Lucknow: Congress president Sonia Gandhi has a new feather in her cap and this time, it is related to academics.
A student in the Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth in Varanasi is doing his doctorate on “Sonia Gandhi and her political career”. The student, Rajesh Kumar, is being guided by Prof. R.S. Tomar, a retired professor in the department of political science. This, incidentally, will be the first Ph.D. in the country on Mrs Gandhi.
“I have always been fascinated by Mrs Sonia Gandhi and the role she has played in Indian politics without being a part of the government. Her political acumen has not only ensured a smooth run for the UPA government but has also lifted the party out of realms of despair on several occasions,” said Rajesh Kumar. He said that his study on his subject would begin from the days when Mrs Gandhi’s role was merely restricted to accompanying her husband, Rajiv Gandhi, to his constituency and then visiting the constituency alone after the 1989 defeat of the Congress.
The split in the Congress, the sidelining of the Gandhi family by the former Congress president, the late Sitaram Kesri, and the formation of Congress Tiwari after which Mrs Gandhi finally agreed to take over the reins of the party are a part of the research being undertaken on the subject.
The research includes Mrs Gandhi’s style of functioning and her efforts to bring the party back into power in 2004 at the Centre and then declining to head the government. “Her ability to carry along leaders of different views, different generations and different political ideologies reflect her deep understating of Indian culture and its political system,” he said.
She has never spoken a word that she would have had to regret later and there is not a single leader who is personally hostile towards her. It is this that sets her apart from the crowd,” said the student.
For his research, Rajesh Kumar has already spent a month in the Lok Sabha library, studying her speeches in the Lok Sabha and has been talking to people who are close to her and also her political adversaries. He is also visiting her earlier constituency Amethi and the present Rae Bareli to understand how she interacts with the common man.
Rajesh Kumar’s Ph.D is now nearing completion and should be ready for submission by the end of this year.
“Once the Ph.D is approved, I would like to convert it into a book and present it to Mrs Gandhi personally,“ he said and added that it would be Varanasi’s gift to the Congress president.
Varanasi, incidentally, is the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.