Indian Political Dynasties Can Adopt Indonesian Dynasty Model

There is one solution for Indian political dynasties. Their survival is being called into question. The recent elections have shown that if there is an opportunity, then people will vote against dynasts, unless there are pressing reasons. According to the law of Genetics, eventually the genes of any family will deteriorate and there will be sharp deterioration in the fortunes of all. This affects politicians too. The original founder of a dynasty is usually a very sharp person and has the grit and hardiness to succeed. Then he wants his progeny to succeed him and take-over his political empire.   This is where the trouble starts. Many a time, the heirs are very mediocre and sustain office only by accident or due to the general lethargy in the Indian system.

Pullrao pentapatiUsually business leaders are able to pass on their fortunes to their progeny because business deals with fixed assets and cash in definite quantitative terms. But politics is something which cannot be fixed. Success in politics depends on the whims and fancies of crores of others. Hence, it is a very un-certain business at best.

Political dynasties face such problems in many Third world countries, Asia and Africa and even the Middle East. Eventually, politicians become un-popular, stale and the public generally gets bored with them since they over-expose themselves. Or as late Enoch Powell, the British politician said “All politics end in failure unless you leave at the pinnacle of success.

Indonesia has the Sukarno dynasty. The original Sukarno was the first President of free Indonesia. He was very popular. But after 15 years, the people got fed up with him and the Army over-threw him. His daughter Megawati Sukarno lay low for some time and in the 1990s, she ran for President and won. But within 5 years, the people voted her out.  She could not win office again.

Megawati wanted eh daughter to run for election for President in the 2014 elections. But she sensed that her family was un-popular and they could not win an election. There was no point in running and losing an election.

The most popular person in Indonesia was the Mayo of Jakarta Mr. Jokoi Widodo.  Megawati Sukarno had a choice. Either she or her family could run and lose. Or she could select   Jokoi Widodo as the candidate of her party and gain victory. In short, she wanted to franchise their party to popular leaders.    Then Megawati Sukarnoputri selected the popular Mayor of Jakarta, Jokoi Widodo as Presidential candidate.   Instead of  her daughter who wanted to stand for President ,  she selected  Mayor  Jokoi Widodo  as  candidate and he  won  the Presidential election .

International scholars are calling the Indonesian model “franchising dynasties “. Since the dynasty was un-popular and cannot win elections, they had to select an outsider to win elections. Eventually, all dynasties in Pakistan, Bangladesh and India will have to “franchise politics ‘. Their dynasties have become hated. But they have some solid support of maybe 20 %.   DMK Karunanidhi’s children Stalin, Alagiri and Kanumozhi are hated. But if DMK wants to win elections, the party can select popular figures and DMK can win elections.

Indian political parties and the dynasts who own them can survive by “Franchising “political candidates. They can select popular leaders and wins elections. Sooner or later, all politicians become un-popular. Too much of anything creates in-digestion.

Political dynasties must step back from direct office. They can control the winner and ensure that their arty survives. The choice is very simple. Do you want your party to survive or just vanish slowly? This rule applies to all the dynasties in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. They can follow the Indonesian model of franchising, which is actually very sophisticated. One of the conditions which Megawati Sukarno imposed on the winner Jokoi Widodo is that her daughter must be given an important Ministry and that she should be Number 2.

Better to be No. 2 than is nowhere. Political dynasts should step back and retain power or come forward and be powerless.

By Pullarao Pentapati


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