Although yesterday’s dastardly attack on Dinakaran was sparked by an ego clash between the younger members of the Karunanidhi and Maran families, it underlines how dynastic politics has become an acceptable leitmotif of our democracy at the grassroots level. In every party of stature, sons, daughters, nephews, nieces have turned power politics into a family enterprise, without any qualms.
If it’s Stalin and Azhagiri in the DMK, it’s Kumaraswamy and Revanna in the JDS. If it’s Uddhav and Raj Thackeray in the Shiv Sena, it’s Supriya Sule and Ajit Pawar in the NCP. If it’s Omar Abdullah in the National Conference, it’s Akhilesh Yadav in the Samajawadi Party. A sitting representative is always replaced by a family member; if there’s reservation, the women are always proxies for the males.
So, is dynastic politics any longer a Congress specialty? Does politics flow in the genes? Or is this the only way of getting ignorant, illiterate voters interested? Is following in your father’s footsteps something to look down upon when doctors want their children to be doctors? Or is dynastic politics a misnomer since the candidates get elected any way? And, is Indian politics a thriving family business?