Is India sliding into a hereditary monarchy?

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Member since: Aug 06
Posts: 155
Location: Ottawa

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 09-02-11 00:32:08

Not a brainer but an interesting analysis of present democratic setup of India, interesting article. feel free to express your thoughts about this article or your own analysis, I was pleased to read the last paragraph and get a boost to my optimism in the Democracy of India.

Is India sliding into a hereditary monarchy?

Soutik Biswas | 09:18 UK time, Tuesday, 18 January 2011
Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi posters

Is India sliding into a pseudo monarchy of sorts? In his splendid new book, India: A Portrait, historian Patrick French dredges up some startling data on the stranglehold of family and lineage on Indian politics.

The research finds that though less than a third of India's parliamentarians had a hereditary connection, things get worse with the younger MPs. Consider this:

* Every MP in the Lok Sabha or the lower house of the Indian parliament under the age of 30 had inherited a seat.

* More than two thirds of the 66 MPs aged 40 or under are hereditary MPs.

* Every Congress MP under the age of 35 was a hereditary MP.

* Nearly 40% of the 66 ministers who are members of the Lok Sabha were hereditary members.

* Nearly 70% of the women MPs have family connections.

Interestingly, for MPs over 50, the proportion with a father or relative in politics was a rather modest 17.9%. But when you looked at those aged 50 or under, this increased by more than two and a half times to nearly half, or 47.2%.

Also most of the younger hereditary MPs - and ministers - have not made a mark and sometimes have been shockingly conservative in their actions. A young MP from feudal Haryana, for example, was seen to be cosying up to extra-constitutional village councils in the state which were punishing couples for marrying outside their caste and clan.

"If the trend continued," concludes French, "it was possible that most members of the Indian Parliament would be there by heredity alone, and the nation would be back to where it had started before the freedom struggle, with rule by a hereditary monarch and assorted Indian princelings." He also worries the next Lok Sabha will be a "house of dynasts".

Most agree that growing nepotistic and lineage-based power in the world's largest democracy is a matter of concern. "The idea of India," political scientist Mahesh Rangarajan told me, "is rent apart by these two contradictory impulses."

But nepotism is a part of India life; and politics mirrors society. Power, wealth, land and status have hinged to a large extent on who your parents were, what they owned and where they stood in society. Most Indian businesses continue to be owned and run by families though the new economy is throwing up more first generation entrepreneurs. Bollywood, India's thriving film industry, is dominated by sons and daughters of famous actors and producers. Three members of one family - Nehru-Gandhi - have held the post of prime minister. If the Congress party wins the next elections and PM Manmohan Singh steps down, there is a likelihood of the dynast Rahul Gandhi becoming India's next prime minister. (It is no surprise that 37% of the MPs - 78 of 208 - in Congress are hereditary compared to only 19% hereditary MPs - 22 of the 116 - in the main opposition BJP.)

Despite French's troubling data, all may not be lost. "Please remember," Dr Rangarajan told me, "the MPs have lineage as a huge plus, but the posts are not hereditary." In other words, if they fail to deliver, they will be voted out of power. Merit triumphed over dynasty in the recent elections in dirt-poor Bihar. So though lineage remains a key factor in politics, remind analysts, it can only give a headstart, and nothing more. Thank democracy for that.

Member since: Nov 08
Posts: 1448
Location: Sunny - Leone

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 09-02-11 11:16:01

All these guys came on the anti- Manu Dharma platform which opposed the notion a cobblers son should not be a cobbler or a pot maker son should not be forced to do the fathers profession.

The grandest example of this our Tamil Nadu CM Mr.M.Karunanidhi who opposed the concept of children of brahmins becoming priests and everyone should have an opportunity to do whatever they want.

Now he has groomed his family including Stalin, Alaghiri and now his grandson Aditya to be the future CM of Tamilnadu.

Money talks - BS walks.

Already the outsourcing business has moved to Phillipines, while manufacturing is with China it will be days before the IT business moves elsewhere.

Hope the people wake up and smell the roses if not the republic will split on its own weight.

Sunny Leone a true Canadian DESI now back in India !.

Member since: May 09
Posts: 357
Location: Beautiful BC Baby

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 09-02-11 12:46:18

I think the problem lies with the Indian people and physchology. We seem to accept the children of famous people and give them stardom and credibility without them achieving it. Not only in politics but in Bollywood too.

Rahul Gandhi was being touted as the next PM for India even before he entered politics! The guy could be a moron but hey he is a Gandhi.

Same for Sonia gandhi .. she could have been the most incompetent leader but she was married to the then Indian PM.

What about bollywood. Today's stars are children of yesteryear stars (or very least popular actors).

How many people here actually think that Rahul Gandhi may not be a future PM of India regardless of what he does for the country before becoming PM.

Member since: Jul 04
Posts: 1651
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Post ID: #PID Posted on: 09-02-11 13:05:18

The link is incorrect. It leads to some article about Bihar.
This is the correct link.

But interesting analysis.

But the problem lies within us too. How many of our parents would have let us enter the politics? You may discuss it in your home or read the newspaper or watch the TV, but when it comes to career, everybody wants their kid to become doctor/engineer. If you talk about entering politics, you are warned that it is a bad playing field and you better not go there. That gives the kids of politicians, empty playing field.

Even in Canada, how many immigrants know who is their MP/MPP/Councilor? How many of immigrants would allow their kids to study political science in university?

Agree that it is a tough world out there, but somebody has to change, and that change should come from within us, the people or else, the vicious cycle would never end.

With Bollywood, it is really a matter of shame that it is who were your parents that matters, not your talent. That is why people like Shahrukh or Vidya Balan or Preity Zinta need to be appreciated, as they made it to the top on their own.

Member since: Aug 06
Posts: 155
Location: Ottawa

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 09-02-11 14:19:52

Originally posted by meghal

The link is incorrect. It leads to some article about Bihar.
This is the correct link.

But interesting analysis.

Thanks corrected the Link.

Member since: Nov 08
Posts: 1448
Location: Sunny - Leone

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 11-02-11 15:59:38

Which two states have the best governance and progressing well than the rest of the country ?.

Gujarat - CM is Narendra Modi and is a Bachelor.

Bihar - CM is Nitish Kumar and he is widower and his kid is kept very far away from politics.

Which are the states which have the most problems?.

1.Tamil Nadu: CM is Karunanidhi who has 3 wives officially with nearly 10 Kids from all of them and nearly 30 grand children and another 20 great grand children.

2.Karnataka: CM is Yeddy is a widower but has 3 kids who needs to fend for while the other guy Deve Gowda has 3 kids and they have many a grand children.

3.Bihar: The former CM of Laloo has 11 kids to support.

The moral of the story is for Indian electorate to elect those guys who are bachelors or once who have no children. This way they will focus on the state than their family.

One of the best PM of India Mr.A B Vajpayee was a bachelor and also the ex-CM of Tamilnadu Mr.Kamaraj was a bachelor.


Do not ask me about Mayawathi as she is a UNIQUE case.

Sunny Leone a true Canadian DESI now back in India !.

Member since: Nov 08
Posts: 1448
Location: Sunny - Leone

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 11-02-11 16:14:28

The other option is to Castrate those people who have high ambitions in politics when they join the YOUTH wing of the party.

Sunny Leone a true Canadian DESI now back in India !.

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