Birthday message for Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi has turned 36 today.
Just three years younger than his father Rajiv Gandhi was when he became prime minister of India.
So will the son repeat history?
Presuming that the United Progressive Alliance will complete its remaining term of three years, will he join the government, will he lead the government, or, will he take up some responsibility in the Congress party?
Or, as the New Delhi power lobby murmurs, will he settle his marital issue first and only then plunge into politics?
In that case, when is the marriage?
Will he marry a foreigner-again, like his father-or will he settle down with an Indian girl?
Will mother Sonia Gandhi approve a foreigner bahu after what she herself has passed through?
These days, whoever has the remotest connection to 10 Janpath (the Gandhis residence) is encountering these questions.
Whether it is Ahmed Patel, Sonia Gandhi's political secretary who listens to the views of visitors and fellow Congressmen 24/7 but hardly opens his mouth, or Jairam Ramesh, who keeps toying with gadgets to avoid questions on the Gandhi family. Or even Mrs Gandhi's loyalist and her in-house Hindi translator and general secretary Janardan Diwedi - no one has any answer to questions relating to Rahul Gandhi.
Congress spokesman Rajiv Shulka keeps track of Rahul and Priyanka Vadhra like a shadow, but even he doesn't know what Rahul is up to!
They don't want to answer a simple question: when will Rahul Gandhi move into the AICC headquarters? Is such a thing on the Congress agenda or not?
Text: Nirmal Pathak
Photographs: STR/AFP/Getty Images
Rahul Gandhi: Up Close & Personal