Newsweek celebrates Rahul Gandhi and takes a look at his ideas and his politics.
Rahul’s current views on the economy seem to owe to these tours. Broadly speaking, he is pro-market, owing in part to his time at Monitor, but he insists that growth should provide opportunities for the poor. “What is the difference between a rich man and a poor man?” he liked to ask at campaign rallies. “Opportunity!” Rahul argues that the human talent in India’s poorest states is as good as anywhere else and that it’s the government’s fault that these regions remain impoverished. He also believes in economic reform. Rahul has said that the current global financial crisis is a “short-term disruption” and large countries like India and China can benefit in the long run if they position themselves properly. But he wants “inclusive growth,” and has supported job guarantees for the rural poor and loan waivers to farmers—measures derided by market reformers but that appear to have had strong political benefits for Congress and to have shielded India’s rural sector from the worst of the current crisis. Rahul is also known to support the growing U.S.-India alliance and is said to speak well of George W. Bush in private for pushing it through.
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