The history of this enterprise goes back to pre-independence times. The psychological approach of British rulers was well-planned for implanting a servitude mindset among Indians to sustain their exploitative regime for longer time. Though Gandhiji’s bias for prospective first prime minister of India was insatiable, however, he knew the large scale misuse of the poster name of Indian Freedom struggle. He suggested dismantling Indian National Congress and starting afresh political structures for India to be multi-party democratic country. It is a widely accepted fact that this fellow wanted to keep the power in his own hand and this unconvincing desire also helped in the formation of two states out of India, based on religion and religious fanaticism (‘direct action’ of MuslimLeague). The partition was culmination of British strategy to divide and rule. The electoral reservations were the tool they used for. The ruling class of India has been using the same deadly techniques to keep the Indian divided so that they could be more servile and ‘cheat and carrot’ policy of reservations would go on.
Though, this business of power is not that simple. Beside the divisive policies, the thought control is also needed. Hence, they carefully grafted improvised syllabus from schools to universities. Indian modern history is apparently history of Indian National Congress, even within that the contributions of popular and strong leaders like Tilak and Bose are purposefully suppressed.
Keeping power centre around kinship has been dealt carefully right after independence. Building and shaping public opinion via school textbooks and media proved like ace for this act. The influential babus, unduly regarded doctors and engineers do have impact on their families and also on common people. Ironically, many of the people coming from the ‘educated’ section of society are only aware of that ‘doctored’ textbook history of modern India and freedom struggle. Much more popular and efficient leaders of Indian National Congress have been denied any place in these textbooks, while family point is emphasized again and again in them. Rest of the work is accomplished by media. Whether the ‘son’ of this family is eating in dalit’s kitchen, or he is looking good in clean-shaven or not, or making anything news to keep him in public – all these are well planned. And our immature civil-society is okay with all these fine tricks of molding public opinion. One fine example could be taken from the NCERT textbook of XII; ‘Modern India’ published during 1996 and was in course until 2002: ‘Jawaharlal Nehru was now made president of congress at historic Lahore session of 1929. This event had its romantic side too. Son had succeeded father marking a unique family triumph in annals of modern history’ (page 245). Don’t these lines seem like an advertisement of the particular family?
The big giroh of our generation ‘babus-doctors-engineers-
professor-media’ has grown up reading such romantic lines in schools. It is expected from them not only to accept the hereditary supremacy of such romantic happenings again and again but also to defend it in all possible ways. This section of society is also a big impediment for the formation of a strong civil society. Their orientation towards servitude and nepotism is strongest as it may serve them for few personal favours. The traditionally servile groups have provided a room for political class to create artificial demand of social upliftment hence, making caste politics an inevitable feature of Indian democracy. No matter how big the scam they commit, none of politicians has been punished so far. The Lakhu-Bhai cheating case was an ultimate example, when the complainer died with the hope of justice and the alleged cheater died later hence case closed. At present time several other cases are going to meet the same fate. All of these pillars of government are proved to be complementary to each other, when it comes to save the skins of politicians or their family.
This tradition of nepotism has been percolated and replicated not only in politics but also in judiciary, academics, administration and all other sectors of public importance. The submissive acceptance of this undemocratic and unjustified tradition has become the natural habit masses. The public opinion has been trained to accept this kinship enterprise, and nepotism do not amount to undemocratic or corrupt ways of functioning at all level.
At the time when we have a relatively open media source like internet, hundreds of youth and knowledge seeking people are getting educated by various different sources. Blogs, social networkings are defiantly educating this lot which was otherwise ignorant or was misguided by pseudo-educated babu-giroh. However, these guys go up to offending others who dared to speak about the wrongs during partition of India, Indo-China war, Kashmir Issue or even LTTE-Indian forces fiasco.
Lalu’s wife or Mulayam’s son and daughter-in-law or Karunanidhi’s great sons are just replica of the great Indian political tradition. Recently Tharoor’s girl-friend favour was another romantic turn of this ever continuing family story. At present context, the son and daughter of minister is bound to hold key political figure be it Loksabha chair, some key ministries like to chocolaty young turks who hardly know the real India or Chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and Maharashtra – everywhere this family enterprise is flourishing well.
Though, opposition has been raising this issue, their point is limited to individual attack and objections have one-dimensional perspective on this serious matter. They might be taking this issue out of their interest, but in fact they are having no solution hence they are hypocritically opposing it. However, this monarchial and elitist tradition is causing a great harm to our ‘democratic’ ethos. The families will be controlling all of the political business, while entry to electoral politics will be in their hands. According to the present trend, this business is going to be stronger with implementation of several quotas and exceptions for electoral politics.
While most of the educated families keep themselves away even from voting, the few uprising of civil society including Jessica Lal murder case and other similar cases were just outbursts of frustration, when people organized and expressed their dissent against government and the biased justice system. Though, the waking up of civil society is very slow and is limited to only small localized incidents, the process it picking up with steady rate. Relatively, the more rational new generation seeks knowledge beyond textbooks, they are doing their own analysis of news and they seek transparency beyond their personal gains. This process could be speedy and more visible, if the new generation starts participating in electoral processes.
JNU, New Delhi
30 May 2010