Heirline fracture

The candidates lists, released so far by almost all parties in Tamilnadu, have names of kin of top leaders. While the DMK has fielded a whopping number of six heirs (out of its 20 contestants), the AIADMK has pitted four wards of its seniors. PMK, DMDK and AMMK, too, are no exception, as at least one progeny has found a place in their lists. This shows how the politics and parties of Tamilnadu are being controlled by a select few influential families. While wards of politicos, like any other citizen of this country, have every right to enter politics and contest elections, their calling the shots and taking over positions, and even parties, are not good for a democracy.

The basic idea of democracy is ‘by the people, of the people and for the people’, and not by very few people. Its very definition goes like this: ‘Democracy is a system of government where the citizens exercise power by voting. In a direct democracy, the citizens as a whole form a governing body and vote directly on each issue. In a representative democracy, the citizens elect representatives from among themselves. These representatives meet to form a governing body, such as a legislature.’

However, with some elite families alone sharing power in India, common people get fewer opportunities. Only if they are empowered and allowed to occupy top posts, the country can witness real development. While monopoly of anything is not good, it is even more harmful for democracy. According to American political scientist Larry Diamond, democracy consists of four key elements: a political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections; the active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life; protection of the human rights of all citizens; a rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens. This is applicable to all countries.

NT Bureau