Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is often referred to as ‘Canadian Pappu’. It is because marketing gimmicks and PR stunts carried out by Rahul Gandhi’s team often appear inspired from Trudeau’s. Here are a few examples of similar stunts carried out by the two political leaders over the years.
In 2016, Justin Trudeau gave a ‘quick lesson’ in quantum computing to a reporter.
Of course, he was hailed by everyone as international media swooned over the ‘boyishly handsome’ leader. Few months later, our boy Rahul Gandhi decided he will address a gathering on Artificial Intelligence.
However, days later it was clarified that he was just going to address a gathering of Indian Overseas Congress and not really speaking on AI.
Canada’s Trudeau has regularly appeared on various lists as one of the ‘fittest’ world leaders. He boxes, picks up a kid with one hand and gets clicked doing other sporty stuff because of which he is often called ‘fit’.
And so, what does Rahul Gandhi do? Yes, he is suddenly an expert in Aikido, a Japanese martial art.
One fine day, the nation wakes up with news that Rahul Gandhi not only knows Aikido, but he is apparently a ‘black belt’ in it. Oh and not only that Rahul is apparently a shooting expert too. Videos of Rahul Gandhi doing some Aikido moves, the first and only time we got to see him do it, went viral after Congress social media team released them.
Pidi and Kenzie
Remember how Pidi became famous after Congress lost Assam as Rahul Gandhi chose to play with his pet dog instead of discussing party problems? Trudeau did it first. No, not losing elections. But wowing the world with his pet dog.
In 2016, Justin Trudeau took to Twitter to announce they got a puppy.
Obviously, the media swooned again over the ‘cute’ Trudeau family.
A year later, Rahul Gandhi revealed his ‘cute’ friend.
Of course, Rahul Gandhi was hailed as ‘cute’ and ‘cool’ and ‘funny’ for having a dog who does tricks.
Except, he was also given a truth pill by former Congress leader Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Ouch! That must have hurt.
Random act of kindness
In 2016, an image of Trudeau sitting on steps and talking to a little boy had gone viral on social media.
Trudeau in 2015 sat with a boy who had a bad day in school and gave a pep talk.
Trudeau, in another random act of kindness, helped a man on wheelchair board the metro.
What does our boy do?
‘Good guy’ Rahul Gandhi comes to rescue of a journalist who was injured. Few days later, Congress workers beat up a journalist in Tamil Nadu for clicking pictures of empty chairs at public rally of Congress leader.
Justin Trudeau has fans. Not just fans, screaming fans.
And what does Rahul Gandhi have?
Fans, of course.
In 2017, Rahul Gandhi very randomly tweeted birthday greetings to a 107 year old grandmother of a very vocal Congress supporter.
He also gave a ‘big hug’ to the lady who expressed desire to meet him as he was ‘handsome’.
He also called her personally and wished her.
But wait. What Rahul Gandhi does today, Justin Trudeau has already done yesterday.
The 120 year old lady had expressed her desire to meet Canadian PM Justin Trudeau for her birthday.
Compare and contrast
Rahul Gandhi and Justin Trudeau both come from strong political families. Rahul Gandhi’s father, grandmother and great grandfather have all been prime ministers of India. Trudeau’s father Pierre Trudeau was also Prime Minister of Canada. And while under Trudeau’s leadership Liberal Party in Canada won the 2015 elections, under Rahul Gandhi’s leadership, Congress had one of its most humiliating defeats in 2019 general elections.
Whether Rahul Gandhi is indeed inspired from Justin Trudeau or not no one knows, but the similarities in their PR strategy are too stark to not notice. And it is for this that Trudeau gets to be known as Rahul Gandhi equivalent of Canada.