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
- - Two-thirds of Indian MPs under the age of 40 are from political families
- - Less than 10% of MPs over the age of 70 are hereditary
- - 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: