Dynasty Politics in India
Come 16th April 2009
and the whole of India will be coloured in all shades of the General
Elections.The 14th LokSabha will expire on the 1st June 2009 and
as per constitutional provisions, a new LokSabha will have to be
constituted before the 2nd of June 2009.The month long event will
comprise of 714 mio voters (an increase of 43 mio over 2004) , 8,28,804
polling stations , 13,68,430 EVMs , 543 constituencies , a mind-boggling
21 lakh strong security force and last but the biggest of all -
an expense of over 12000 crores, much more than what it took Mr.
Obama to reach Capitol Hill...phew.. What numbers ?....huh??
Rahul" or Rahul Baba was on a trip to Gujarat in order to entice
voters in view of the coming elections.I am not very sure about
others but Gujarati girls were definitely going gaa-gaa over Baba.Whatever
be the case but Rahul Gandhi surely managed to pull - apart from
other things (read Modi's leg) - huge crowds. Some attribute it
to his charisma and his persona.
to light for the nth time the issue of Dynasty Politics in
India.Congress has pioneered this concept and it continues
to tread that path when Rahul Gandhi was given a ticket from
Amethi in 2004 and subsequently made the AICC president in
2007. There are numerous cases in India spanning the domains
of business, politics, films etc. where this phenomenon rings
true.Then, be it Sharad Pawar charting her daughter Supriya
Sule's political career from his own constituency or Harry
Baweja lanching a "Love Story 2050" for Hurman or
Dhirubhai Ambani handing over the reins of the behemoth called
Reliance to his two sons - Mukesh and Anil.
Of course, the
newbies do reach even greater heights in some cases and their
credentials outdo many times that of their ancestors. We return
back to politics.
The fact remains
that dynasty poltics is an irony considering that India is
the world's largest democracy .All you got to possess is a
big and famous name and then even with no prior experience
in governance or an age to match you can aspire to be the
one calling the shots in a political party. Constituencies
are handed over as if an estate is handed over to the heirs.
As per TOI " India is a democracy of dynasties , for
dynasties and by dynasties". This has been the case with
Congress all through the post-Independence era. It started
with Jawaharlal Nehru bringing Indira Gandhi to the Congress.
to renowned historian Ram Chandra Guha, it actually started
with Indira acquiring control of the Congress and promoting
his son Sanjay despite loyalists who had devoted years towards
the party. Sanjay, in his regard, made the most of it and
emerged as the second most important person in India without
holding any post in the cabinet. Then came Rajiv's turn due
to Sanjay's death and then after Rajiv's death a vacuum was
created in the Congress.Hence the party workers persuaded
"madam" to join the party as its President.This
resulted in obvious annoyance of some and the resignation
of Cong veteran Sitaram Kesri. But the saga continues with
the inclusion of Rahul and who knows maybe Priyanka one fine
day!!! No wonder if Raihan and Miraya do it too...oh come
on ..they are Priyanka's "dil ke tukde"..
What can be
the probable reasons ? The phenomenon spans the map of India
Karunanidhi's DMK in the South , Mulayam Singh Yadav's SP
in the North , Bal Thackeray's Shiv Sena in the West and Naveen
Patnaik's BJD in the East.Widespread public acceptance is
the most important one since people relate to the individual
more than the party that the candidate represents. This is
true because in majority of the cases , the movement of the
person across parties also translates into the movement of
votes for the party.Indians possess an unending fascination
with the members of the Gandhi family right from the days
of Jawaharlal Nehru. One more compelling reason is that after
having established a stronghold (and a brand), why not capitalise
and provide a ready field to the next gen guys and continue
the legacy ?
Politics is perhaps
the only field where you can enjoy the largest of returns with the
smallest of investments. According to some sociologists the argument
about dynasty politics is irrelevant in a country like ours since
out here , inheritance is a birthright.
And like umpteen other
things , if you thought that "it happens only in India"
then you probably have got it wrong. Uncle Sam did it with the Kennedys
, Dubya , Al Gore et al ; Pakistan did it with Benzir Bhutto (due
to her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto) and now Mr. Asif Ali Zardari
; Sri Lanka did it with Chandrika KumarTunge ; Bangladesh did it
with Sheikh Hasina ; North Korea , Iraq and the list doesnt end..So
thats the way it is..As long as it gives you votes and power , who's
complaining ??...Happy Elections ...
Jimit N Shah I have completed my engineering from Mumbai University
and was working with Oracle Financial Services Ltd. for the past
two years. But as fate would have it , I resigned from my job and
am looking for a new one. A voracious reader spanning business,
finance, politics, marketing, media & entertainment , I have
developed a liking for writing of late. I write on my blog jimitnshah.blogspot.com
views expressed in this article are purely that of the Contributing