Thursday, September 10, 2009

inheritance of power!!!!!!!!!!

There is something extremely ugly with the way our political culture is developing into. One of the manifestations is the manner in which public office is sought to be reduced into private property and the consequent notion of inheritance.

The developments in Andhra Pradesh involving one Jagan Mohan Reddy and the caretaker Chief Minister K. Rosaiah are simply a manifestation of this ugly political culture. Well. To state that the notion that the right to rule as derived from dynastic belonging as inimical to the democratic culture is just stating the obvious and is of no use. In other words, the simply truth is that our democracy, sixty-two years since it emerged from the colonial yoke has got distorted so much that it is no use blaming just one family or party for propping up the family members as inheritors.

The hard fact is that we have had a prominent member of a large political party who ended up leaving his party because a lady-teacher who emerged close to that leader was denied of a Rajya Sabha nomination. That particular leader was not an ordinary member of that political party. Instead, he was the Chief Minister of the largest state in India. The party that he belonged to was also not one that came up from nowhere; instead, it called itself a party with a difference and is among those categorized as national parties.

It is also a fact that the son inheriting the father’s property is considered the norm in our society. And where there is a dispute over the right of one son or another, we have a certain set of legal provisions that will apply to whom the right of inheritance applies. But then, there is no such legal provision that guides the right to inheritance of political office or to determine the legal heir to the office. And there is no such provision because, the democratic polity, unlike the system of kings and emperors, does not vest the right to office on inheritance. But the fact remains that it has now turned into one.

It is, hence, important to try and explain why the sons and the daughters of our political leaders in general and Jagan Mohan Reddy now in particular are behaving the way they do and turning the government and its machinery in Hyderabad into a lame duck. An answer to this could lead us to raising another question as to whether the sons and the daughters of the political leaders who fought for our nation’s freedom too were so enthusiastic to step into their parents’ shoes?

To put the question differently, would Jagan Mohan Reddy have worked the way he is now working to inherit his father Y.S.Rajasekar Reddy’s mantle if they were to have lived some 100 years before. Well. I will state without fear of being contradicted that Rajasekar Reddy himself would not have joined the Congress had he been a young man in the beginning of this century. And his son, Jagan Mohan Reddy would not have been what he is to make him gather friends and supporters to pitch the demand that he be allowed to don the mantle his father did until the hour of his death.

The point is that there is a substantial difference between the forces or the factors that drew someone into political life until August 1947 and those who joined parties after India’s independence was achieved. From being an avenue for protest and agitation for achieving a set of ideals, the political scape now has been turned into an avenue to make money, a lot more money then and keep making more, more and more money. The fact that political office has now turned into a means to get richer is simply the reason for the culture of inheritance being adopted here.

This is not to say that the youth now come into politics only in order to get richer. There are, even now, a few young men and women who take up public causes and organize the people on their demands and undergo a lot of privations in the process. There are still a lot of ideals that are alive, professed and practiced by the youth in this countr. But then, there is very little about them that is of concern to the media. The fact is that the media shows us stories of the Jagan Mohans or the Jagat Singhs (remember that illustrious son of Natwar Singh) or the various sons and daughters of our senior political leaders and also celebrates a Rahul Gandhi for having kept his party’s leaders at arms length while traveling in Tamil Nadu.

Well. We seem to be condemned into this as a society. And why blame Jagan Mohan Reddy and his cheer leaders for displaying such contempt for democracy?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The point is that there is a substantial difference between the forces or the factors that drew someone into political life until August 1947 and those who joined parties after India’s independence was achieved."

In substance I do not think there is any difference in the one you are trying to highlight. The Congress of pre-Independence era was funded substantially by the Indian capitalist class while the political parties in the post-Independence era were funded by the same groups except for some regional parties. You are stripping the soul and focusing on detailing the dead body.

In other words, the democratic polity sans inheritance, family rule doesn't going to make any difference for Indian society as long as the substance of this polity is pro-bourgeois in character. You need to wear different thinking cap.

9:24 PM  
Blogger V. Krishna Ananth said...

Dear anonymous,
Let us agree to disagree. Hope you will!

12:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By the way I gather from newspaper that your books is published. May I know the publisher? Thank you.

7:24 AM  
Blogger V. Krishna Ananth said...

Yes. You gathered it right. Pearson Longman is the publisher and the book title is: India Since Independence: Making Sense of Indian Politics

8:44 AM  

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