26 November, 2020

Dynast Within A Democracy

Lalu Prasad’s son might have ended on the losing side but Tejashwi the leader is here to stay

Photograph by PTI
Dynast Within A Democracy
outlookindia.com
2020-11-13T18:19:35+05:30

What lies ahead for Tejashwi Prasad Yadav from here, after the RJD’s defeat by a narrow margin in the tightly-contested Bihar assembly elections? The answer to this question will have to first, necessarily, face another complicated question in the line of inquiry. Can democracy, development and dynastic politics, let’s call it the three Ds, co-exist and flourish at the same time? Theoretically speaking, it is quite a complicated question to answer. The complications of the enterprise further aggravate if we attribute to these three elements the following characteristics: caste-ridden liberal parliamentary democracy, exploitative economic development and party-based dynastic politics as they have been the prominent features of politics in Bihar for long.

A serious look at the contours of the evolution of electoral politics in India throws open such questions and provides no definite answers. 1990s onward, heirs of many political families have tried their hands with mixed results. Like Tejashwi, his contemporaries in Bihar and elsewhere—such as Akhilesh...

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