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By Nithin Sridhar
In what appears to be a clear indication of dynasty politics, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) headed by N Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday announced the formation of a central committee and two state committees and appointed Naidu’s son, Nara Lokesh to the post of general secretary of the central committee.
Lokesh has been elevated from his current position of coordinator, cadre welfare fund. TDP has also included Naidu’s brother-in-law N Harikrishna in the 17-member Politburo. The elevation of Lokesh clearly points towards the fact that Naidu wants to project his son as the future leader of the party.
This is neither the first instance of dynasty politics, nor does it appear as being the last. India has been severely affected by dynasty politics since Independence.
Out of the 68 years of Independent India, around 47 years had been ruled directly or indirectly (through a proxy) by a single family of Nehru-Gandhi—Jawaharlal Nehru followed by his daughter Indira Gandhi, followed by her son Rajiv Gandhi, followed by an indirect rule by his wife Sonia Gandhi. Of course, there were breaks in between, but that does not change the fact that, since Independence, India has been a fiefdom of a particular dynasty.
In the upcoming Bihar elections, Lalu Prasad Yadav has fielded both his sons Tej Pratap and Tejaswi Prasad. In 1997, when he was sent to jail, he had made his wife Rabri Devi as the Chief Minister ignoring other leaders in the party. Last year, Lalu’s former aide Ram Kripal Yadav had left the party after Lalu’s eldest daughter Misa Bharti was chosen to contest the Lok Sabha election from Patliputra.
In Karnataka, the Janata Dal (Secular) is in the control of HD Deve Gowda and his son HD Kumaraswamy. In Uttar Pradesh, Mulayam Singh Yadav, his son and the current chief minister Akhilesh Yadav and other members of the family control the Samajwadi Party. In Rajasthan, Vasundara Raje has been known to groom her family members.
According to a report in The Hindu, around one-fourth (around 24%) of the MP’s currently sitting in Lok Sabha come from political families. According to Patrick French, in the 15th Lok Sabha that was elected in 2009, the share of MP’s from political families stood at 29%. In 2004, the figures stood at 20%.
Therefore, the menace of dynasty politics is deep rooted and widely prevalent in India.
Various nations across the globe had abandoned kingships and feudal societies, and they had adopted democracy with an intention to prevent monopoly of the privileged few and promote merit based opportunities open for everyone.
This very central tenet of democracy has been severely abused by the practice of dynasty politics, which has reduced Indian democracy into fiefdoms of some political families. This has not only resulted in incompetent people coming to power due to their sheer luck (as they were born into a political family), but has also prevented many talented and educated people from occupying important political positions.
The worst aspect of this issue is that many people do not even realize the gravity of the matter. Many indeed support dynasty, community, and caste based politics.
In one of the surveys done in 2014, when people were asked whether they preferred to vote for a candidate who hailed from a political family, around 46% of them said “Yes”. The lowest support for dynasty politics came from the state of Odisha, whereas the highest was recorded in Gujarat. But, even Odisha, around 29% people supported dynasty politics. In Gujarat and Andra Pradesh, the figures were 66% and 59% respectively.
The survey further revealed that among those who supported dynasty politics, around 45% of people believed that people from political families are better at politics because it is their family occupation. Another 40% people believed that such people have more exposure to politics and hence are better at it.
The survey clearly establishes two things. One, the feudal mindset among the people is still very much in existence, where they assume being born into a political family automatically grants requisite skills to run a country. Two, people are completely unaware of the great damage that dynasty politics is doing to the country.
An oft-quoted argument is that, just as many children of doctors become doctors and businessmen hand over their business empires to their children, why can’t politicians promote their own sons?
Though the argument may appear justified in the first glance, a key issue that makes the case of politicians different is the fact that a person becomes a doctor only by passing relevant degrees. Children of most of the industrialists are also well educated. But, no such training or education criteria exist in the case of politics. Hence, many children of politicians enter politics purely on the shoulders of their fathers or mothers.
In olden times when royal dynasties were ruling across India, though it had its share of good and bad rulers, what cannot be denied is the fact that training was imparted to the young princes. Irrespective of whether the princes turned into good kings or not, they were educated in all aspects of state affairs, including economics, martial arts, diplomacy, and administration.
But, no such training exists in the present form of democracy. Those people who rise in the party after working from grassroots levels are well exposed to various issues of society as well as the intricacies of handling politics. But, many of those who have been inducted from the top have neither ground level experience nor political competence.
When such people come to power, it may result in corruption, monopoly, non-performance, and policy paralysis. Further, the welfare of the family will not only take precedence over party’s welfare, but it will also put national interest at stake. India is already paying heavily for the blunders, corruptions, and policy paralysis caused by a single dynasty that ruled for the larger part after Independence.
The roots of the dynastic politics can be traced back to the absence of intra-party democracy. The leaders who are supposed to run the country by following democratic principles are not implementing those principles within their own parties. Ruchika Singh, an independent policy analyst, writes: “The absence of intra-party democracy has contributed to political parties becoming closed autocratic structures with increasing fragmentation within parties, selection of poor electoral representatives, and growing criminalization and abuse of financial power in elections.”
Therefore, the only possible way in which political parties can put an end to dynasty politics is by consciously adopting intra-party democracy. The necessity of intra-party democracy has been well highlighted in the 170th report of the Law Commission of India on electoral reforms as well.
The report states: “If democracy and accountability constitute the core of our constitutional system, the same concepts must also apply to and bind the political parties which are integral to parliamentary democracy. It is the political parties that form the government, man the Parliament and run the governance of the country. It is, therefore, necessary to introduce internal democracy, financial transparency, and accountability in the working of the political parties. A political party which does not respect democratic principles in its internal working cannot be exposed to respect those principles in the governance of the country. It cannot be dictatorship internally and democratic in its functioning outside.”
