Viewers' Voice


Rising Trend of Dynastic Politics in India


Brigadier Arun Bajpai (retd)


 (Bihar Times): Today when we talk of dynastic politics in Independent India, straight away fingers get pointed to a particular political party. Reams of pages have been written in media as to how the prince in waiting is being groomed by the doting mother meanwhile the seat of the Prime Ministership is kept warm by stop gap arrangements. This may or may not be true but the fact of the matter is that all those who are doing finger pointing are themselves involved in the same game.

Recently a very senior political big wig of a main stream political party, throwing ideology and what have you to winds, left his party in a huff and joined his opponent of decades .The reason for this annoyance of netaji was his son being denied a Parliament nomination for the General Elections 2009 while another netaji of the same party got his son nominated.

One can understand if Papaji is abdicating his seat for his son. After all he has nurtured his constituency and wants the legacy to continue. No harm, this is very much human and correct also because the son will have to start the good work from where his father left. Unfortunately in all such cases Pitaji has no plans to retire, he only wants additional seats for his wards. Needless to say this falls under the preview of nepotism and can not be permitted in a vibrant democracy.

Some norms on induction and propagation of such Neta Putras must now be defined. After all as people’s nominee in democracy they will be representing the interests of a large segment of people. They must prove that they are capable  One can understand some regional political parties, managed like family concern of the Neta in Chief who founded the party, with the family members becoming patrons and hogging all the limelight as also the plum posts. Young or old, all party workers joining and supporting such parties do so with full knowledge that they will always remain the second rung leaders. They are aware that their advancement will be dependent on loyalty to the said family concern.

Unfortunately this virus is now affecting those mainstream political parties also who till now had a good record of grass roots leaders coming up through the rough and tumble of the street politics. The problem in Indian politics is that most of these Putras are not inducted because of their capability but are foisted. The Neta Putra does his initial education in a very shielded environment mostly out side the country. There he may not even be a member of the college level union. However on his return he overnight becomes leader of the youth brigade or some such thing of the Pitajis party without going through the rough and tumble of the Indian politics.

The biggest irony is that except for mainstream parties all other regional satraps who today are leading lights in their respective parties have themselves come up the hard way? So why not their precious Putras? Today India is the youngest county in the world. 640 million of its population is between 18 to 30 years age bracket. The education quotient is also highest in this age bracket. In the elections 2009 for the first time in the history of India this large young majority will now be voting. Out of this youth more than 40 million will be voting for the first time. This youth of India has different priorities to the Pitajis and Taujis who are still bent upon contesting the elections as leaders. Thus there is big asymmetry in the mental make up and beliefs of the leaders and the led.

Current Netajis at an average age of 60 plus, have a typical mind set and have outlived their utility. Unfortunately instead of retiring and giving way to generation next, they still want to cling on to power. This older generation, averse to any risk taking is happy with what is currently going on, the ‘Chalta Hai Concept’ and are loath to any change. What surprise then that goons of these old timer netas beat girls in the pub or misbehave with young couples on valentine day?

All in the name of Indian culture as they had seen it in their prime time. Time has now come for Indian youth to assert. When polity is so young the political parties must be made to field young candidates to represent them and not infirm old timers. These people must be made to retire having played their innings. Only the young leaders will be able to properly empathize with the aspirations of the young population. Then only the correct solutions in keeping with the changed time and environment will emerge. Right thing to will be to have a judicious mix of young and old.

The young Netas must originate from the mass, a bottom up approach and not top down. As for true leadership, if the Papajis really want their sons to serve the country, then they should encourage his ward to enroll in Armed Forces for a period of five years before joining politics. If not in Regular Army then at least in Territorial Army. By recently joining the Territorial Army the famous cricketier Kapil Deo has already shown the way. This will inculcate discipline and love for the country in the aspiring Netaji. This will also groom the budding netaji to face the trials, tribulations and hardships with the men he leads, enabling him to be a real leader of men.

In politics it should be deserving Bhoomi Putras not Neta Putras who should be leading. 



I can not agree any less with the author. Politics is the only area of human endeavors in India that is almost 80% reserved at its upper strata and this reservation is solely a privilege of sons and daughters of the existing party patriarchs. The most notable--but not the only-- is the grand old party, Congress that prides itself to have the largest number of young leaders. Most of these young leaders are direct descendants of some existing or deceased 'great' leaders. The other 20% comprises the strong-arm-leaders and the millionaires who can win either by intimidating the voters or by doling out money and liquor to the voters. If you are looking for qualifications like social service, leadership and organizational abilities, you are definitely living in an are-you-kidding-world.
Just the other day one of the great sons of one such family gives the most moronic statements that one can make on live TV and then says the videos were doctored.

Who is to blame--the parties and the leaders. I don't think so. Only people to blame are the socially indifferent educated middle class. The old saying -- things are wrong not because bad people are doing bad things but because good people are doing nothing -- holds here. We don't have the courage to try the dirty waters of politics. Too complacent, we believe only in assigning blames. Our collective conscience is as good as dead. We see but don't believe the reasons. The sense of common fate is missing.

This is high time that we own up the responsibility as poet Bacchan wrote

YUG KE YUWA, YUG KA JUWA (JUWA= Hal, responsibility)