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

Mumbai Development Plan annoys activists and experts

Approximately one-eighth of Mumbai’s existing landmass is proposed to be added for development works, especially for housing of low income groups. Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis gave green signal to the 2034 development plan that will make more land available by adding over 3,650 he

My musical journey has been really beautiful: Harshdeep Kaur

Harshdeep Kaur is a playback singer better known for her Sufi renditions. She sings Hindi as well as Punjabi. She sang ‘Ik Onkar’ in Rang De Basanti apart from several other soulful songs. Her track ‘R.I.P.’ composed by AR Rahman was part of Oscar-winner Danny Boyle’s film

BJP lawmakers top the list in hate speech cases

Out of all MPs and MLAs in office, 58 have declared cases related to hate speech. This includes union minister for drinking water and sanitation Uma Bharti along with 14 other Lok Sabha MPs. The list also includes 8 state ministers. A party wise analysis reveals that BJP has the highest numb

After its withdrawal from Meghalaya and Arunachal, is it time to review AFSPA in other areas too?

After its withdrawal from Meghalaya and Arunachal, is it time to review AFSPA in other areas too?

Togadia, Sinha and anti-Modi prejudices masked by empty rhetoric

There is an uncanny similarity in the pathological opposition to prime minister Narendra Modi by two members of the right wing, Pravin Togadia and Yashwant Sinha. They come from a diverse social and political background; yet they share a common strand that shows an unmitigated hatred towards

“We are becoming American digital colonies”

Data is the new oil; and it needs to be protected. In an interaction with Governance Now, Lionel Baraban, CEO of Famoco, talks about how the French tech firm is developing secure business devices to safeguard data against going to other countries. What are the major roles o

Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter