How can we ever justify dynasty rule in democracy ?

On March 14 2008, Narendra Modi and Digvijaya Singh appeared together on a panel at the India Today Conclave in New Delhi. It was such a rare event, as top leaders of the two parties have seldom sparred with each other directly in public. It was also very civil and quite stirring. Both know their lines and politics. Neither is known to take any prisoners.

For once, however, Digvijaya, certainly the more experienced and bilingual of the two, was stumped. Modi asked him, how did he justify dynastic rule in his party. Digvijaya recovered quickly, though. This, he said, was common enough in democracies around the world. For evidence, he said, look at America and the Clintons. This is precisely when Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were locked in a close battle for the Democratic party’s presidential nomination. Digvijaya’s short point was, if nobody is complaining about the Clintons in America, why should we keep complaining about the Gandhis in India.



Election Commission warning parties, again

Surely, we do not need monitoring always by the Election Commission. When will our parties learn to be wiser and mature ?

Declining to act on petitions by the  Congress and BJP seeking each other’s de-recognition for repeated violations of the model code of conduct and use of intemperate language by party leaders, the Election Commission on Thursday put all parties on notice and warned of action in case they still failed to restrain themselves.


Parties taking part in the Delhi elections

To analyse the parties taking part in the Delhi elections, we need to examine their manifestos and understand their vision in a better way.

As Delhi hurtles toward its most unpredictable election in recent years, one thing has become clear: the contest will be a genuinely three-cornered one.

The incumbent Congress party is seeking a fourth straight term in power, the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party is hoping to ride an anti-incumbency wave, and the upstart Aam Aadmi Party has startled the two behemoths with its rapid rise.

On Tuesday, a week before the Dec. 4 polls, the BJP released its manifesto, a blueprint for changes it will bring in the next five years if it is voted to power. Its rival parties circulated their list of promises in earlier weeks. In these documents, the three parties each promise vast overhauls in Delhi as they attempt to surpass their opponents’ pledges.



Dynasty and Politics

Life is indeed uncertain. However, when we think of politics, one has to see the ethos of a party and build on it, irrespective of dynasty. Why can’t the Congress party realise all its strengths, and discard an obsession with dynasty?

The article below by the eminent historian,  Ramachandra Guha, talks about the history and state of Congress today, wondering why they cannot have a better vision.