Chintan Shivir and beyond : Rahul Gandhi’s PR Roadmap

Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi at the Chintan Shivir 2013

We seek Hindustan Times’ Associate Editor N Madhavan’s  opinion to understand what Rahul Gandhi’s recent speech at the Chintan Shivir means for his image and his growth as a national leader.

Madhavan believes that Rahul Gandhi’s speech at Chitan Shivir in Jaipur was a seminal moment in setting an agenda for his party for the 2014 elections. The emotive speech has given him the right platform to embark upon his journey to 2014.

N Madhavan (Associate Editor, Hindustan Times)

One of the main barriers keeping Rahul Gandhi away from becoming a viable Prime Ministerial candidate in 2014 is his refined family background. According to Madhavan, to combat the image of being an elitist successor of the Nehru – Gandhi dynasty, Rahul’s real strategy should be one where he can justify to the nation that he is truly ushering in intra-party democracy, in which he is also only a worker, and perhaps an undeserving leader.

Projected so far as Congress’s youth leader for the nation, he has never been seen to evolve from the youth leader to the vice president of Congress party at the age of 42.

As far as interaction with media is concerned, “Rahul Gandhi should be able to handle press conferences, interviews. And needs humour,”said Madhavan.

At the Chintar Shivir, the Gandhi scion was apparently shocked by the level of negative chatter on Twitter about the Congress and him. With regard to his anticipated presence on social media in 2013 and speculation on his social media strategy, Madhavan believes that “There is no strategy for social media. That is being false. He should be true and honest. Or at least, emphasize the positive aspects of his agenda and proving to millions that he is not an inheritor of privilege but of responsibility.”

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