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  • Category: India

    Why are the regional parties of India individual-oriented/family-centric?

    Take National Conference or People's Democratic Party of Jammu & Kashmir. National Conference is being controlled by the Abdulla family and People's Democratic Party is controlled by Mufti family. Same thing is witnessed in Uttar Pradesh. SP is controlled by Yadav family and BSP is controlled by Mayawati. DMK and AIADMK of Tamilnadu run under the guidance of Karunanidhi and Jayalalithaa (now Sasikala), respectively. In West Bengal, TMC revolves round Mamata Banerjee. In Bihar, RJD is under Lalooprasad and JD(U) is under the iron control of Nitish Kumar. Lok Janshakti Party is under Paswan family. In Punjab, Siromani Akali Dal is almost a fiefdom of Badals and NCP in Maharashtra is under the control of Pawar family.

    We see the same trend everywhere in India in respect of regional parties. All regional parties are individual-oriented or family-centric. Why this is so? Are the regional parties carrying the legacy of Congress?

    Members, please share your valuable opinion in this regard.
  • #600725
    As you said the regional parties came into existence because of the inability of Congress party to keep the promises and the frustration in voters have paved way for local parties which then become stronger to be called as regional parties. Once upon a time Congress used to tell that they wont give credence to regional parties and they stand strong on their own. Now the party cannot go to polls in any state without alliance with a regional parties. So regional parties have become strong and formidable and surely the next in command also comes from the same family. Now after Chandrababu, his son Lokesh is already doing good. If by chance in TS , the TDP comes to power with many votes as alternate to TRS. we can see Lokesh as the Chief Minister. Likewise Stalin is already getting ready in TN for CM in 2019.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #600730
    But my question is: Why this unhealthy trend? Is this trend acceptable in modern democracy?
    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

  • #600736
    In a big country like India where different regions are characterised by languages, culture and long political influence of certain families, this type of political monopolisation is not surprising.

    The central Govt can not influence the local masses in every region to its policies or its ideology. The local followers of these local families are very much prejudiced in their mind and will be blindly accepting them as their only Godfather.

    The followers have a big hand in making these local parties thrive even in bad times. The circulation of black money from business houses to these local parties is channelised by the followers to the masses in lieu of their valuable votes.

    The regional politics is at a different platform than the national one. It is more based on caste, language, loyalty and politics of votes.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #600739
    Mr. Umesh: You have stated: "In a big country like India where different regions are characterised by languages, culture and long political influence of certain families, this type of political monopolisation is not surprising. "-If that is the case, should we call India a maturee democracy? Can dynastic politics initiated by Congress and followed by the regional parties bring welfare to the people?
    Hasn't the time for introspection arrived?

    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

  • #600740

    Why regional parties, the biggest National Party(Earlier) Congress is also family centric. Nehru,Indira,Rajiv, Sonia and Rahul. The very reason for the debacle of congress is this only. Efficient hands are not able to work because of their poor leaders. When PV Narasimha Rao tried to sideline that family, he was treated as anti congress. Finally his body was sent to Hyderabad instead of placing in Delhi. Please remember Congress was in rule at that time both in state and Center. So the concept of family politics started from Congress itself.

    Mainly Indians are Hero worshipers. They worship their leader as a hero. When the great actor NTR became the Chief Minister all his fans made merry of that occasion. Hero worship. When he died many died. Hero worship. So these supremes of regional parties are able to promote their kith and kin into power. THis trend is very bad. NTR wants to bring in Ms.Lakshmi Parvathi as No:2 in the party. Babu revolted. Babu is shrewd and task oriented he made his TDP as the main TDP even after splitting of Party. Afterwards also Babu used to show NTR as their party person only. So in the party if any able leader is there he will definitely revolt against the family rule. The promotion of family members should not be encouraged. It is a bad practice. I think, only in BJP and Communist Parties, there is no family concept. In these parties leaders emerge. But other parties leaders are made.

    always confident

  • #600755
    Why the regional parties are family centrist because, they have churned out the party and they would like to take the legacy further and that is possible from their own family members.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #600766

    All political parties except the Communists and the present BJP which was derived from the erstwhile Jansangh are the pieces of the same cloth. Whatever may be the reason, the communists and BJP follow certain traditions and elect their President in a democratic process and limiting their tenure for two consecutive terms. If you see other political parties including the Regional parties will have a life time President or his nominee. I totally agree with the views offered by Dr.Rao #600740.

