The Dynasty: Born to Rule
Why are surnames so important in politics? Should there be birth entitlements to inheritance of power in a democratic set-up? Must the offspring be given on a platter what the common people have to struggle for? Believers in meritocracy and equitable distribution of power would cry in chorus: ‘No’. Then why is India’s vibrant democracy stained with dynastic politics in which bereavement is also used to transfer power? The Nehru-Gandhi family has so far been singularly held responsible for this widespread political malaise. Rightly so! Had Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru not dithered when his daughter Indira Gandhi stood for presidentship of the Congress almost six decades back, dynastic politics would not have crept into our rich democracy and grown into a monster. What the father founded, the daughter fostered. Since then, innumerable dynasties – old and new, big and small, famous and infamous – dot the country’s political landscape today. Non-Congress parties, though equally guilty, have sporadically raised the issue of hereditary politics but never as intensely as in the watershed 2014 Lok Sabha polls when the voters debated and debunked the right to rule on the basis of birth certificate and not merit. They handed over the reins of the country to a non-dynast, Narendra Modi, punished the country’s grand old party for its non-performance and its scam-ridden tenure and, yet, elected many dynastic scions – a peculiar contradiction, but that’s what Indian politics is all about! This volume incisively analyses the unethical games politicians play to remain in power and grow into brands.
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