‘Reformer-In-Chief’ Vs ‘Nervous, Unformed Student’: Obama Writes About Modi And Gandhi In His Memoir

Courtesy: freepressjournal.com

Former US president Barack Obama has described Congress leader Rahul Gandhi as a person who has a “nervous, unformed quality” about him like a student eager to impress the teacher but lacking aptitude and passion to “master the subject.”

According to The New York Times review of Obama’s memoir ‘A Promised Land’, Rahul`s mother Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also find a mention in the book.


The article is, however, silent on whether there is any mention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the book. In the past, Obama has praised Modi on various occasions, including in a Time introduction where he called the Indian leader “Reformer-in-Chief”.

Courtesy: freepressjournal.com

Here is the full text of Obama’s piece in Time on Modi in 2015:

India’s reformer-in-chief


As a boy, Narendra Modi helped his father sell tea to support their family. Today, he’s the leader of the world’s largest democracy, and his life story—from poverty to Prime Minister—reflects the dynamism and potential of India’s rise.

Determined to help more Indians follow in his path, he’s laid out an ambitious vision to reduce extreme poverty, improve education, empower women and girls and unleash India’s true economic potential while confronting climate change. Like India, he transcends the ancient and the modern—a devotee of yoga who connects with Indian citizens on Twitter and imagines a “digital India.”

When he came to Washington, Narendra and I visited the memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We reflected on the teachings of King and Gandhi and how the diversity of backgrounds and faiths in our countries is a strength we have to protect. Prime Minister Modi recognizes that more than 1 billion Indians living and succeeding together can be an inspiring model for the world.


Here is what Obama has written on Rahul Gandhi in his memoir ‘A Promised Land’:

“Rahul Gandhi has a nervous, unformed quality about him, as if he were a student who’d done the coursework and was eager to impress the teacher but deep down lacked either the aptitude or the passion to master the subject,” according to the NYT review by author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

On Sonia Gandhi, he has reportedly written, “We are told of the handsomeness of men like Charlie Crist and Rahm Emanuel, but not the beauty of women, except for one or two instances, as in the case of Sonia Gandhi.”


Secretary of Defense Bob Gates and the Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh both are clubbed into a subset of people who have a “kind of impassive integrity.”

Source: Free Press Journal