We are a republic of the monarchs

shishir

Shishir Tripathi | November 24, 2015



Writing for Frontier in 1983, noted political theorist and commentator Partha Chatterjee remarked that India has quietly built a system in which "to the accompaniment of the full fanfare of democratic process" it elects its own monarchs. Stressing on the irony, he quoted then prime minister Indira Gandhi, who spoke at the AICC (I) session in Bombay "with the investiture of Crown Prince, one whom the party expected to be duly elected to the office of our democratic monarchy".

Chatterjee wrote that Gandhi while speaking on the occasion, said," I don’t come from a royal family but we have acquired the status by our dedicated hard work". Just a year after the Mrs. Gandhi's assertion of her royalty, her pilot son went on to become the prime minister of the largest democracy, without any proven credential for the job.

Three decades have brought little changes. Self-acclaimed royals and monarchs still thrive in their heavily guarded monarchies. For a generation that believes in a meritocratic society against the benefits of birth, sight of a semi-educated youngster being made the second-in-command in one of the most important states of the country was highly intriguing.

Some two years ago while working for the Indian Express, during an Idea exchange programme with JDU leader Sharad Yadav, I asked him why is Nehru-Gandhi family blamed for supporting nepotism while it happens everywhere, be it UP or Uttarakhand? He replied without being politically correct. He said, "I have said that two-thirds of the country is run by families. That is not a good thing." When a senior journalist further prodded him on the irony that his once fellow travellers Lalu Prasad and Mulayam Singh Yadav have indulged in nepotism, he said, "Why comment on personal decisions of any particular person? Many people left us because of this issue. Laluji made the right decision by leaving us because we would have not let his wife, Rabriji, become the CM. We would not have agreed with that."

The irony remains that now his own party has joined hands with Lalu Prasad Yadav and allowed both his sons to be important players in the government. But then, there are no absolutes in politics. Perhaps, most ardent critics of dynastic politics are now ready to accept this new system of monarchical republic.

We may cry foul on what we call dynastic politics, but then this a reality all over the world, be it the United States of America or Indonesia. Maybe the reason behind the existence of political dynasties is the fact that politics is now considered a business. And like any business, the families in politics want the spoils of 'hard work' to be passed to their progeny and not to some outsider.

Comments

 

Other News

Yogi in politics, TN industries shift base and, how to end the Maharaja’s misery

Everyone in Yogi Adityanath`s office declares that Yogi’s political career is founded on the work carried out from there, first when he was mahant of the influential temple, and then as an MP. Vijendra Singh, who works at the office, says “It’s because of these letters that Yogiji has n

A fifth of Rs 29 lakh crore are NPAs

Banks have advanced a staggering Rs 29,46,060 crore to the industrial sector, of which Rs 6.93 lakh crore are non-performing assets (NPAs).   Finance minister Arun Jaitley informed

Demonetisation not meant to change cash use by people: Harvard economist

 Here are 10 things that Kenneth Rogoff, Thomas D Cabot professor of public policy, department of economics, Harvard University, and author of `The Curse of Cash`, said about demonetisation at the Delhi Economics Conclave 2017: 1. The core idea for demone

Ashok Malik is press secy to president

As Ram Nath Kovind readies to take charge as president, the government is forming his team, naming three officials.    Ashok Malik, former journalist and commentator known for his pro-right views, will serve as the press secretary to the president. Bharat Lal, Gujarat&rs

To understand Modi saga, look at the Vaghela story

Back in the early 1990s, Shankarsinh Vaghela was (or at least perceived to be) more popular of the two people running the BJP show in Gujarat. Today, the other man is the prime minister, and Vaghela is reduced to a footnote – albeit an important one – in the Narendra Modi saga. &n

‘Not just Muslims, everyone is in fear and awe of Yogi Adityanath’

At 70, Dr Aziz Ahmad, a well-known homeopath and politician now with Congress, still has a busy practice in Abu Bazaar, in old Gorakhpur. During working hours, the lane in which he has a clinic becomes jam-packed with patients and their vehicles. People speak of naming the lane after him.





Video

कश्मीर पर तीसरे पक्ष की मध्यस्थता स्वीकार नहीं - महबूबा

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter