India Doesn't Need Another Gandhi

Munish Byala / Hindustan Times / Getty Images

The pro-Gandhi lobby says Rahul is vote-worthy; would it be so sure if it weren't for his storied surname?

I once had a brief but close encounter with Rahul Gandhi, that most private of India's public figures. The occasion was TIME Asia's 60th anniversary gala in 2006 in Hong Kong. We had invited Gandhi to accept an award for his great-grandfather Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister, whom we were honoring as an icon of the 20th century. Dressed in a dark suit, Gandhi made a quiet entrance without entourage or security detail. I welcomed him to the event and we made small talk; he was genteel and unassuming. A fine young man, I thought....

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