Friday, March 22, 2013

Hereditary politics of India.

At a time the word 'Dynasty' is becoming  synonymous with politics in India, the data derived from the composition of the current  Parliament discussed in the  book "India: A Portrait" ( published in India and UK in January 2011, the author Patrick French) gives us the exact extent of the hold of dynasty on Indian politics.  Small solace is that nearly half of the Parliamentarians owe their position to themselves and not to the family they are born in.


If we look at the age-wise classification, the trend is obvious that family helps their young to enter the Parliament fairly early while others have to toil through the years to make their presence. 

It is found that all MPs whose age is less than 30 years are hereditary.

 More than two-thirds of MPs aged under 40 are hereditary.

7 MPs are 'hyperhereditary', and 19 of them are in the Congress party. By hyperhereditary, we mean that they have several family members who have made a career out of politics.

Among the political parties, the Congress leads the table with all its young MPs below the age of 35 owing their seat to their family connection. But an equal number of Congress MPs had made it on their own. So shall we say kudos to the Congress high command for giving space to others too?


Nationwide trend shows that anywhere between 21 to 40 % of MPs from most of India are dynastic MPs only. Punjab, Haryana and Delhi have the maximum numbers. 10 out of 13 MPs in Punjab, 5 out of 7 MPs in Delhi and 7 out of 10 MPs in Haryana are hereditary.


It is possible to identify the causes for this dynastic trend as clout, closeness to High command, money and muscle power and many other things. But where is the remedy? Does this trend show that we need  much smaller constituencies where much less money power and familiarity / good visibility would be possible for a common man to contest the elections and make his presence felt?




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