Dynasty in Politics: How much is too much?
At a recent family gathering, a cousin of mine expressed her desire to be a doctor. Not surprising, considering her parents are both in the same profession, and run a prominent hospital. It seems only natural that she will take the baton forward.
However, to get there, she will still have to go through the grind. Study for at least six years, serve in a rural posting, burn the midnight oil and gain some experience before she can fulfil her dream.
Rajendra Shekhawat has a similar story. He also wants to take up his mother’s profession and take on the baton, so to speak. The difference is that he may not necessarily have to go through the grind. His mother, Pratibha Patil, after all, is the President of India and Shekhawat has been given a ticket by the Congress party to fight the assembly elections from Amravati in northern Maharashtra, one of India’s biggest states.
“My family has been in the Congress for 40 years. My mother has worked for this party. My father has held several posts for the party”, Shekhawat was quoted as saying by the CNN-IBN news channel.
He isn’t the only one. Reports say many more leaders are gunning for tickets for their children or siblings in the forthcoming elections for the Maharashtra assembly. Poonam Mahajan, daughter of late BJP leader Pramod Mahajan, is contesting elections from the Ghatkopar assembly seat.
Dynastic politics isn’t a new phenomenon in Indian politics, but it has become an increasingly wide-reaching one in recent times. Almost every political party has leaders whose sons and daughters have entered politics, most of them without much political experience.
Rahul Gandhi, of course leads the pack, but there are several more, all of them cutting across party lines. And while every party criticises “dynastic politics” in their manifesto, they turn around and practice the same credo when it comes to their own sons and daughters. Of course that isn’t to say that these sons and daughters may not do well in politics, but aren’t they getting an unfair advantage over other political hopefuls?
What do you think? Should you get a ticket just because your parents have worked for a particular party?