South Asian countries take pride in following old traditions. Most believe that advancements in technology, rationality, or economic life can change their glorious ancient customs. Gone are the days of kings, queens, prince, and princesses; South Asian countries now have democratic governments – or this is what most of us think. Has democracy really won? Let’s scan the real scenario.
Thanks to the worthy successors of worthy fathers, who ruled vast territories of India for ages, sacrosanct traditions still live on trashing all our democratic struggles. Meet the powerful dynasts of sovereign, socialist, democratic republic countries of South Asia!
These dynasts were born with political spoons in their mouth. They were born with special neo-divine rights to lead and rule.
The first dynastic political party (which needs no introduction) is none other than the Congress Party of India. The Gandhi family has produced three generations of dedicated servants for the country. Their extraordinary service need not be discussed here because actions speak louder than words.
The second political party, which gave us a lot of drama during the 2016 state elections in Uttar Pradesh is the Samajwadi Party. The Yadav family came to power and despite the presence of many a senior and experienced party leader handed over the reins (during its second term) to the worthy son who replaced his father as chief minister. The party saw family feuds no less in magnitude than those witnessed by the mighty Mughals. Akhilesh succeeded Mulayam and tried even to corner him.
The list of Indian political dynasts is unending – the son of Ajit Jogi (former Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh) showed to the world that the son of a leader can be a leader, wherever he might have been his whole life – Amit Jogi, a US citizen by birth, came back to India to become the Member of Legislative Assembly!
Well, the eastern neighbor of India is second to none. The Sheikh-Wazed family – the son of Sheikh Mujib ur Rahman (the first President of Bangladesh), who was expected to succeed his father, was assassinated. Sheikh Hasina Wazed (the eldest daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman) did not let Wazed dynasty die out. She became the Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Her son and daughter have also entered the political arena.
When it comes to dynastic political parties, Bhutto family of Pakistan appears to be unsurpassable. Starting with Shah Nawaz Bhutto, we have an unending list, which could make even the medieval dynasties envious. Zulfikar Bhutto, Mumtaz Bhutto, Nusrat Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto, Murtaza Bhutto, Shahnawaz Bhutto, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Asif Ali Zardari . . . let’s pause for breath and start recounting the fortune they have made and the misfortune under which their people have been passing their days.
Leaders are born and not made, is it?