Indians are a family people. We love families. We especially love political families – it’s in our genes.
Remember the hullabaloo over some Congress functionary calling Rahul Gandhi “Yuvraaj”? (English translation – crown prince). So what’s the problem? He stated a fact. It is the truth. Look at the empirical evidence. Rahul’s great-grandfather was prime minister. His grandmother was prime minister. His father was prime minister. His mother could’ve been prime minister….she chose not to take it up.
Now, I’m not a betting man, but given these statistics, betting on Rahul becoming prime minister is a sure winner. Arjun Singh has already set the ball rolling on that. The only person that could queer his pitch – surprise, surprise – is his sister.
Is this an isolated case? Not at all. Look at the Scindias, the Deoras, the Dutts, Karunanidhi and progeny, Thackeray and clan, the Pawars, Devegowda and clan, Lalu-Rabri, Mulayam and clan, Farooq Abdullah and co., Devi Lal and clan – we have a fairly representative sample from across the length and breadth of our great land.
Now, someone less quirky might say that this is actually a reflection of the fact that our democracy has not matured, has not permeated to the grassroots, and is still a top-down affair. Others might say this is a symptom of a devastating weakness in our public institutions.
My take is – notwithstanding the Kennedys and the two Bushs – this is yet another unique Indian trait. It’s another manifestation of what’s in our DNA – whether we’re Assamese, Gujarati, Punjabi or Tamil. (The discovery of that yet unknown unique gene/chromosome marker – that makes us so indisputably Indian – could be an even bigger story than the discovery of the M130 chromosome marker in Tamil Nadu.)
We are like this only. So nobody bats an eyelid when Parliamentary seats or Assembly seats – even Chief Ministerships and Prime Ministerships – are bequeathed as legacies. It’s routine. Standard operating procedure.
Perhaps one day bureaucratic positions will also go the same way. So police stations, district commissionerships, city police commissionerships and chief secretaryships shall all stay within the family.
I’m all done in child, here, take the baton and run.
And we, the people, cheer from the sidelines!