The arrogance of inheritance?

The Hindu reported that Poonam Mahajan, BJP candidate for Mumbai North-Central, has said, “It’s not fair to say I benefited from dynasty. I have worked for the party for the last eight years. It has tried and tested me.”

As far as I could remember, other than occasionally appearing on Page 3, Poonam Mahajan has done hardly any work for the BJP or for the country. However, the Wikipedia page on her says that she “joined the BJP as a normal member of the party, with the encouragement of her uncle Gopinath Munde, himself an ex-Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra state. Now she’s national secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party.”

I asked a few people who generally follow politics, a question:
In your opinion, how much did dynasty (Pramod Mahajan’s daughter, Gopinath Munde’s niece) matter in BJP giving Poonam Mahajan a ticket?

Of the 15 persons who replied, 14 said dynasty was the ONLY factor in her party giving her a ticket. 1 person said, “No idea”. Please note that 11 of these persons live in Mumbai North-Central or have been living there till recently. At least 2 of them are staunch BJP supporters.

While this is not a large enough sample, it gives sufficient indication of the public perception that Poonam Mahajan got her party ticket mainly, perhaps only, because of dynasty.

Poonam Mahajan is not the only ‘young’ politician who has been air-dropped into politics by dynasty. All political parties have such persons in large numbers. One is also a Prime Ministerial aspirant.

After being given some position in their respective parties, most of these persons have done some work for their parties. However, very few have done sufficient work and achieved results that would enable them to claim that they have reached their present positions mainly on the basis of merit. If the ticket had been given only on the basis of merit, somebody else would have been given the ticket. To be blunt, the candidate’s ‘winnability’ is not really a factor in Lok Sabha elections. For example, even if Poonam Mahajan defeats sitting Congress MP Priya Dutt, it will be because of a combination of the anti-Congress/UPA wave and the Modi wave.

When Poonam Mahajan and others like her have clearly benefited from dynasty, why do they claim that it is their ‘work’ that has brought them to their present high positions? Are they in denial? Or is it merely their sense of entitlement or, in other words, the arrogance of inheritance?


8 thoughts on “The arrogance of inheritance?

  1. most of the ‘young’ leaders have a political family background, except for a few who might have accidentally trespassed politics via activism….politics needs investment and strong support system with no ‘income’ during initial phases of activities…so how can we expect our youth to aspire to become politicians that does not give them the basic income for years while they make their ways to someplace where they might be heard…

  2. “Some are born great, some achieve greatness but some have greatness thrust on them” is true of Indian politics. Had she not been Pramod Mahajan’s daughter or Munde’s niece would any one give her a seat in a high profile constituency? What has another daughter Supriya Sule, Sharad Pawar’s daughter done?

  3. I am more than sure that this set of young politicians who are where they are only because of their dynasties are fully aware of that fact, and that they are just acting smart by pretending to have worked for the party, for the people, etc. After all, they are politicians and have to be seen making ‘politically correct’ statements, right 🙂

  4. Agree about dynastic politics, it’s there in every field. Take actors or doctors or almost any field it’s the same. This has been going on from time immemorial, thats how castes and sub-castes still thrive in India.
    What I want to ask is, what would you do? Would you vote for a very honest candidate from the most corrupt party or for the best party with the most corrupt candidate? In other words do you vote for the party or the person?

  5. I’ve actually lost interest.. 😦
    The politics, the family dynamics.. the money! It’s hopeless…
    But, despite what I say, I really hope that these new young politicians with whatever background they have, try to do some good to their constituencies and their seats..

  6. Let’s not kid ourselves, we love dynasty and look towards a personality to be our saviour. When I ask staunch supporters of Modi and BJP what fundamental change they want to see (through laws enacted by Parliament), they have no reply. Somehow the belief in a single person to correct all that India needs without actually knowing what needs to be changed is not only dangerous but foolhardy.

    My two cents if we want to ‘open up’ democratic process:

    1. A person must win majority (over 50%) of vote to be elected. Today a MP/MLA does not necessarily represent the majority of the constituency.

    2. Get rid of ‘giving ticket’; let people run to represent the party in election (similar to primary elections in US).

    3. Allow people to represent a party with limited oversight and agreement with the governing body of the party.

    4. A person should represent a constituency only if the person is domiciled there. I have never understood how the Ghandis can run election from Rae Bareli/Amethi. Oh my bad, we are back to ‘dynasty’.

  7. Pingback: No ‘Shehzade’ or ‘baba log’ among BJP Ministers! | Proactive Indian

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