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21 December, 2021 08:05:50 PM

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Cumulative erosion of dynastic politics in Asia

In India, Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, a western educated and confidante of western power, resumed the state power from his colonial master. From the post-independence era, the Nehru- Gandhi dynasty has ruled the country most of the time.
M A Hossain
Cumulative erosion of dynastic politics in Asia

The post-Cold War era has formulated an attempt to eradicate dynastic politics in Asia by the Western stakeholders. The fall of socialism boosted the incorporation of the western democratic system by altering and supplanting socialistic, monarchic or autocratic forms of government around the world.

This transition has amalgamated the concept and has filled the void with pseudo-democracy, which manifested the dynastic politics in Asia. In most cases, dynasticism becomes the tool to subdue the dissidents or remain the key to the survival of a leading political party against a split, mass movement, or even the regime itself. It has been seen that dynasties restrict the democratic culture inside the party and the decision-making and even leadership selection become a “family affair”. But, after the Cold War, the Western governments launched multidimensional approaches to exterminate dynastic politics to reinstate western democracy.
In India, Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru, a western educated and confidante of western power, resumed the state power from his colonial master. From the post-independence era, the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty has ruled the country most of the time. Since the 2014 'Lok Dhaba' election, dynastic politics is appearing increasingly fragile. The rapid rise of third parties like Trinamool Congress or Aam Admi Party (common men party) are challenging the traditional two-party system. The present ruling party seems a bit compromising to bring non-dynastic opposition in Indian politics.
Political dynasticism in Pakistan was extensive. Trusted west ally Zulfikar Ali Bhutto started the journey of the Pakistan People's Party and which is now being led by his third generation. The only rival, Nawaz Sharif tried to establish his dynasty in politics. But, both dynasties were rejected and a third party like Tehreek-e-Insaf Party (PTI) was installed in the state power.
In Bangladesh, the two major political parties are dynastic, like other well-known parties in Asia. The ruling party, Bangladesh Awami League, and the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) are being run one-handedly by Sheikh Hasina (daughter of one of the AL founders Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman) and Begum Khaleda Zia (the widow of party founder Gen. Ziaur Rahman). In 2007, we saw a “minus two” conspiracy theory by the western power; which albeit failed, but the Western powers are in constant motion to implement course 'B', after the debacle of course 'A'.

In Myanmar, the Aung San dynasty is coming to an end. Aung San Suu kyi, daughter of independence hero Aung San, is facing multiple charges under a military-backed Kangaroo court. Former Malaysian Premier Najib Razak, the son of the country's second premier Abdul Razak, is currently on trial over the country's largest corruption scandal. In Indonesia, Prabowo Subianto, the son-in-law of the former President Suharto was defeated in the polls by Joko Widodo - the first president who does not have any dynastic credentials.

In the Philippines, fourth-generation politician Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino-lll has nose-dived his popularity over repeated scandals. Current President Rodrigo Duterte has emerged from non-dynastic politics in the Philippines. In Thailand, the coup ended the government of Yingluck Shinawatra who was seen as the puppet of her brother Thaksin Shinawatra in 2014. It has been prominent that the dynastic politics in Taiwan, South Korea, Japan are also on the verge of extinction. The KMT of Chiang kai-Shek and his son Chiang Ching-kuo, Park Chung-hee and his daughter Park Geun-hye and Shinzō Abe the last prominent prime minister hailing from political dynasties have called it time for their political career.

We have more dynastic intrigues in Cambodia, Singapore, and Sri Lanka. In Cambodia, dynasties take the helm of two major political parties. One is Hun Sen and his descendant the other one is Sam Rainsy, the son of a leading political figure from the 1950s, Sam Sary - himself the son of another famous politician from the 1940s, Sam Nhean. In Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong the descendant of Lee kwan Yew has been embroiled in a family feud that has spilled over into politics. In Sri Lanka, the Rajapaksa family holds various important posts in state power. In the Middle East, Assad and Harari's dynasties are under tremendous pressure to be ousted by the Western power.

So, the Western democratic leaderships have, of course, changed since the post-Cold War. The US as a superpower has experienced a rogue regime underrating the democratic values in the hands of Donald Trump which will remain as a nightmare for the world leaders. Then the incumbent President, Mr. Biden, and his allies put all-out efforts to strengthen the democratic values around the world. The West is financing through various channels to educate the voters in Asia as well as to uproot dynasticism. We have experienced the “Arab spring” backed by the western power. At present, the Biden administration has emphasized on civic skills through transparency, voice, and participation. Dynasty is only considered bad when they ignore mass appeal and are seen to represent only their family, not national interest. Therefore, by all means, dynasticism in Asia may only endure the Western manoeuvring in the long run, should it proselytise itself towards the welfare of people at large, rather than concentrating on centralisation of authority within the own cabal.

The writer, a political and defense analyst, writes on diversified topics. His Twitter handle is:@writemah71

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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