The editorial "Political feudalism" (Sept. 5) rightly cautions against dynastic politics brewing in Andhra Pradesh following the death of Rajasekhara Reddy in a helicopter crash. His son, Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, is only in his thirties and has no political experience in either party affairs or governance, as he was initiated into politics only in the 2009 Lok Sabha election. The move to induct him as Chief Minister by more than 120 Congress MLAs is, therefore, both appalling and preposterous.
The editorial rightly says that the middle-level Congress leaders of Andhra Pradesh displayed political feudalism, not emotional support, when they rallied behind Jagan Mohan Reddy. It will not be out of context to look at the display of "calculated and self-serving fealty to the First Family of the State" either. It is a shield against infighting in the party and assurance of continued favours. In any party, the absence of dynamic leaders or failure to arrive at a unanimous decision on selecting a leader is bound to pave the way for dynastic politics.
K.A. Suresh Kumar,
The editorial was brilliant and forthright in questioning the irrational demand by Andhra Pradesh Congress legislators to elevate Jagan Mohan Reddy to the post of Chief Minister. Worse was the importance given to such sycophantic behaviour by almost all the television news channels. Any person with some knowledge of the financial dealings of the State government in the recent past will understand the reason for the desperate demonstration by YSR's supporters for "continuity in the ways of its governance." It will be interesting to see how the Congress high command reacts. Yielding to pressure tactics and calling it the will of the people will be nothing but a farce.
As the editorial rightly points out, Jagan Mohan is a political novice and has no experience to administer south India's biggest State. Let us hope the Congress high command will resist the pressure and take a wise decision.
The editorial has sounded a timely caution to the Congress high command. In taking a decision on a matter of national interest, sycophancy alone should not matter. Jagan Mohan Reddy is indeed a political novice. He is yet to prove his mettle as a parliamentarian. Instead, he can contribute a lot as an MP to his Kadapa constituency. The young leader should take a cue from Rahul Gandhi who refused to assume larger responsibilities in spite of emotional pressure from within the Congress.
Comdt. G.V. Mathew (retd.),
It is pathetic to note the orchestrated campaign by Congress MLAs to make Jagan Mohan Reddy the Chief Minister. The ingrained feudal nature of strengthening the regressive concept of dynastic rule at every opportunity needs to be fought by civil society.
While credit is due to YSR for his organisational abilities and leadership qualities, the fact remains that his government faced fairly well-founded allegations of corruption and misuse of power. The bid by the Congress MLAs to make his son the Chief Minister is alarming. If it fructifies, it will be the latest addition to dynastic successions in Indian politics. The tendency goes against the very spirit of democracy.
The prime reason for such sycophantic behaviour is the absence of inner-party democracy in the Congress. Once it stops the practice of nominating leaders from the centre, other political parties will also be under pressure to follow a democratic way of electing leaders.
No doubt, YSR was a great leader and capable administrator. His family deserves all sympathy for losing him. But Andhra Pradesh is the largest State in south India and needs a well experienced legislator. YSR's son may be good, humble and loyal to the Congress but he is a novice in political affairs.
Some ask what is wrong in dynastic succession in politics. We do not find fault with a doctor's son who becomes a doctor or other professionals' children who take after their parents. But then, is politics a profession?
Ideally, one enters politics not to earn a living but to serve the people. And service to people cannot be a profession. Besides, a doctor's son becomes a doctor only after he acquires a professional college degree. But a politician's son inherits the clout, money and following just by being his son.
The people of Andhra Pradesh, like the rest of us, are emotional and steeped in the idea of inheritance. Supporting Jagan Mohan is their way of expressing their gratitude to their departed leader. YSR was ambitious for his son. Dynasty is antithetical to democracy. But being the progeny of a leader should not be a disqualification for holding high office.
G. David Milton,