By Satyakam Bharti
The state BJP’s decision to field Anurag Thakur, elder son of Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, as the party candidate for the forthcoming Lok Sabha bypoll was no big surprise for those following politics in the state. As reported by media, even though the Chief Minister appeared to be reluctant to introduce him in mainstream politics at this junction, even he may well realise that this is the perfect time for his son to make a soft entry. So, maybe as a calculated move, now he has openly defended the party’s decision reasoning that Anurag’s abilities in managing cricket in Himachal weighed heavy while proposing his name.
With BJP still fresh from the recent victory, and also considering the huge margin of votes with which Dhumal himself had won the seat not long ago, Anurag would be expecting a cake-walk. The party understands this and is therefore not ready to take any chances even though the bypoll is more or less insignificant as the Parliamentary elections are due early next year. So it may also be that the party wants to reward Dhumal for the recent success in the state. Another point of view is that bypolls have as such become a good excuse to introduce heirs of politicians in mainstream politics across the country. As most of the times the stakes are not too high during bypolls, parties find it better to use them as an appeasing tool. Recently another political heir – MP Chander Kumar’s son Neeraj Bharti – was given the party ticket to fight from a constituency that had fallen vacant. The young Bharti lost the polls, but treaded enough dirt roads while campaigning to later win the seat during the recent Vidhan Sabha elections.
The reason that Anurag’s hard work in reviving cricket in Himachal will ensure victory for him,may not be strong enough, because more than that it would be his father’s stronghold in the area that will pay for him. So the sonrise phenomenon in this case can in other words be explained as winability factor.
The cold logic that if a doctor’s son can become a doctor and so on, then why not a politician’s son be a politician may be a good enough reason to defend sunrise, but for an old-world view that politics is not a profession but service to the humanity. And if it’s a career then logic explains it as quota for the privileged ones, the politicians. The important thing being it is working for parties and for people who run parties, and therefore it should go on, The world anyway is not a level playing field, anywhere, in any sphere.
By Satyakam Bharti