The British effectively got rid of dynasties in India and India was headed towards being a true democracy with elected officials. India is the largest democracy in the world. India has the biggest number of people with franchise rights and the largest number of political parties, which take part in election campaign. Though the British soon got rid of the dynasty, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a new dynasty came alive in India. A dynasty with such chosen few that even a great soul cannot break into its ranks.

We define dynasty politics as the growing practice of close relatives or family members of established politicians stepping into the political arena and making a mockery of democracy. The number of relatives attached to the politicians reminds me of Bollywood where the son or daughter turns out as an actor and talent is given least preference. Talent takes the back seat and bias rules.

India is a fast growing political dynasty, whether it is the Gandhis, Karunanidhis or the Scindias. All you got to possess is a big and famous name and then even with no prior experience in governance or an age to match you can aspire to be the one calling the shots in a political party. But the question is what gives rise to dynasty politics in India. The political dynasties are perpetuated because voters vote them in and the party members elevate them to great heights.

Voters are now not able to distinguish between the party and the family name where individual merit is not considered important. The family name has now become synonymous with the party like the Gandhis associated with Congress or the Karunanidhi family associated with the DMK. Dynasty politics is an indicator of weak political systems, where politics is dominated by individuals rather than strong political institutions. We may lift our eyebrows thinking how by birth a person can be a successful politician. The only qualification you need to have is “Is your father, mother or relative a politician?” if the answer is yes, then you are the right candidate.

The fact remains that dynasty politics is an irony considering that India is the world’s largest democracy. Family members of politicians often get a good response among the public. The independent political members or the individual candidate fail to reach the audience as they get pushed away by dynasty politicians. Many a times they fail as the campaign and the press coverage associated with the party campaign demands money which they lack to gather.

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