    The Congress has gained its glory under the leadership of Nehru and Indira in the post -Independence era overshadowing the able performance of leaders like Patel, Shastry and Desai and the split of the Congress in 1969 led to establish the legacy of Nehru-Gandhi family in Congress and Indian politics. The lack of second line of leadership and over-dependence on the legal-heirs of the family brought the 125 year old political party to this stage today. The regional political parties have their formulation because of the differences with Congress in many cases or in an attempt to oppose the Congress at regional level (as an alternative) just as DMK and TDP. As the author rightly said the intention of the formation of these parties may be different and taken shape to oppose Congress but they are following the legacy of the Congress by involving their heir-apparent. Even the people of these states continue to support their legal heirs.


  • #600832
    Bowing to the monarchy is in our genes, so when a person is at the helm, we tend to hero-worship not just him, but his kith and kin as well. Also, I think, it's difficult for a person of moderate means to rise and shine in the field of politics on his own whereas it's easy for a political family or a dynasty to promote their son, daughter, nephew, niece etc because they have everything they need - money, muscle, and of course, the unflinching devotion of the masses.

  • #600837
    Shobha you have hit the nail. Yes we are accustomed to the Monarchy type of genre and we too want the kith and kin to take over the party as if there is dearth for talent and able leader within.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #600913
    I believe that such a phenomenon is also seen in other fields, not just in politics. For example, a doctor who has a flourishing practice or has built and operates a hospital or even a small nursing home doesn't want to hand over the reins to someone other than his own son or daughter. So very often we see doctors' children becoming doctors, and lawyers' children becoming lawyers. For example, lawyer and former union minister Kapil Sibal's both sons are lawyers, so are both the kids of current union minister Arun Jaitley, who's himself a lawyer. Of course, these kids can enter politics whenever they want. And these are just two examples. Also, a film star's kid also becomes, or at least tries to become, an actor. Modern caste system? Well, kind of!

  • #600921
    #600913: To become a doctor or lawyer, a student has to study hard. Even after passing out, he/she has to prove his/her mettle. But this is not true for politicians. Son/Daughter of a politician gets the ready-made throne.

    But my basic question is: Why regional parties don''t allow to develop a second-line of leadership within the party? Why don't the leaders want to strengthen their parties; why do they pay attention to strengthen (financially develop) their families only at the expense of their own parties?

    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

  • #600924
    I also agree that BJP and the Communist are not that much family centrist or family ruled parties.
    However,if we very closely analyse even these parties we can see a lot of people holding elected posts or party posts at various levels are from same family, close relatives, related by marriage or distant relatives .

    One prominent example is Prakash Karat and Mrs Brinda Karat of CPM.

    Whenever a vacancy arises due to death of an MLA or MP or even a ward member the parties try to present close relatives of the deceased member for the by election or next election. Even in these parties father may be a minister, the son may be the leader of the Youth wing. Daughter of wife may lead or hold posts in the women's wing. It simply proves that blood is thicker than water. But parties are clever and smart to present it as the democratic choice of the people.

    Whatever be the loud claims George Orwell's " All are equal but some are more equal than others ' still holds good in any party.

  • #600925

    #600921: True! Although a politician's son or daughter too have to work hard to prove their mettle otherwise they are forgotten. And I have observed that the current generation of politicians, who are sons/daughters or grandsons/granddaughters of political bigwigs, are very highly educated. Of course, there are always exceptions.

    Also, as an industrialist leaves his enterprise for his kids or family, a political party is considered not less than a family enterprise in India, so its reins are handed over to family only. Apart from a few dissidents here and there, party supporters and even voters are absolutely okay with this kind of dynasty politics. But it's not just the case with India. For example, we had Bush dynasty in the US, and the Roosevelt family. And Canadian PM Justin Trudeau is the son of a former PM. There are many more examples. However, I think, politicians are hero-worshipped more in India than anywhere else.

  • #600926
    #600925: Politicians are hero-worshipped in the entire Indian sub-continent. Same condition prevails in Bangladesh, Pakistan and partly in Srilanka.
    Non-violence is the greatest Dharma; So too is all righteous violence.

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