Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who turned 50 Friday, is a reluctant politician still searching for his mojo.
The scion of the powerful Nehru-Gandhi dynasty is shunning celebrations in light of the coronavirus pandemic and the death of 20 Army personnel in a stand-off with China in the Galwan Valley of Ladakh.
The party has also asked its state and district units not to organise any celebration on his birthday. Rahul has, in his forbearance, invoked partymen to distribute food kits among the needy and in community kitchens for the poor to alleviate the pain and suffering of the people during this difficult time.
They said the National Students' Union of India, the student wing of the Congress, would organise country-wide blood donation camps on Friday and would provide cash incentives to the poor who have been hit hardest by the pandemic.
Onmanorama takes a peek into the life of the reluctant politician, who is still the loudest voice against Modi.
1991: Rahul's father Rajiv Gandhi is assassinated in Tamil Nadu. At 21, political spotlight beckons Rahul. There is a void to be filled, a void that came into existence after Rajiv's assassination. His family, however, sends him to the US for further studies.
2002: After a stint working in London, Rahul Gandhi returns to India, but refrains from entering politics.
2004: After much persuasion from Sonia Gandhi, his mother, Rahul takes the political plunge and joins Congress. He is given the family bastion of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh to contest from. He wins.
2006: Now an MP, Rahul joins his sister Priyanka to campaign for their mother Sonia Gandhi in Raebareli. She wins. Talk that Rahul may be given organisational responsibility of the party soon does the rounds.
2007: Rahul Gandhi appointed General Secretary of the Congress. He takes over the youth and student wings of the party. His 'star campaigner' appeal fails to secure a win for the Congress in UP Assembly polls as party wins only 22 out of 403 seats.
2009: Rahul addresses 125 rallies during the Lok Sabha elections. Retains Amethi and Congress wins a quarter of Uttar Pradesh's seats as the UPA retains power at the Centre.
2010: Bihar Assembly elections give a major jolt to the Congress party as it wins only 4 out of 243 assembly seats.
2011: Gandhi is arrested in Uttar Pradesh's Bhatta Parsaul for joining a farmers' agitation against land acquisition. A motorbike ride with a farmer helped him partially shake off his 'yuvraj' image.
2012: Rahul Gandhi spearheads the Uttar Pradesh Assembly election campaign, holding more than 200 rallies. But the party returns empty-handed.
2012: Clamour in the Congress rises over demands that Rahul Gandhi should join the UPA govt after Pranab Mukherjee resigned to contest the Presidential poll. Many party leaders, senior ministers and even Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urged him to take a role in the Cabinet.
2013: Congress appoints Rahul Gandhi as Vice-President
Later that year, he criticises Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and tears up an ordinance that reversed a Supreme Court order barring convicted politicians from contesting elections.
2014: With Rahul as unofficial PM candidate, the Congress recorded its lowest-ever Lok Sabha tally.
2015: Rahul Gandhi goes on a 57-day sabbatical in a politically-charged season. This gives rise to allegations of him being a "reluctant politician."
2016: With Sonia Gandhi in the background, Rahul Gandhi takes charge of day-to-day affairs of the party. Speculations over his elevation gain traction.
2016: Rahul Gandhi takes over state election campaigns, but the party is steadily wiped off the map suffering a series of heavy defeats.
2017: Rahul Gandhi is appointed Congress President just before the high-stakes Gujarat Assembly elections.
2019: Rahul mounted a combative campaign against Mr Modi with hopes of energising a struggling Congress party. Criss-crossed the length and breadth of India, addressing election rallies, participating in roadshows and holding meetings with party workers and supporters. Congress fails to perform.
Rahul Gandhi is drubbed in Amethi but wins a landslide victory from his second seat, Wayanad.
2019: Rahul Gandhi quits as Congress president signalling a leadership void in Congress. His mother Sonia Gandhi steps in to instate order.
2020: Rahul Gandhi, despite his recent defeats, is seen as a lone warrior in the face of overwhelming political assaults from the BJP. He is unfazed and his words are louder than ever.