul Gandhi could focus on social activism and contribute to non-governmental organisations (NGOs). His work could span various causes such as education, economy, environmental protection, or poverty alleviation. This would allow him to continue making a difference in society without the constraints of political office.
  • 5. Educational Reformer: Rahul Gandhi could leverage his international education and experiences to work on reforming the Indian educational system. Establishing a think tank or an educational institution aimed at innovative learning methods could be a fulfilling and impactful avenue.

The best option for Rahul Gandhi, my good friend Dr Om P Dwivedi suggests, is to mix all of the above and get a Visiting Professorship at Oxbridge.

Dr Dwivedi says: “Since these two Universities rely heavily on his expertise on India, and regularly invite him to share his deep knowledge of the country, I think this is the best time that Oxbridge gets him on board. His scholarship par excellence will certainly add more value to these elite institutions. Will these institutions continue to demonstrate their commitment to Rahul Gandhi, that is the question?”

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Dhume’s remark might sound blunt, but it sheds light on a crucial reality: sometimes, recognising one’s strengths and realigning one’s career path can lead to greater personal fulfilment and societal contribution. Perhaps it’s time for Rahul Gandhi to consider these alternative ventures, which could very well align better with his talents and passions.

On the other hand, if Rahul Gandhi plans to stay in politics and contest the 2029 elections, he needs to undergo a strategic transformation.

Firstly, he should focus on building a strong, cohesive narrative that resonates with the broader electorate, emphasising clear, actionable policies rather than broad, abstract ideas. He must strengthen the Congress party’s organisational structure and fostering a new generation of dynamic leaders would also be crucial.

Additionally, Rahul Gandhi should improve his public communication skills to present himself as a decisive and relatable leader. He must communicate using knowledge and fact-based messaging that may bolster his political presence. By demonstrating steadfast commitment, transparency, and adaptability, Rahul Gandhi can work towards revitalising his political career and the Congress party’s fortunes.

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