Memoranda for Submission to the Chief Ministers of the Two Telugu States.


Democracy with Indian Characteristics


Dt:  21/5/20


Democracy with Indian Characteristics

Dt T H Chowdary*

With Gandhi ji intervention Motilal Nehru  and his  son Jawaharlal Nehru to succeed  him as Congress President in 1929. Jawaharlal  Nehru intervened to make his daughter  Indira  Gandhi become  Congress President 1960.  Indira Gandhi made her son Rajiv as General Secretary  of Congress which enabled him to assume the Prime Ministership of  India after Indira ji’s  assassination in 1984.  Rajiv Gandhi’s widow, Sonia  Maino  ( Italian by birth assumed /grabbed a Presidentship of the Congress party in 1998. As never in  the history or any political party anywhere in the  world Congress  has become  Sonia family’s property, Presidentship, General Secretaryship of the party circulating between the mother Sonia, son Rahul and  daughter   Priyanka !


2. The Nehru -Indira- Rajiv – Sonia political succession has become the  norm among  India’s political parties and thereby the Indian characteristic of   the  western origin democracy ; just as the Chinese characteristics of Marxism –communism-socialism.  Chinese rulers post-Mao have sinisized  communism.  Doing better than they, India’s rulers  in the  Center and States  have been Indianizing democracy, socialism and secularism,  investing them with a plurality of  characteristics  in the spirit of unity  in diversity.


3. The late  N.T. Rama Rao (NTR) cine-hero  founded the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) with the  avowed objective of  breaking  succession to power by inheritance, initiated by the Nehru’s and continued by their progeny. Chandra Babu Naidu fearing that his father-in- law, NTR might make over the TDP (and his Chief Ministership) to his  young ambitious talented  wife, Lakshmi Parvathi  ( whom NTR married after the  death of his first wife noble Basava Tarakam) staged a successful conspiracy, dethroned  NTR  and himself became the Chief Minister of  AP and President of  the TDP. Since that event in Aug 1995  Sri Chandra Babu Naidu has become the proprietor of the TDP in and out of power to this day.


4. What is more: Sri Naidu  inducted  his son, Lokesh into the  TDP, made him a member of AP‘s State’s Legislative Council  and  a Minister straight away. He designated himself as the  National President of the  TDP and made his son , National  Secretary of the TDP, appointing some sinecures as Presidents and Secretaries of the  TDP in AP and Telangana.


5. In Telangana Sri K.Chandra Sekhara Rao  has become the proprietor of  the regional party, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS).  His son  K.T.Rama Rao (KTR), his nephew Sri T Harish Rao, his daughter Smt Kavita  had all been  inducted into positions of power;  the first as a Minister in the  Cabinet and working President of the TRS ; the second as Cabinet Minister, and daughter  Kavita as a Member of Parliament (2014-19). Since her defeat in the election to the Lok Sabha in 2019 she has been put up as a candidate  for election to the Legislative Council of TS.  A relative of KCR has been sent as  MP of  Rajya Sab. So, the TRS  is effectively the property of the family just as the Congress is that of Sonia  Maino Gandhi.


6. In Maharasthra too, the same practice of succession  to the leadership of a party has been adopted.   Sri Bal Thakery, the charismatic founder and Chief  of Shiv Sena is succeeded by his son, Uddhav Thakery as the President of Shiv Sena. In the hunt for power, Sri Uddhav Thakery abandoned his party’s ally  BJP, since  his son the first time MLA t and in the early 20s, has not been made a CM for the coalition.  So he switched the party’s alliance from the  BJP to   the  National Congress Party (NCP) of Sarad Pawar and Sonia Congress.  He became the Chief Minister. The reason for dis-association with BJP was that even as a minor partner in the coalition, he wanted  his  20 plus years  young son should be the Chief Minister.  Now in the three party coalition, he   is the Chief Minister and his son  is a Minister.


7. Sri Sarad Pawar has already put his daughter Supriya Sule and his nephew Ajit Pawar as his successors.  Supriya is MP and Ajit Pawar is cabinet Minister.


