Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has been keeping a low profile ever since the party's drubbing in the Lok Sabha polls, and doubts about his continuation in the role persist. But amid the despair, on Wednesday, the Congress decided to mark the 49th birthday of its president by compiling a brief video of statements by Rahul, with which “he inspired Indians everywhere.”
The five video clips are from speeches and interactions Rahul was involved with over the course of the past one year.
The first and fifth clips are from Rahul's speech at Parliament during the no-confidence motion against the Narendra Modi government on July 20, 2018. The speech became famous for Rahul's emphasis on 'love' and his impromptu move to hug Modi at the end. The video highlights the viewpoint of Rahul on “what it means to be Indian” and the “idea of Congress” and what it represents.
The second clip is from a speech Rahul made to the Indian community in Dubai during a trip to the UAE in January. The clip seeks to highlight the views of Rahul on a “united India” and shows Rahul emphasising the “need to bring India together once again... bring all our communities, religions, all states in the country together!”
The third clip is from Rahul's interaction at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in October 2018 and highlights the theme of “re-imagining India”. Rahul is shown arguing “India's nature is 1.3 billion imaginations and you can't suppress them”. He calls these 1.3 billion imaginations “India's strength”. Rahul declares “re-imagining India for me is to allow those 1.3 billion imaginations to thrive”.
The fourth clip is from Rahul's visit to Stella Maris College, Chennai, in March after the announcement of election dates. At the informal event, in which Rahul wore a jeans and T-shirt, Rahul spoke about a number of issues, including women's empowerment, which was the theme of the fourth clip. The clip shows Rahul telling the Stella Maris students “not to accept” prejudices about the limitations of women.
While Rahul's public persona and social media profile underwent a transformation, becoming more assertive, in the two years leading to the Lok Sabha polls, the heavy defeat has arguably seen him avoiding the media glare since the announcement of results.