In "All in the family" (Counterpoint, June 15), the cult of hero worship still lurks in the subconscious of many voters, and contributes significantly to the continuation of dynastic rule in India. Unlike in the US, there is a coterie of sycophants promoting dynastic rule in India for their own selfish ends. If Rahul Gandhi continues to acquaint himself with the poor of UP and the tribals of Orissa in an unbiased manner, he will one day be recognised as a mass leader in his own way rather than being known as a scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty. In fact, internal democracy paves the way for the smooth removal of dynastic rule. It also makes sycophants ineffectual.
AD Pandey, Delhi
Vir Sanghvi has raised pertinent points about the differences between the electoral process in America and India. Though politics is largely a family affair in both the nations, in the US, the candidate filing the nomination for presidential elections has to prove his worth for the post. The scene is quite different in our country, where politics is no more than a game of ancestral right. The worth and legitimacy of the candidate is authenticated at the time of birth.
Gitanjali Kalia, via email
Vir Sanghvi rightly observes that in India we have much to learn from how the US handles its own dynasties. In fact, Indian dynasties strike a discordant note because many progeny have become the cause of their parents suffering a loss of reputation. We need to downplay our dynasty rule. Relatives must not be forced on people in the name of their families, but allowed to come up from the grassroots. For that the sycophancy element among party leaders has to end.
RD Singh, Leh
I agree with Vir Sanghvi that in India the middle-class is fed up with dynastic rule. The Nehru-Gandhi dynasty for the past 60 years is converging itself in a module of monarchism, with the support of sycophants who have no political base of their own. This reminds one of the medieval times when India saw the rise and fall of various dynasties that pushed India under British domination. The middle-class in India, though vocal against dynastic order, lacks the enthusiasm to vote out this system.
JL Ganjoo, Delhi
Now out in the open
In Wish I Had Said No (June 15), Karan Thapar has demonstrated what professional heights journalism and freedom of the press have reached in India. It is only in few countries in the world that a journalist would dare to analyse such frank inside facts when friends are involved. As they say: Beware of the auditor and the editor.
JS Bali, Dehradun