He went from being the hardly stubbled, dimpled baby-kisser with neat hair to the person with unkempt locks and an overgrown salt-pepper beard, the picture makeover drawing comparisons with Saddam Hussein, Karl Marx or even Forrest Gump.
And that one query — did Rahul Gandhi additionally outgrow his ‘Pappu’ symbol all over the Bharat Jodo Yatra?
The Iraqi dictator, the German thinker and father of communism or the wide-eyed protagonist of the eponymous movie “ Forrest Gump”, who the Congress chief in fact resembles after the top of the 145-day, 4,000 km yatra is open to discuss. An afternoon after the Kanyakumari to Kashmir marketing campaign ended right here on Monday, a number of mavens, then again, are agreed his “coming-of-age” glance displays the bigger symbol transformation he has passed through with regards to other people’s belief.
“… The beard has given him a undeniable stage of seriousness. He has arrived as a person, he’s now not Indira Gandhi’s grandson, Rajiv Gandhi’s son. He’s now Rahul Gandhi, the person. That may be a very crucial exchange in how other people understand him nowadays,” Prahlad Kakkar, promoting trade veteran, advised PTI.
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The person brushed aside by way of many as ‘Pappu’ — the moniker imposed by way of his warring parties to replicate their view of him as a non-serious, political light-weight — will have in fact outgrown his symbol as a reluctant, part-time baby-kisser and developed to 1 who’s mature and brought significantly.
Many might argue with the stereotypes of each photographs he had — the pre-yatra symbol and the only he received because the march advanced — however that’s the factor with photographs. They generally tend to stay without reference to whether or not they constitute the truth or now not.
Symbol mavens additionally say the previous Congress president’s new bearded glance is also a part of a mindful effort to ship out a message.
Rohit Ohri, CEO of media company FCB Team India, mentioned the Bharat Yodo Yatra was once Mr. Gandhi’s giant “makeover act” and his scruffy beard an emblem of this makeover.
“As an emblem it stands for… the brand new knowledge of age, the exhausting labour of the prince, the nation-before-self trust and the harsh never-say-die spirit,” Mr. Ohri advised PTI.
That Mr. Gandhi confirmed stamina and resilience throughout the Kanyakumari to Kashmir cross-country marketing campaign, strolling about 20-25 km every day, additionally lent itself to the top of the ‘pappufication’, mentioned political watchers.
“Other people didn’t suppose Rahul Gandhi had the stamina and bandwidth to look the yatra via. So, as a result of he has had it simple, he has inherited it and now not earned it, this Bharat Jodo Yatra was once essential for his symbol makeover as after all he needed to earn his stripes,” Mr. Kakkar mentioned.
All politicians have realised there are not any simple shortcuts to votes… it’s all rather well to preach and be holier than thou however except you hit the street and put within the sweat and blood, other people may not be moved, he argued.
Mr. Gandhi — who was once noticed in a white T-shirt for nearly all the period of the yatra excluding for the ultimate day when he donned a Kashmiri ‘pheran’ to thrust back the chilly — has controlled to marvel everybody by way of seeing the yatra via, Mr. Kakkar mentioned.
He termed Mr. Gandhi’s glance as “coming-of-age”, announcing he has long past from a boy to a person by way of wearing a beard. “The moustache and the beard have at all times been respected as an arrival of manhood in our nation…
“As a result of the avatar he has taken up, the BJP is attempting to counter his discussion. They shouldn’t have tried it previous as a result of that they had brushed aside him as a Pappu. The reality is if your enemy regards you as a major contender then you might have accomplished 90 in step with cent of what you had long past out to succeed in,” the adman mentioned.
Going ahead, Mr. Gandhi must make a brand new starting with a “blank slate” and get started by way of apologising for the errors his birthday celebration had dedicated when in energy.
The important thing query will likely be to-shave-or-not-to-shave now that the yatra has ended, Mr. Kakkar mentioned.
“I consider this beard is right here to stick and with it’s the grand previous birthday celebration’s determined hope that this makeover is ceaselessly,” Mr. Ohri added.
In line with Suman Agarwal, co-founder of Symbol Consulting Trade Institute, the brand new glance followed by way of Mr. Gandhi is strategic dressing within the language of symbol control.
“His intent is to wreck the stereotypical symbol of a political candidate and get a brand new glance. Our new technology believes in dwelling on their very own phrases, a bit unkempt and imperfect glance depicting that ‘I’ve extra vital issues to concentrate on’,” she advised PTI.
“He [Rahul Gandhi] needs other people to take a look at him with a recent standpoint and this can be a good method to exchange the best way one attire,” Ms. Agarwal mentioned.
Mr. Gandhi’s visible communique is other, extra casual, at ease and a lot more versatile, she mentioned.
The Congress chief has passed through a picture makeover by way of converting the best way he seems and he needs to mission that “he’s mature, severe, other and obviously approach trade”, Ms. Agarwal mentioned, including that look performs a very important function in belief control.
To what extent this new glance will assist him succeed in his targets is but to be noticed, added the picture professional.
The previous Congress leader has himself said the exchange in his symbol belief.
Addressing a press convention in Jammu, Mr. Gandhi had mentioned 1000’s of crores of rupees were pumped in by way of the BJP and the RSS systematically to distort his symbol however the reality at all times comes out.
Congress normal secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh, mentioned to be the motive force at the back of the yatra in conjunction with senior chief Digvijaya Singh, has many times mentioned the BJP’s bid to distort Mr. Gandhi’s symbol stands demolished with the yatra.
The true Rahul Gandhi has emerged from the yatra, now not a brand new one, Mr. Ramesh steadily insists when requested in regards to the symbol makeover.
Whether or not Rahul Gandhi’s symbol makeover will also be sustained after the yatra would rely on his perseverance and politics. For the instant, then again, it does appear that the times of his ‘pappufication’ by way of the BJP are at the back of him.