Vir Sanghvi describes the issue of dynasty in Indian politics in the HT.
Farooq Abdullah is the second generation of the political dynasty founded by his father Sheikh Abdullah. (His son Omar is Chief Minister of J&K.) Prithviraj Chavan is from a well-known Maharashtra political family. Salman Khurshid’s father was a minister in Indira Gandhi’s government. Dayanidhi Maran is the son of Murasoli Maran, a minister in A.B. Vajpayee’s government and is a close relative of M. Karunanidhi. Selja is the daughter of former Union Minister Choudhary Dalbir Singh.
G.K. Vasan is the son of G.K. Moopanar. M.K. Azhagiri is the son of M. Karunanidhi. Parneet Kaur is the wife of former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Ajay Maken is the nephew of noted Delhi leader, the late Lalit Maken. Bharatsinh Solanki is the son of former External Affairs Minister Madhavsinh Solanki. D. Purandeshwari is N.T. Rama Rao’s daughter………….
The author praises America for the rise Barack Obama. Its true and deserving. Despite this there are no shortage of family connections playing a major role in American politics. Here is a relevant piece in the NY Times.
Sitting in the Senate gallery on Tuesday as senators were sworn in by Dick Cheney, I saw plenty of lawmakers who had benefited from family.
Two Udalls were being sworn in, under the watchful eye of Stewart Udall. Mark Begich, the new senator from Alaska, is the son of a former Alaska congressman. The classy Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, son of the late Gov. Robert Casey, was there in a festive pink tie. John McCain, whose wife’s money and Arizona pull made his Senate election possible, looked on with a smile. Hillary, whose husband paved the way for her to join this club and run for president, chatted with colleagues. Jay Rockefeller wandered about, as did Chris Dodd, son of Senator Thomas Dodd. And Teddy Kennedy, walking with a cane, worked the room with his old brio.
It isn’t what your name is. It’s what you do with it. Or, in the case of W., don’t.