All of us are aware of the recent headlines in the newspapers that the son of Mr. Lalu Prasad Yadav is being groomed to become a part of his father’s party.
This is something which is not happening for the first time. The history of politics in India reveals such traditions in famous political families.
This is called dynastic trends in democratic India. Some of the famous examples of these trends include- Patil, Singh, Deora, Yadav, Gandhi, Maran, Pawar, Pilot, Karunanidhi, Sangma, Scindia, Abdullah, Mahajan, Reddy, Badal etc.
Do political dynasties indicate weak political institutions?
There are a number of people who support dynastic politics saying that at the time of voting, people assess the merits of the candidate. They support this by further saying that dynasty may only help to provide a party ticket but cannot confirm success during elections. There are many arguments that support this statement. The fact is that a political system which assesses its candidates on the criteria of their surname alone signifies the formation of a weak political institution, as merit and efficiency hold no value.
Today a system has been created where the political parties are treated like an extension of a few selected families. This indicates lack of internal democracy. But at the same time we cannot deny the fact that democracy is entirely based on the principle of ‘choice’. Every individual citizen living in a democratic nation has full right to vote on the basis of any criterion.
No necessary incompatibility among dynasty & democracy ever exist in reality. But the present political system that gives value to the filial identity in terms of measure of merits needs a lot of amendments. The current system does not allow the present political system to change the way it needs to be changed for the betterment of the citizens. But at the same time, we cannot discredit the intensions & achievements of the candidates who come up to take the power of politics. This is due to the fact that good intentions are always honored & welcomed.