Thursday, April 18, 2024
HomeOpinionsCurses of Indian democracy: Dynocracy and personality Cult

Curses of Indian democracy: Dynocracy and personality Cult

Also Read

Bimal Prasad Mohapatra
Bimal Prasad Mohapatrahttp://www.trident.ac.in
Columnist is a Senior Research Fellow in Defense Research and Studies (DRaS), Faculty of Management Studies in Trident Group of Institutions, Bhubaneswar, and author of novel "Travails of LOVE" and "Bimal's ANAND MATH". He writes column on Geopolitics, Indian Politics and Media for MyVoice.OpIndia, DRaS, The Kootneeti, The Diplomatists, The Avenue Mail, Delhi Post, Orissa Post, Outlook Afghanista, The Manila Times, etc. And also Moderated Panel Discussion on Geopolitics, Politics and Media

The recent past hullaballoo in India’s grand old party the Indian National Congress, which was responsible for India’s freedom and ruled for more than 55 years of 73 years self-rule so far, and now in custody of Nehru-Gandhi dynasty and their courtiers, over a letter of 23 senior party members, who were disturbed due to party’s fast deterioration since electoral defeat in GE2014, and had appealed to party interim President for urgent steps to arrest the slide in nation’s electoral politics brought to my mind the content of a fiction named ‘Dynocracy’ authored in 2010 by California based American writer Nils Haeggstrom. Dynocracy is a very powerful book and a hard hitting critical fictional story about who is running the government in democracy. In the book, the author has mostly dealt with the powers behind the democratic governments. As per Nils, they (the powers behind the democratic governments) are the very rich and powerful that have controlled the world for centuries. They are dynasties of ruling powers who have supplanted the democracy of the people with their own form of governments. Their only concerns are themselves, and the policy decisions they take for governance of nation mostly relate to preserving their dynasties.

Means dynocracy is a form of government run by dynasties within democratic framework though we read as remarkably propagated by former President of the US, Abraham Lincoln, “Democracy is the government of the people, by the people and for the people”.

An in-depth study of Indian Democracy says ‘the dynocracy form of government is very much there in India as we see the presence of the dynasty politics in almost all political parties (both national and regional parties) which have been in and out of government in national capital and state capitals since independence in the length and breadth of nation. Very omnipresent! And they have virtually supplanted the democracy of India with their own form of governments’.

In India, as per provision of nation’s written constitution, it is a Parliamentary Democracy; and in this system, people have been electing their representatives to Parliament and state Legislative Assemblies who after being elected have been electing their leaders to head the union and state governments. But, in practice, it is other way round. The heads of the political parties (Indian political parties is difficult to count. Once former technocrat-statesman and President of India, Dr. A. P. J. Kalam had sarcastically commented, “You can count the sands in the sea coast, but not the political parties in India”), who are mostly called Supreme Leaders, run their parties as if the parties are their family inherited corporate with very little exception. They have been in the most of the cases elected -as a formality- as the heads of the governments after elections.

In fact, they (Supreme Leaders) select their loyal candidates to be fielded for election for Member of Parliament (MP) or Member of Legislative Assemblies (MLA). Whom they use to select for MP and MLA elections? A close examination of most of the candidates in majority of parties tell the candidates are those who have shown stand out loyalties to parties owner-cum-leaders/supreme leaders by having gone up to extent of saying “India is Indira and Indira is India” and writing poem such as “Indira teri subah ki jai, tere sham ki jai/Tere kam hi jai tere naam ki jai (Deva Kanta Barooah, a poet of considerable distinction in his native Assam and INC President during draconian National Emergency imposed by his Supreme Leader), had hijacked plane in order to protest leader’s arrest for draconian rule imposition while in power (1978 plane hijack by Bholanath Pandey and Devendra Panday, who were rewarded with MLA tickets in 1980 UP state assembly election and one of them became minister), wrote Lalu Chalisha (Brahmadeo Anand Paswan, who was instantly rewarded with Rajya Sabha seat by Lalu Prasad Yadav), burnt innocent students in the college bus on the road protesting arrest of their supreme leader Jayalalita arrest (Krishnagiri college bus burning in 2000), ready to be treated like dog (The incident that present BJP Assam minister Hemant Biswa Sarma had encountered in 2015 when he was in Congress. However, Sarma did not tolerate and resigned), etc. etc.

