How open is the Indian political system? Yes, it is 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 (run for candidacy?)? You can vote, but what are the chances you will ever be voted for?
While researching his new book India: A Portrait – published in India and the UK in January 2011 by Penguin, and forthcoming in the USA from Knopf in June 2011 – Patrick French (@PatrickFrench2 on Twitter) 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 or out of reach for the many millions of capable Indians who might like to throw a hat in the ring?
Once the information about all 545 MPs in the Lok Sabha was received, tabulated and analyzed, the political background was classified into 9 categories. No significant family background: MPs who had made their way on their own ability; Business; Family: MPs who owe their access to the political system to their family background (also called hereditary MPs or HMPs for our survey); Inducted: MPs who were usually actors/actresses/cricketers or had parachuted into Parliament; Maoist Commander; Royal family; RSS; Student politics; Trade union.
At first glance, it appears that less than half of all MPs in the current Lok Sabha have entered politics through the grassroots:
46.8% of the MPs have no significant family political background. Three out of ten MPs (28.6%) entered politics through family connections. This did not seem a surprising statistic, but further investigation revealed more.
Breaking down the data further, we found that an alarming 69.5% of women MPs came into politics through family connections. After the 108th Constitution Amendment (passed by the Indian Parliament in 2010 to reserve 33 per cent of seats in national and state-elected bodies for women) is implemented, this number is likely to rise further.
Then came a much more disturbing piece of information: A disaggregated analysis of the political background of MPs with age suggests that there is a direct linear relationship between age and hereditary MPs: a greater proportion of younger MPs have a family political background, in comparison to others. So if you are young and want to join national politics, one of the only available routes seems to be through family connections. Take a look at this:
• ~ All MPs whose age is less than 30 years are hereditary.
• ~ More than two-thirds of MPs aged under 40 are hereditary.
• ~ 27 MPs are ‘hyperhereditary’, and 19 of them are in the Congress party. By hyperhereditary, we mean that they have several family members who have made a career out of politics.
The average age of a hereditary MP is 48 years, whereas the average age of an MP with no significant family background is 58 years. Since a hereditary MP is likely to join parliament at an early age, this translates into a decade of political advantage for him/her.
So which parties practice family politics? Congress leads the way in dynasty politics. All 11 Congress MPs under 35 years are hereditary.
Almost nine out of every ten (88%) Congress MPs under 40 are hereditary and the percentage increases as age reduces. The near perfect linear relationship is illustrated in the following graph:
So are some states in India more dynastic than others? A hyper-hereditary MP (HHMP), or one who has multiple family connections in politics, is THREE TIMES MORE LIKELY to become a minister. So who needs these term limitless sequsterers of political power? They are already abusing power and being corrupt . . . opaque ready to cash in on foreign collusion. See charts on nepotism below :
[[[ *** RESPONSE *** ]]]
Nepotism in politics was experienced personally, that is why the interest in removing this 3rd World minded plague that is typical among the lower castes who do not know what ethics and democracy is, limited terms being critical to preventing fomation of oligarchies of feudalistic minded people that will become cults of personality that are arrogant and dismissive of even their supporters. Like so many dictators in the Arab Spring, let David show the voters who Goliath is and one Goliath (PR) replacing another (BN)is no difference at all.
Nepotism, APARTHEID and 750K funeral laws, prohibition of even building on one’s own property, fundamentalism, these are problems that Beloved Leader types bring to the table. They are no monarchs can never be monarchs but secretly desire the stature thus trun to limiless terms like Mubarak and any dictaor who exceeds the maximum 2-3 terms. Voters must be aware and educated eniugh to reject family blocs in political parties, political parties that espouse limitless terms. The lower castes would find this natural, the ethical higher castes would denounce, the fallen higher castes would follow as so many unthinking persons who do not understand LIMITED TERMS and denunciation of NEPOTISM are critical to a vibrant democracy. Vote for candidates who are not family clan associations in guise of political parties – any who have had abusive authoritarian relatives would know about this sickness and will never allow anything like that in their government!
Constitutional monarchs being clearly limited as representative roles, are not as dangerous as a ABSOLUTIST term limitless politicians (you can see from the structure of a political party if someones relatives are all in the Central Committee). The term limitless like Mubarak who supposedly became ill (Egypt), Zine El Abidine Ben Ali who was supposedly injured (Tunisia), Muammar Gaddafi who died quite bloodily (Libya) and perhaps Bashar Assad who looks set to relinquish power but needs to cover up something in delays (Syria) as well show what the people think of undemocratic crooks and power mad dictators who are shameless and greedy for power and limelight in the way do not understand TERM LIMITS or a purveyors of even more shamelsss and democratic NEPOTISM. Unvotable! Run for election if all candidates are such bastions of the bastardy of humanity – unethical, undemocratic and in need of an Arab Spring style throw down – THERE WILL ALWAYS BE Mohamed Bouazizis (in Penang there was a near self sacrifice (always the Efreets await) Mr.Kerosene and others bearing the Light of Liberty sacrificing at a reasonable rate . . . who needs term-limitless nepotists who allow abusive by-laws write immense benefits for themselves, or corrupted racists who cannot abide the equality of others?!? If there are no better choices, just runfor candidacy yourself if you’re a Joe Public type . . .