BY A STRANGE COINCIDENCE, my post ‘Top RSS and Modi Supporters in Congress‘ came almost on the day of Rahul Gandhi’s diatribe against ‘dynasty rule’ in Telangana.
The post, which carried a picture of the entire Gandhi dynasty and their dog watching lotuses (the BJP symbol) bloom in a lake, was about the dynasty devotees in Congress helping Modi to obliterate their own party for ever — repeating on national level what M. Bhaktavatsalam did in Tamil Nadu.
Everyone in the picture was a claimant for the Prime Minister’s throne – including the dog in which the dynasty devotees would have found extraordinary powers and abilities if all others opted for power without responsibility, as Sonia Gandhi did. The criticism of
Telangana chief minster K. Chandrasekhar Rao for including his son, son-in-law and a nephew in the ministry and making his daughter an MP was greeted with sarcasm and laughter everywhere, because it came from Rahul Gandhi. It was ‘Pappu’ again.
Perfectly logical though it was, it sounded comical coming from a person who is vice-president of India’s oldest party only because he belonged to the Indira Gandhi dynasty. The Congress created Telangana for its political convenience with the understanding that KCR’s Telangana Rajya Samiti would merge with the Congress soon after the state’s formation. It chose not to board a sinking ship.
And the same Congress has been supporting dynasty rule everywhere. Both the sons of Ravi Shankar Shukla, Vidya Charan and Shyamacharan, became chief ministers of MP, and Laloo Prasad Yadav, supported by Congress, had made his wife the dummy CM and now has two sons in the Bihar ministry. Rahul never found anything wrong it it.
The only Congress leaders whose progeny was politically wiped out by the Congress were those who had become a threat to the Indira Gandhi dynasty — Lal Bahadur Shastry and P.V.Narasimha Rao. The Congress has been trying to obliterate their very memory, though both were great leaders whose contribution to the country cannot be denied –except by the Congress.
It is not only the Congress which is afflicted by the dynasty syndrome. Almost all parties, perhaps with the exception of the Communists, have been promoting dynasty rule in the country. The Janata Dal which claims to be Secular though it is primarily of one caste group, the Biju Janata Dal of Odisha, Tamil Nadu’s DMK and ADMK and the Lok Dal of Choudhary Charan Singh and Bharatiya Janata Party’s ally Shiv Sena, are all ruled by dynasties. The Nationalist Congress Party is a Sharad Pawar family shop.
The BJP does not have a dynasty only because Atal Behari Vajpayee and Narendra Modi have no son or nephew to succeed them. Maharashtra Chief Minster Devendra Fadnavis is the nephew of Shobha Fadnavis who was a BJP MP. Many other BJP leaders succeeded in getting their kin into elected posts. The daughter of Gwalior’s ‘Rajmata’ Scindia is a union minister.
A friend, Viswanat Bagwat, has put out a collage (reproduced here) of the sons in Karnataka’s politics. India’s feudal background of rule by Rajas and Maharajas, (most of whom were Congress candidates in the first general elections and had won) is blamed for the dynasty syndrome.
There are dynasties in other democracies too. like the Kennedy, Bush and Clinton families in the USA. France narrowly missed being ruled by the daughter of a politician,
So it is not the Congress alone that is to blame. But for it to complain of dynastic rule is, to put it mildly, a case of the kettle calling the pot black.