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Can teenage politics be justifiable?

New Delhi, Wed, 02 Jan 2008 Vikash Ranjan

Jan 02: Just think and consider what is happening in Asian politics. On what ground the appointment of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to head the Pakistan People's Party can be said justifiable. Doesn't the system remind us of monarchical era?

Although we have come out of clutches of monarchist rule, but still cradling its principle of dynastic rule, where the oldest son or, in some countries, daughter, got to become the next monarch when the old one died.

We, the Asian, are still inhibited with the buried monarchical principle despite institutionalisation of democratic system. Whether in India or latest instance of Pakistan , where by sidelining senior and experienced leaders, Bilawal Bhutto, a 19-year old boy has been appointed as the chairman of the PPP.

Reconsider! He is a mere 19-year old boy, a college going student, who has spent the past decade out of Pakistan. How can one throw the party's responsibility on a week and inexperienced shoulders?

Only a family surname is not sufficient to head the party and also no substitute for the capable leadership. The dare step completely shows the inherent weakness in the democratic system. Nothing else than a travesty of political wisdom.

No doubt that dynastic politics in South Asia has reached to its lowest ebb, but worst is asking a teenager to step into the shoes of his assassinated mother and assume the mantle of the party at the time of such turbulence, when a person of high political maturity is required.

This worst feature of dynastic politics is not the sole characteristics of Pakistan political arena. A long ago the appointment of Rajiv Gandhi as the prime minister of India after the assassination of his mother Indira Gandhi, whatever be the reason, was similar to same fashion as today in Pakistan. Some times ago, congressmen had offered the same proposal to Sonia Gandhi to make their leader after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.

The dynastic politics can't be said the distinguishing feature of South-Asian politics. Junior Bush and Hilary Clinton are instances of family legacy being part of politics in the United States too.

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January 2, 2008 at 12:00 AM

The system Pakistan adopted in 1956 has been unable to be modernised. It must be replaced by a system that functions better. A pretender could be a member of the former Muslim Mughal Dynasty that ruled large parts of India until the mutiny of 1857 and their deposition by the British. Or Pakistan could opt for a model that had been very popular in 19th century Europe: Import a new dynasty that has nothing to do with the internal fights and quarrels. A Persian Pahlavi Prince could serve the country better than a military ruler or a member of the oligarch families that treat Pakistan like their fiefdom, their feudal property. The descendants of the Nizam of Hyderabad could be asked, after all, they lost their throne because they would have liked to attach their state with Pakistan. Should someone be brave enough to accept the Crown of Pakistan, he deserves our support.



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