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Rahul Gandhi's Berkeley blunder: Defends dynastic politics by saying that India is run by dynasties
Finally Rahul Gandhi is back in the news for his most recent speech-cum-interaction on foreign soil. In America, at the University of California, Berkeley, on Tuesday, although he was supposed to speak on 'India at 70' but from what I understood, he mostly spoke about India during UPA's nine-year rule and that too in poor taste.

How can a leader of the opposition go and slam the Prime Minister of India and say everything bad about the country? I don't know why he was ill-advised to expose himself in the US!

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi was quick to come to his rescue arguing that it's Narendra Modi who usually defames India in his foreign speeches. Is it really a fact?

Narendra Modi has indeed slammed the opposition many times during his political speeches abroad but all such speeches have been delivered in front of the Indian Diaspora. However, he has never ever slammed Indian politicians in front of foreign audience. In fact, Narendra Modi has clear cut lines on what to discuss on what occasion. He slams the opposition in the Parliament and election speeches. He talks differently in his 'Mann Ki Baat' on radio by presenting himself as a statesman. His speeches on various events always remain discreet. For example, if he speaks to students on Children's Day, his speech is focused on students. Similarly, all of his speeches as the Prime Minister are in context and event specific.

In Berkeley, Rahul Gandhi was addressing American students and not the Indian Diaspora. I don't know how Rahul Gandhi felt when American students clapped at every insult foisted upon India in his speech. He should have remembered that he holds the post of the Vice President of India's oldest political party.

Ironically, he defended dynastic politics. He said that all countries are run by dynastic politics. He said that India too runs in the same way. He referred to Akhilesh Yadav, MK Stalin and Anurag Thakur. Both Akhilesh and Stalin are his allies. Anurag Thakur (son of Prem Kumar Dhumal) is from the BJP but don't know how he became part of dynastic politics as he has never been made a minister in the Modi government despite his father being the former CM of Himachal Pradesh. The references to Abhishek Bachchan and Mukesh Ambani were really irrelevant as they are in no way connected to politics.

Before contesting his theory on dynastic politics, let me clarify what I understand about dynastic politics. If a biological heir inherits a political party that's called dynastic politics. But if some politician's son or daughter becomes a politician, it doesn't qualify as dynastic politics. In fact, Indira Gandhi's becoming the Congress President can't be considered dynastic politics as Nehru never declared Indira Gandhi as his political heir or officially handed over the reins of the Congress party to her. But from Rajiv Gandhi onwards, the Congress became a dynastic political party except for a brief period.

There are a lot of regional parties which are purely dynastic parties as the biological heir becomes the party chief by default. Parties like the RJD, JDS, INLD, DMK, Shiv Sena, PDP, NC and SAD are few such examples. Parties like the TDP, NCP and TRS are also heading in the same direction by gradually morphing into dynastic political parties.

Although the AIADMK, TMC, BJD, BSP and JDU are parties centered around individual cult personalities like Mamata Banerjee and Nitish Kumar, but can't be classified as dynastic parties as neither in any of these parties the current supremo inherit the party chief's post nor was he/she the biological heir. Albeit, the BJD is headed by Biju Patnaik's son Naveen Patnaik, it still can't be called a dynastic party as Naveen Patnaik formed the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) in defiance to the Janata Dal, the party which was led by Biju Patnaik. In fact, no one in Odisha knew Naveen Patnaik until Biju Patnaik's demise. And Naveen Patnaik himself doesn't have a biological heir.

Irrespective of ideologies, true lovers of democracy never endorse dynastic politics. Dynastic politics is against the ethos of the democratic spirit. All regional as well as national parties should be free from dynastic politics. Interestingly, two diametrically opposite political ideologies, the Left Front and the BJP, are both free from dynastic politics. No chief of either the BJP or the Left Front has ever inherited the top post for being the biological heir.

However, the Congress is unmitigatedly a dynastic party just like some other regional parties. And just see the brilliance of Indian voters, who reduced the Congress party at par with regional parties by sending them to the 543 member Lok Sabha with just 45 seats in the 2014 general elections.

Rahul Gandhi doesn't realise how he has disgraced his party and the country on American soil by defending dynastic rule.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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