At various times and in different places in the past, Bal Thackeray, M. G. Ramachandran and N. T. Rama Rao, etc. and now Sonia Gandhi, Mamata Banarjee, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mayawati, Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Vadra Gandhi, Arvind Kejriwal, etc. have been elevated to a sort of superhuman status. Many accuse PM Narendra Modi is too promoting personality cult. But, so far, there is no noticeable instance of Modi indulging in Indira, Lalu, Jayalalita, etc. kind clandestine personality cult promotion.  And the supreme leaders use to campaign throughout the political geography to get his/her loyal candidates elected. And, in fact, people in most of the cases use to vote to supreme leaders’ candidates based on supreme leader already developed personality cult (An early example of personality cult: in 1969, when Indira Gandhi’s candidate V. V .Giri elected as President of India against party’s official candidate N. Sanjeeva Reddy), and policies, latter are in many cases packed with officially announced freebies, and unofficial mid-night distribution of largesse made out of loot of government treasuries or funded by vested interests who would be benefited through nepotism (may be through the government policies) post election as soon as new government formed as per the thought expressed by Nils Haeggstrom in his fiction ‘Dynocracy’.  

These dynasties are there in all political parties in India irrespective of political ideologies with slight exceptions (as observed by political experts) in red-Left and saffron-Right hues. Centre-left parties mostly dominating India’s national and states politics have so far been completely run by dynasties owned parties.

Post-independence dalit icon, political theorist and the father of Indian Constitution, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar had got the glimpse of dynocracy and promotion of personality cult in Indian National Congress, the only party having all India base and influence, and had taken over the governance of the nation when the Constitution of India was getting drafted. He could see all this and was worried for the consequences, and had opined, “Just because Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru had rendered lifelong services to the country, did it mean that their actions or ideas were immune from critical scrutiny? Was their record of patriotism enough reason for the ordinary citizens to follow them implicitly and unquestioningly?”

Going further Dr. Ambedkar remarked, “There is nothing wrong in being grateful to great man who have rendered life-long services to the country. But, there are limits to gratefulness”. As has been well said by the Irish patriot Daniel O’Connell, “No man can be grateful at the cost of his honour, no woman can be grateful at the cost of her chastity and no nation can be grateful at the cost of its liberty”. Later Dr. Ambedkar continued, “This caution is far more necessary in the case of India than in the case of any other country. For, in India, Bhakti or what may be called the path of devotion or hero-worship, plays a part in its politics unequalled in magnitude by the part it plays in the politics of any other country in the world. Bhakti in religion may be a road to the salvation of the soul. But in politics, Bhakti or hero-worship is a sure road to degradation and to eventual dictatorship”.

By Bimal Prasad Mohapatra, Asst. Professor, Trident Group of Intuitions, Bhubaneswar, Odisha

  Support Us  

OpIndia is not rich like the mainstream media. Even a small contribution by you will help us keep running. Consider making a voluntary payment.

Trending now

Bimal Prasad Mohapatra
Bimal Prasad Mohapatrahttp://www.trident.ac.in
Columnist is a Senior Research Fellow in Defense Research and Studies (DRaS), Faculty of Management Studies in Trident Group of Institutions, Bhubaneswar, and author of novel "Travails of LOVE" and "Bimal's ANAND MATH". He writes column on Geopolitics, Indian Politics and Media for MyVoice.OpIndia, DRaS, The Kootneeti, The Diplomatists, The Avenue Mail, Delhi Post, Orissa Post, Outlook Afghanista, The Manila Times, etc. And also Moderated Panel Discussion on Geopolitics, Politics and Media
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Recently Popular