Democracy and Dynastic Ambition By Chinmoy Mukherjee

The recent trend among our political parties to permit their relations to be fielded in electoral battles is one badly affecting the health of our democracy which should be viewed with great concern. Unless mass consciousness is aroused and effective steps are taken to reversed, we may end up having a hereditary democracy. This unhealthy trend has caught on the imagination of a section of our political leaders who never miss a single opportunity to flaunt their democratic credentials cutting across all political parties irrespective of their political hues excepting the Left parties. The birth of this trend owes partly to a peculiar logic that leadership qualities can only be inherited .The practitioners of it pursue it with unflagging zeal with an illusory belief that traits which enabled them to achieve fair amount name and fame and whatever these bring with them could only be biologically transmitted!

The great Gandhi family whom the nation looks up to for leadership should be credited with for creating this trend. Now it is a very ordinary experience to see hordes of relations trying their luck at the hustings , be it panchayat , municipal bodies, state assemblies or parliamentary elections. What Gandhi family perfected to an form with great elan is being replicated everywhere.

India's experiment with democracy for the last 60 odd year has seen many high and lows and dynastic ambition of some sections of our political leadership has created an anomalous situation and poses a potential threat to our democracy. A country which is the birthplace of towering leaders who never rose to dizzy heights of leadership by virtue of birth but through honesty, hard work and utmost devotion to public service, can do without these self-proclaimed leaders to whom self-interest comes ahead of anything else.

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