Dynastic politics and the democratic deficit in India
Author(s): Mudasir Bashir Bhat
Dynastic politics prevails across the countries of the world. Post world II, the world witnessed the emergence of new nation-states. Most of these countries opted for a democratic form of government as against the experience of monarchical/autocratic rule. Despite such precedence, the countries have witnessed a surge of elite classes like dynastic politicians. Their familial inheritance of political capital, like name recognition, political connections, financial resources, etc., yields them an electoral advantage over non-dynasts. The trend questions the ideals of democracy, like political equality. It also raises concerns about the popular representation in democracies because of the privileged treatment given to a particular class of people for their familial background. In an urge to win elections, political parties prefer and nominate them over others for contesting elections. India is among the largest democracies in the world and manifests a dynastic character. The Political parties across the Indian state have dynastic lineages, whether at the national or regional, or local levels. The paper will highlight the persistence and dominance of such dynastic families across India's political parties, questioning its representational aspect. It would also highlight the deficit caused by the practice of dynastic politics.