Priyanka Gandhi’s entry into politics during the 2019 poll campaigns has certainly been turning heads all around. Who is this woman? Other than the obvious indication of the surname, how is she connected to the leaders of the Congress Party? What has she achieved?
Is she worthy to be entrusted with the care of our nation? Which place is she most active in and in control of? And most importantly, what does her arrival mean for Indian politics right now? How is she going to impact the future of the Congress: will it be in a good way or a bad way?
The answers to all these questions will be discussed in detail below leisurely. An interesting read, on the life of Priyanka Gandhi, awaits us!
A background on Priyanka Gandhi and her family
Priyanka Gandhi, also known by her married name which is Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, was born on 12th January in the year 1972. It is needless to say that she is an Indian politician, as that is evident from the tone of this article. She is the daughter of Rajiv Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi, and the younger sister of Rahul Gandhi.
This makes her the grand-daughter of a great personality: none other than Indira Gandhi, who was our first female Prime Minister of India and the last as of now. In this way, she is related to the Nehru- Gandhi family. Rajiv Gandhi was also the Prime Minister of India, while her mother Sonia Gandhi was the President of the Indian National Congress.
She was born and brought up mainly in Delhi, and has been educated at five different schools. Her primary education was completed at the Modern School and at the Convent of Jesus and Mary, Delhi. She later attended the Jesus and Mary College, as well as the Welham Girls School. She received her Masters of Arts degree from the University of Delhi.
She also did a Master’s degree in Buddhism, in 2010. She also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. It is said that after the assassination of her grandmother Indira Gandhi, Priyanka had to be home schooled.
Priyanka got married to her childhood love and businessman Robert Vadra on 18th February, 1997. She has two beautiful children, Rehan Vadra, born in 2000, and Miraya Vadra, born in 2002. She is a loving mother and wife, and to quote her, “I have made every effort to keep my children away from politics and encouraged them to do anything they would possibly want to do, other than politics.”
What does her entry into Politics mean right now?
For many years, Priyanka Gandhi has been considered the Trump card of the Congress. She is believed to be nothing less than a game changer in the politician power game. She formally entered Indian Politics on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019. She has been appointed as the general secretary of Uttar Pradesh East as part of the All India Congress Community (AICC).
To quote Rahul Gandhi, current president of the Indian National Congress party, on Priyanka’s entry into politics, he is sure that she will initiate new thought in Uttar Pradesh and will bring a positive change in the politics of Uttar Pradesh.
Before her entry, especially in the last election in 2014, the Congress observed a major drop in the count of seats they held in their name, especially in Uttar Pradesh, where only eight percent of voters voted for Congress officials.
To step up the game for the 2019 elections, analysts figured that new faces were required to revive the Congress’ past glory. In such a situation, asking Priyanka Gandhi to step up to the post is an obvious solution, considering her birth line and the charismatic qualities she has inherited from her grandmother.
What is surprising about her entry into politics is that she had publicly announced several years back that she had no interest in doing do. About a decade ago, in an interview, Priyanka stated that she would not be joining the Congress party as an official member.
She added that she could help her brother and mother without necessarily being a part of the party. Up until 2019, she had participated in only very small roles, or visited the constituencies of her mother and her brother.
There are very differing opinions on her entry into politics. A lot of people term her as a game changer and a crowd puller. Almost everyone believes that Priyanka is more charismatic than her brother, and the spitting image of her grandmother.
Although these claims may seem true to the general public, Priyanka has often verified that she is much more of a recluse than her brother, and she finds herself more similar to her father than her grandmother, whereas Rahul was Indira’s favourite forever, and she would spend a lot of time talking to him about Indian politics.
In spite of most of the positive wishes regarding Priyanka’s entry, there are some harsh comments too. The Bharat Janata Party (BJP) strongly regards, as voiced out by their spokesperson Sambit Patra, that Priyanka’s entry into politics is nothing more than an admission that Rahul Gandhi has “failed” in his leadership.
Achievements already accomplished
Priyanka made her first political speech at the age of 16 or 17 years, a time at which she was very excited about joining politics. Having grown up in a family of politicians, certain illusions about herself were forced on to her by the media and public, and at that age she felt obligated to be a politician too.
Her speech was thought-provoking and excellent, and it showed that the leadership quality in her was inbuilt, passed down from generations, maybe even from her great grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru. Even in the beginning of Sonia Gandhi’s political career, Priyanka would help her plan and write her speeches to the public.
Of course, after all these years, her mother has gained the confidence to speak up by herself, although she still remains a recluse and comes across as shy at times.
Priyanka did not seem to have any interest in being active in politics until January 2019. However, she is still popular in the Amethi and Raebareli constituencies, which are her mother and brother’s constituencies.
It is not a very well-known fact that in 2004, she was the manager of her mother’s campaign in Uttar Pradesh assembly election at the age of 32. She is considered one of the youngest scions of the Indian National Congress Party.
She also assisted the Congress Party in gaining 10 seats in Amethi-Raebareli region in the 2007 Uttar Pradesh assembly election. She was appointed as the General Secretary of Congress Party in the charge of eastern Uttar Pradesh on 23 January, 2019 for upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
In the 2019 elections, Priyanka has been roped in to support and promote the Nyay (Nyuntam Aay Yojana), also known as the Minimum Income Guarantee Scheme that was the centre of attraction as the Congress Campaign for the elections.
In addition, she also serves as the Trustee of the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.
Priyanka Gandhi’s entry into politics was most certainly a beneficial event for the Congress, although it did was not able to achieve its goal and be elected as the Ruling party of India in this election.
But Priyanka is more than just a politician. She is a loyal wife, a loving daughter, an affectionate mother, a proud sister, and above all, a benevolent woman. Her similarity to her grandmother has been both a boon as well as a bane in her life.
Some of her quotes really gives insight to what kind of leader she is. My favourite would be when she imitates the principles given by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, when she says, “I do not believe in violence. The answer to violence does not lie in more violence. I believe the answer to violence is Ahimsa.”
Truly, she is an inspiration to all women in many ways and forms.