8. In Karnataka  Sri Deve Gowda, one time Prime Minister of India for a few months and Chief Minister of Karnataka has made his son the leader of the  Janata Dal (S) and once aligned with  the BJP. In the next election he  aligned with the Congress to make his son  the Chief Minister . So the father  Deva Gowda is succeeded by his son,  Kumara Swamy. The  Janata Dal (S) has become the family’s property.


9. In Bihar  when the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Chief Minister Lalloo Prasad had to vacate the Chief Ministership on conviction  in the fodder scam case, he nominated his wife Rabri Devi as the Chief Minister . Now that he is languishing in jail and the party is out of power, his  younger son  Tejeswi Yadav  is bequeathed  the Presidentship, that is  ownership of the RJD.


10. In Uttar Pradesh Sri Mulayam Singh Yadav was the  Chief of the Samajwadi Party (SP) and Chief Minister. His son Akhilesh Yadav  succeeded to the  Presidentship of the   Samajwadi party  and became the Chief Minister for some time in UP. 


11. In Tamilnadu,  the late  Karunanidhi  groomed his son, Stalin to succeed  him as indeed he did.  His daughter, Kanimoli , the second  in  command of the  DMK, has also  become a party leader and MP by inheritance.

12. Politics has become the art of conducting  public affairs for private advantage. In the name of uplifting the weaker sections of society , the rich are living on the poor and the poor on the  poorer.


13. The great historian and philosopher Will Durant observed: “ Democracy without education means hypocrisy  without limitation; it means the degradation of statesmanship  into politics; it means the expensive maintenance , in addition to the real ruling class , of a large parasite class of  politicians, whose function it is to serve the rulers and deceive the ruled”. 


14. To gain popularity  politicians in India have been helping  the emergence of more and more castes  among Hindus and  identifying them even among Muslims and Christians, the two religions which claim that there are no castes among their followers.  While the Kaka Kalelkar Commission of 1955  identified 2,399 castes among Hindus, the Mandal Commission of the late 1970s found them to be 3,743  and now this number of  castes among Hindus  appears to be exceeding 6000. Further , there is  competition in getting backward castes classified as MBCs ( most backward ) and EBCs  ( extraordinarily backward) .  There is  a militant movement  among  the SCs for classification  of their sub-castes. In Andhra Pradesh the Madiga SCs have been agitating  since more than a decade to classify the about 60 SC sub-castes into different groups as Mala, Madigas, Rellis etc .,and distribute the 15% reservation among the new groups.  A two-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court  while staying 27% OBC reservations in Central Educational Institutions observed:  “ it is to be noted  nowhere else in the world do castes , classes or communities  queue up  for the  sake of gaining backward status.


15. All these events show that while in true  democracies change of leadership is by election and not by succession  and men and women  became  presidents of parties  and  Prime Minister of governments  not by succession, in India the concept of democracy has been  Indianised, feudalised. Instead of  traditional Maharajas, Nawabs and Zamindars, a new crop of “Praja Sevakas” “Nayakas”  and  leaders, political  zamindars has arisen all over India, thanks to the  examples set by the Nehrus. These political zamindars (when in power)  think that the country and  the state and their resources are  their  property. They decide  and  the cabinets endorses them.  They announce and distribute  charities from the   tax and debt raised revenues of the state to whomsoever they wish..   The amounts distributed vary according to the personal will and intent of the  Chief Minister.  We don’t have truly representative democracy  where in informed voters exercise their franchise unaffected by cash pay- outs  by contestants at election time but a formal electoral  democracy. Voters are seduced by promises of direct transfer of government money into voters’ bank accounts if the party gains majority in the  Legislature and to win the election, cash is distributed.  The elected become billionaires and the electors live in painless poverty.  The existence of vast multitudes of proliferating poor is essential for  characteristically Indian, democracy to flourish.  Democracy, socialism and secularism don’t have  universal contents and meaning; they have national characteristics. (1,415 words)