We frequently take pride in boasting about the Indian democracy and saying that its world’s largest democracy. It is said that contenders are chosen “By the people and for the people” even though a big part of candidates are now a part of one or the other political dynasty. Though, Election Commission warrants free and fair conduct of polls, but the establishment of open and impartial Indian political system still remains elusive. It’s true that everybody can vote but does everyone/only people from a political dynasty have opportunity to be voted for?
Most prominent Political dynasty of India- The Gandhis
The Indian political system is rapidly transforming into a dynastic rule where one generation passes the baton to the younger generation. At center, Congress is the epitome of dynastic politics and has been headed by a Nehru-Gandhi member for majority of its existence. Such is the state of party men that they can’t even think of someone outside Nehru-Gandhi family to lead Congress event though Rahul Gandhi aka Pappu has proved himself to be completely inept in everything.
But, the circumstances are predominantly grave in case of regional parties where some of the regional parties like SP, DMK, SAD, TDP etc. have taken this notion way too seriously. Not only their sons and daughters but the nephew and nieces are also joining the bandwagon to be youngest politicians.
We present here some of the political families where multiple members of the same family have entered into the political arena.
The Lalu Prasad Yadav Political dynasty
Lalu Yadav made his own fortune through hard work and became one of the youngest MP’s during the elections of 1977. He went on to become chief minister of Bihar in the 90’s. But, such was his love for the “Kursi” that he decided not to let it go out of the family even after he was convicted in Fodder scam. He installed his wife Rabri Devi as chief minister of Bihar.
Rabri’s brother, Sadhu Yadav is another politician who has won Lok Sabha elections with the help of his brother-in-law. Recently, the other members of Lalu Prasad Yadav family are getting ready to take the reins of dynastic politics into its own hands. Misa Bharti and Tejaswi are getting for their maiden political stint. Misa also contested for Lok Sabha seat but lost the elections. After victory in assembly elections, two of his sons are part of Bihar establishment.
The Mulayam Singh Yadav Political dynasty
It seems that the Yadav family has decided to put everyone in the family into politics and thus fulfill Netaji’s dreams of becoming the prime minister of India. The family already holds the record for most members of a family elected into Lok Sabha at a time. When BJP did a clean sweep in UP, it was the Yadav’s who saved the grace for Samajwadi Party by bagging 5 seats for the family.
While Yadav senior is in Lok Sabha, Yadav junior, Akhilesh Yadav is enjoying his position as CM of Uttar Pradesh. Here too, he is joined by his Uncle, Shivpal Yadav who is a cabinet minister in Akhilesh’s ministry. The two Yadav clans (Lalu and Mulayam) have decided to forge their friendship by becoming real life “Samdhi” (Marriage of Mulayam’s grandnephew to Lalu’s daughter).
The warring factions of the Karunanidhi Political dynasty
Karunanidhi has always been away from the spotlight of the National politics and kept himself secluded to regional one. Unlike his counterparts like Mayawati and Mulayam, Karunanidhi never harbored the dream of becoming the Prime minister, but always used his party to get important portfolios in the central cabinet.
Some notable members of the family are Karunanidhi, M.K. Alagiri, M.K. Stalin, Dayanidhi Maran, Murasoli Maran etc. The family has been dominant in the DMK (Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) party. While Karunanidhi has been the chief minister of Tamilnadu for 5 times, other members have taken important ministerial berths in center. The influential family also remains in news due to constant infighting amongst its members. The issue of succession at DMK has kept brothers Stalin and Alagiri at loggerheads for more than a decade.
The conspicuous and potent Royal family of Gwalior: The Scindhia Political dynasty
The Scindhia family, the erstwhile rulers of Gwalior, made its debut on the Indian political horizon with election of Rajmata Vijayraje Scindhia to Lok Sabha in 1962. Since then, a number of members contested elections at center and state level and held vital portfolios. The household in itself is estranged due to their ideologies. Daughters (Vasundhara and Yashodhara) of Vijayraje Scindhia contest elections on BJP’s tickets while son Madhavrao was a dominant member of Congress.
The next generation is in the driver’s seat now. Jyotiraditya Scindhia, son of Madhavrao, is a Member of Parliament from Guna on Congress’s tickets while Dushyant Singh, son of Vasundhara Raje, won a straight 3rd election on BJP’s ticket.
The Prakash Singh badal Political dynasty- A family with immense political and religious stronghold
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) supremo Parkash Singh Badal is not only the Chief Minister of Punjab but also the senior most member of Badal family. In fact, the Badal name is synonymous to him. Badal’s immediate family, Son Sukhbir and daughter in law are already in politics. This is not it, his son-in-law has also joined politics and playing crucial role in Punjab’s politics.
The family has severely criticized on corruption charges and amassing disproportionate assets. Apart from the political clout, Badal has significant control over SGPC which manages Gurudwara’s all around the world. Thus, SGPC is of religious importance to the Sikhs in Punjab which makes Badal more than a political crusader.