Who was Rahul Gandhi before he was a politician?
Rahul Gandhi has turned 48 today. The Congress president made his foray into politics in 2004.
Gandhi has since then elevated himself as a national leader, recently announcing his prime ministerial aspirations.
However, he stayed away from public sphere for much of his childhood and early youth. So who was Rahul Gandhi before he took on the mantle of his family legacy and entered politics?
1. Heir to a dynasty
Rahul Gandhi was born on 19 June 1970 to former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. He hails from the fourth generation of the Nehru-Gandhi family. His grandmother Indira Gandhi was the then Prime Minister of India. He is also the great-grandson of India's first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru.
2. Early schooling
Gandhi attended St. Columba's School, Delhi before entering The Doon School in Dehradun, Uttarakhand from 1981 to 1983. His father had also been a student of The Doon School.
3. The assassination of Indira Gandhi
His grandmother and former Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi was assassinated in 1984. Due to the security threats, he and his sister, Priyanka were home-schooled till 1989.
4. College life
In 1989 he took admission in Delhi's St. Stephen's College for history honours for his undergraduate education. He entered the college through the sports quota. He moved to Harvard University where he went to study economics in 1990.
5. The assassination of Rajiv Gandhi
In 1991, after Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by the LTTE during an election rally, he shifted to Rollins College in Florida, USA, due to security concerns and obtained his BA in 1994.
6. The Rahul Vinci Code
He further went on to obtain an MPhil in Development Studies from Trinity College, Cambridge in 1995 where he went by the name of Rahul Vinci, due to paranoia surrounding his safety. Jawaharlal Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi had also been undergraduates at Trinity.
7. Working like a common man
After graduation, Rahul Gandhi worked at the Monitor Group, a management consulting firm, in London for three years. The Monitor Group was founded by management guru by Michael Porter. In 2002, he was one of the directors of Mumbai-based technology outsourcing firm Backops Services Private Ltd.
8. Stepping on to the political stage
In March 2004, Gandhi announced his entry into politics by announcing that he would contest the May 2004 elections, standing for his father's former constituency of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh in the Lok Sabha. In his first interview with foreign media, Gandhi portrayed himself as an uniter of the country and condemned "divisive" politics in India, saying that he would try to reduce caste and religious tensions.
The rest, as they say, is history.
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