He is also the editor of the quarterly journal Think India. He speaks several Indian and foreign languages, and has lectured in a number of foreign universities.
Having become involved in politics at the age of sixteen, Tripathi became one of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi's aides. He left the Congress Party, however, over his opposition to Sonia Gandhi, the President of the Party, becoming Prime Minister (because of her foreign origin). He joined the nationalist Congress Party in 1999, and has reached the position of its General Secretary and chief spokesman. He was responsible for negotiating over seat-sharing in Maharashtra.