Bal Thackeray, Sonia Gandhi, Sushma Swaraj during their younger days

Updated: Jan 13, 2020, 20:10 | Sherlin Rajan
  • National Youth Day

    Uddhav Thackeray

    Shiv Sena chief and chief minister of Maharashtra Uddhav Thackeray looks on as his father, Sena supremo, the late Bal Thackeray, tries a hand at photography.

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  • National Youth Day

    Raj Thackeray

    A younger Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray is seen with his guards in a picture from the vault.

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    Aaditya Thackeray

    Shiv Sena leader and minister of tourism and environment, Maharashtra, Aaditya Thackeray at an occasion with his younger brother Tejas in a throwback photo.

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  • National Youth Day

    Rajiv Gandhi

    Former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was initially working as a pilot with the erstwhile Indian Airlines before he joined politics following his younger brother Sanjay's death in 1980. He started out as a Lok Sabha MP representing his brother's constituency Amethi in Uttar Pradesh. He also served as the Congress general secretary till his mother, former prime minister Indira Gandhi's assassination in 1984, after which he was appointed to precede her post. Gandhi served as the prime minister from 1984 to 1989. He remained Congress president till his assassination at an election rally in Sripedumbudur, Tamil Nadu in 1991.

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  • National Youth Day

    Sonia Gandhi

    Congress president Sonia Gandhi was reluctant to precede to her late husband Rajiv Gandhi's post following his assassination. She took over the post in 1998 to 2017. She regained the post in August 2019 after son Rahul resigned. While in position she formulated the United Progressive Alliance when her party won the 2004 Lok Sabha elections and formed the government in coalition with other centre-left parties. The alliance was re-elected again in 2009. She is considered one of the most influential women leaders in the country.

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    Rahul Gandhi

    Congress leader Rahul Gandhi entered politics in 2004 and has been the MP of Amethi constituency till 2014. He also heads the Indian Youth Congress and the National Students Union of India.

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    Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

    Priyanka, daughter of Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi and younger sister of Rahul Gandhi has been their campaign manager since 2004. But she formally entered politics in 2019 after being appointed the Congress party's general secretary of the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh. She married businessman Robert Vadera in 1997 and has two children, Raihan and Miraya

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  • National Youth Day

    Sushma Swaraj

    Sushma Swaraj was initially a lawyer in the Supreme Court. She became the youngest cabinet minister in the age of 25 years in the Haryana state government. Swaraj was a seven-time MP and three-time MLA and the first woman chief minister of Delhi. She also served as union minister, handling portfolios such as Information and Broadcasting, Health under Atal Behari Vajpayee's government from 1998 to 2004 and external affair minister in Narendra Modi's government from 2014 to 2019. She passed away on August 6, 2019 following a cardiac arrest.

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    Smriti Irani

    Smriti Irani entered politics, joining the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2003. She was elected as the MP of Amethi in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, defeating Rahul Gandhi. She became a union minister in Narendra Modi's government in  2014 and handled portfolios such as Human Resources and Textiles. Irani is currently handling the Information and Broadcasting ministry in the second Modi government.

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  • National Youth Day

    Arun Jaitley

    A Supreme Court advocate, Arun Jaitley joined Bharatiya Janata Party in 1991, marking his entry into politics. He also served as the party spokesperson in ahead of the 1999 general elections. Jaitley has also been cabinet minister handling portfolios such as Law, Shipping, Disinvestment, Commerce and Industry in the Atal Behari Vajpayee government. He also served as the cabinet minister in the first Modi government handling Defence, corporate affairs and finance. He passed away on August 24, 2019, after a prolonged illness.

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  • National Youth Day

    Atal Behari Vajpayee

    Poet and BJP leader Atal Behari Vajpayee was the 10th prime minister of the country. He has served the position three times--May 1996, 1998-1999 and from 1999 to 2004. Vajpayee was known as one of the prominent leaders who were arrested during the Emergency period of 1975 to 1977. He has also served as the external affairs minister in the Morarji Desai government from 1977 to 1979. Vajpayee was awarded Bharat Ratna in 2015 by then-president Pranab Mukherjee. He passed away on August 16, 2018.

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  • National Youth Day

    Lalu Prasad Yadav

    President of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Lalu Prasad Yadav has served as the chief minister of Bihar from 1990 to 1995 and 1995 to 1997. He also served as the union minister of Railways in the UPA government from 2004 to 2009. He has also been a three-times MP of his constituency Chhapra in Bihar.

    12/15
  • National Youth Day

    Mamata Banerjee

    The current and the first woman chief minister of West Bengal has been active in Indian politics since 15 years of age. She has also been the woman to hold the ministry of coal and has also been the minister of state for Human Resource, Woman and Child development and youth affairs in various governments. She is also the president of the All India Trinamool Congress, the party she formed in 1998 after breaking away from the Indian Nationa Congress.

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  • National Youth Day

    Shashi Tharoor

    Diplomat and Thiruvananthapuram MP Shashi Tharoor had worked in the United Nations and Communications and Public Information under the leader of Kofi Annan from 2002 to 2007. He entered Indian politics in 2009 after the general elections. He served as the Minister of State for External Affairs in the second UPA government from 2009 to 2014.

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    Pranab Mukherjee

    Pranab Mukherjee was the 13th president of the country. Before being appointed the president, he was serving as the Finance Minister in the second UPA government. As a union minister, he has also served portfolios such as commerce, defence and external affairs apart from finance, under various governments, including Rajiv Gandhi's. He was awarded Bharat Ratna in 2019 by his successor Ram Nath Kovind.

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About The Gallery

Here's a look back at how the prominent leaders of today looked in their younger days, inspiring the youth back in the day.