Family Business

A classic example of how feudal our politics is comes from a Rediff Q&A with Veena Singh, Arjun Singh’s daughter, who is contesting these elections as an independent candidate after the Congress denied her a party ticket. See this bit:

Q You mentioned in your speech that you decided to contest because you were offended by the way the party has treated your father.

Ans Not offence. My father was hurt. Hurt that after 52 years of service to the Congress, both children were denied a Congress ticket.

See the sense of entitlement. Singh doesn’t believe that she has to earn her position in the party; instead, she thinks that it is hers by right because of who her father is. As if the party is family property.

Given how that party is ruled by a single family on the basis of nothing more than its last name, one can’t even blame her for thinking like this. Indeed, every major party treats politics as family business—consider that virtually all the young politicians we speak of these days, from the Gandhis to Jyotiraditya Scindia to Sachin Pilot to Manvendra Singh to Milind Deora got their positions because of their fathers. No wonder Poonam Mahajan kicked up such a fuss recently when she was denied a BJP seat in Mumbai. After all her father did for them, just think.

Earlier: Where is Inner-Party Democracy in India?

(Link via email from Abhishek.)