While speaking about dynastic politics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi explained that children following parents'footsteps is not a problem but a family shouldn't own the party.
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that 'vanshvad' (dynasty) is not his problem, but it is "a philosophy that goes against the basic democratic intentions". He added that dynastic politics is a danger to the nation and not for one man.
If Prime Minister Modi was referring to the Congress when he spoke of political dynasties, the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty of sorts began with Motilal Nehru in the early 1900s. India was then part of the British empire. The lineage was furthered by his son, Jawaharlal Nehru, the ascendency of whom in India's nationalist movement inspired many stories as well as conspiracy theories.
After Nehru's death, his daughter, Indira Gandhi, became the 'goongi gudiya' (dumb doll) PM of the late 1960s.
There are stories also about her husband Feroze, a Parsi, getting the Gandhi surname, which gives the family an undue advantage in wooing the people during the elections. The family is not related to Mahatma Gandhi.
As the family ruled India via Rajiv Gandhi and then Sonia Gandhi who allegedly remote-controlled Manmohan Singh, it met with a crushing defeat in the 2014 elections.
The Prime Minister continued, "I don't oppose it. If a political leader's son wants to contest in the election, even then, I have no problem. That is there within the BJP as well. But those parties that are run by entire families, if one important person is absent then the other comes into play, the party that does not step out of the family boundaries and works for just one family. That is dynastic politics".
Giving an example, Modi said, to save themselves, some people invoke big names when in trouble. They say their father is an MP, their son is a corporator somewhere or their daughter is a mayor. That is not the same kind of politics. Prime Minister Modi has emphasised that the country needs to beware of this situation as well.
Some parties that run like private companies, one may say, where one is completely sure that no one else can be president, without agreement from the family, a person cannot become a treasurer, despite being welcomed to the party by the family -- that is dynastic politics, Modi explained.
In the interview, the Prime Minister said the right definition of 'vanshvad' should be brought to the forefront and to the attention of the country by the media that he addressed as his friends. He said that people in the country needed to be educated.
Questioning 'vanshvad', Modi asked "In Andhra Pradesh, the TDP is one entire family. How many people are contesting in the election from that party? Have you seen that? Why is nobody discussing this?
"The Samajwadi Party has this concept too. So, why is no one talking about it? When somebody says they need to discuss this matter, you always come and stop at Rajnath Singh's son also being an MLA. By doing this, you have reduced a very big menace for democracy to an insignificant matter", he said.
Last Updated 5:18 PM IST