Scion Rise

There are many reasons why the dynastic system finds favour with people. A minor one among these is that every generation a new scion of the ruling family descends on the scene and makes a bid for a top post. Chances are, he will be a relatively young person among more senior contenders. Youth always attracts people - they associate it with freshness. They also instinctively associate it with a rapid rise, achievement and talent, even when they should know better.  Because this person is  from the ruling family, chances are that he has not had to fight his way to the top, has not had to make ugly compromises and does not have a history that gives some people a reason to hate him. His “clean past” is an empty vessel into which people can pour their hopes and aspirations, whatever they are, however unrealistic they are. So it was with the Rajiv Gandhi of 1984. With absolutely no basis in his track record, nay with no track record  people had decided that he was the one who would lead the country into the 21st century. [“Barack Obama and Rajiv Gandhi”, The Examined Life,  March 20, 2008]

And so it is with the Rahul Gandhi of 2009. With absolutely no basis in his track record, nay with no track record, Ramesh  Ramanathan has decided that he will be the one to reorganize the Congress Party, make it a rule-based institution, and bring financial transparency to the party. 

Of course Rahul Gandhi is just the man to bring about financial transparency. To start with, he could ask his mom for details on the Lotus, Tulip and Mont Blanc accounts. He was just a minor when you could read about those in every newspaper of the country, and if he is like his dad, he wouldn’t be reading newspapers.