Family Politics | How nepotistic is the Indian Parliament?

Do young people stand a chance of joining national politics in India?

  • - A shocking 100% of Indian MPs under the age of 30 are hereditary
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  • - Two-thirds of Indian MPs under the age of 40 are from political families
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  • - Less than 10% of MPs over the age of 70 are hereditary
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  • - 27 MPs are classified as ‘hyperhereditary’, and 19 of them are in the Congress party. By hyperhereditary, we mean that they have multiple family connections, and several family members who have made a career out of politics.

India may indeed be the world’s largest democracy, and everyone has a right to vote – and that is a precious thing. But does everyone really have an opportunity to stand for Parliament? You can vote, but what are the chances you will ever be voted for, given the growing lack of internal democracy in many of the major political parties?

While researching his book India: A Portrait, Patrick French conducted a one-of-its kind survey which tried to answer the following question: What does it take to join politics at the national level today? Is it within reach for the many millions of capable Indians who might like to throw a hat in the ring?

Look at this graph, which shows the proportion of ‘hereditary’ MPs in relation to their age:

R E A D   O N . . .

9 Responses to Family Politics | How nepotistic is the Indian Parliament?

  1. hemen parekh says:

    What would they name it ?

    Mahatma Gandhi named his autobiography ,

    ” My Experiments with Truth ”

    If some of our politicians were to author their own biography ( – even if actually written by ghost writers ) , what would they name it ?

    Here is my guess :

    > Man Mohan Singh…………… In Search of Silence

    > Sonia Gandhi……………….. The Guns are Booming

    > Robert Vadra ( Kin-politico ).. From landless to landlord in 40 days

    > Suresh Kalmadi………………. The Game Theory

    > Pawan Bansal ……………….. Toofaan Mail

    > Shriprakash Jaiswal…………. The Dark Matter Underground

    > Ashwini Kumar……………….. Superior to Supreme

    > Kapil Sibal…………………….. Two-timing Lawyer

    > P Chidambaram……………… Re-Count to Re-Instate

    > Kamal Nath …………………. A Road Less Travelled

    > Prafulla Patel………………… Gone with the Wind

    > A Raja……………………….. Last Come , First Served

    > Dayanidhi Maran…………….. Quid- pro- Quo

    > Kanimozi……………………… Father Knows Best

    > Jayalalithaa…………………… Heaven – for those who touch my feet

    > Mamta Banerjee……………. The Triumph of the Lawless

    > Narendra Modi………………… Gujarat – that is India

    > Arvind Kejriwal……………….. AK-49 and lesser Weapons

    Feel free to add to the list

    In case they decide to come out with their biographies , one thing is certain

    Royalty percentage will need to be the same – or more – than the percentages that they are used to get so far !

    And , the branding rights will be sold separately !

    What with the way current Lok Sabha elections are going , most of these Netas will have plenty of time on hand to pen their travails !

    Don’t miss the next year’s Jaipur Literature Festival

    * hemen parekh ( 30 April 2014 / Mumbai )

  2. Janani says:

    Indian politics has just become just like a well in the house for the family members to satisfy their thirst (only)

  3. Akshay Kumar says:

    Sir, even extreme freedom advocates like Milton Friedman (whose own son advocates every person living in a small island in the Pacific Ocean) said that human beings are essentially family based organisms?

    How or why do you expect Indian politics/politicians to be different?

  4. VINOD TULI says:

    AS A SCHOOL KID IN 1950s WITH FRESH IDEAS OF INDIAN INDEPENDENCE AS
    TOLD BY DEDICATED TEACHERS and EDUCATED FATHERS I STILLA RECALL A
    RARE PAIR OF SMT SUCHETA KRIPLANI A CONGRESS MINISTER and rev ACHARYA
    KRIPLANI THE STALWARD SOCIALIST SHOULDERING WITH NEHRU. THE COUPLE
    LIVED UNDER THE SAME ROOF AND WERE IN PARLIAMENT NEXT MORNING
    SITTING ON OPPOSITE BENCHES. THE SCENARIO PERHAPS NOT BEEN REPEATED
    IN INDIA?

  5. 4thAugust1932 says:

    Dissolve the political party after its Founder is dead.
    Otherwise it leads to oligarchy.

  6. Saurabh says:

    Not sure of this will be conveyed to Patrick. In the book, the author should have brought out another stat. How many of the HMP (hereditary MPs) are offered Ministerial responsibilities.

    The answer is that this number is surprisingly low, this is because the govt. realizes that most of the HMPs are poor at governance.

  7. vijay says:

    Sonia Gandhi
    Rahul Gandhi

    Manneka Gandhi
    Varun Gandhi

  8. H Shankar says:

    Not surprising !

  9. Azhagan says:

    Poltics is a Family Business

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