The report came out in 1999, but even today, the political parties across the country are rarely implementing democracy, both in word and spirit, within their own parties. This has in-turn allowed dynasty politics to thrive and further corrode the Indian democracy from within.
Hence, it is high time that people realize the dangers of dynasty politics and exert proper pressure on the political parties to introduce intra-party democracy and do away with dynasty politics altogether.
Sports betting has been around for centuries for the audience to not only watch the sport but to get more deeply involved in the match. It is a fun and often profitable activity for the viewer to win some extra fortune or simply get some extra sweat while watching the game. At first glance, sports betting may look like it's pure luck, but when you indulge deeper into the activity you realize it is more of a calculative and research activity than just pure luck. We must note that yes, luck does play a certain role to some extend but a win is not completely dependent on luck, if you're putting your bets on a certain team you have to make sure to do some research about the players on the team, history of wins and losses of the team and compare the probability of winning and then place bets.
Even though sports betting has existed since the ancient era, it was not until recently that it became increasingly popular among the youth. This happened due to the legalization of the activity and the rise of online sports betting. The technological revolution has expanded the sports betting industry, offering the bettors new markets and ways to bet. The only major difference between online bookmarkers and traditional brick-and-mortar venues of sports betting is that now you can place bets online from your mobile devices, laptops, computers etc.
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Online sports betting allows the sports enthusiastic bettors to place their sports bet online from wherever they are on real-life happening sports events. For instance, if there is a match between Chelsea F.C. and Machester United in the English Premier League, you can place wagers on either of the team to win from your comfort space, on your device and if you correctly predict the outcome, you'll win money.
How to Bet on Sports?
Sport betting gives more thrill and involvement in the sport to the bettor.Istockphoto
Now that you understand the basic mechanism of sports betting, how and where should you place your bets? For new bettors, sports betting can be a little intimidating because you're putting real money as stakes and no one wants to lose it. Here are the steps to place your sports bets online:
Choose a betting site: The first step to placing your sports bets is to find a reliable sports betting site. BetRivers sportsbook is one of the most popular sports betting sites in the US which also has a mobile app. It has a solid design with intuitive navigation, user friendly and polished layout.
Sign up: After choosing the website, you must sign up and provide simple details like your name, email address, age etc. to verify your proof of identity and if you're legally allowed to start betting in the state or not.
Deposit money in your online sportsbook: Once you've registered an account, you can immediately deposit some money and place your bets on the sport of your choice. Most online sports betting platforms accept numerous deposit methods. BetRivers accepts various methods like online banking, Paypal, Visa, Mastercard, pay+, etc; and withdrawing money is as simple as depositing the amount.
ALSO READ: The Growth of The Sports Betting Market
Locate the market: Before placing your first bet, pinpoint the sports you want to place bets on, then select specific competitions or leagues that interests you the most. Then you need to find a team you want to bet on. Do some research on the odds and market. Once you've made up your mind you can bet your money on your prediction.
Place your first bet: Once you're certain about your bet, you're required to enter the amount you want to bet. Most sites give you a preview of how much a bettor stands to win in the bet slip. If you're satisfied with the odds, you can happily hit the button to confirm your bet and wait for the results.
Enjoy the game: The bet has been placed, the game has started, now all you need to do is sit back, relax and watch the game and let your bet come in.
Disclaimer: (This article is sponsored and includes some commercial links)
It is indeed good news that the book showcasing the wisdom of India in the eyes of Western intellectuals is getting due recognition and appreciation from other states and abroad. After Karnataka and Punjab, the Government of Assam has recently consented to translate the research-based book by Shillong-based author - Shri Salil Gewali titled "Great Minds on India". The Chief Minister of Assam - Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma was amazed to know that so many top western scientists and philosophers have drawn a considerable amount of inspiration from ancient scriptures of India, particularly in the studies of modern physics, linguistic and astronomy. In the recent meeting with the author, the Chief Minister had highly appreciated Gewali's book and promised to read it thoroughly. Gewali's book was also approved for translation in the year 2020 by the former Chief Minister – Shri Sarbananda Sonowal but due to COVID-19, the translation work was delayed.
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Furthermore, the two scholars from Canada --- Dr Hema Murty -- Air Space Engineer at the University of Toronto, and Dr. Harsh H Thakkar of Sheridan College of Brampton, Ontario have sought permission from Mr. Gewali for the translation of 'Great Minds on India' into the Sanskrit language. After the translation, the Sanskrit edition will be published and circulated and utilized by Samskrita Bharati of Canada, besides its other branches in India, USA and UK. Gewali says that the book that has been praised by countless scholars and publication by the Government of Karnataka and Punjab has so far been translated into thirteen languages, including German.
'Great Minds of India' by Salil Gewali is an impressive compact book discussing the power that Indian ancient wisdomFile
A university scholar from Winchester, United Kingdom - Ms. Janet Murphy remarks:
" 'Great Minds of India' by Salil Gewali is an impressive compact book discussing the power that Indian ancient wisdom, thought and way of life had an impact on western minds, especially those who are of great historical significance, such as Voltaire, Albert Einstein, Ralph Emerson, Julius Robert Oppenheimer, Mark Twain, HG Wells et al. It is hoped all right-thinking scholars will find Gewali's work extremely applaudable."
BEIJING — Chinese organizers have confirmed participants in next year's Winter Olympics will be strictly isolated from the general population and could face expulsion for violating COVID-19 restrictions.
Vice mayor and Beijing 2022 organizing committee official Zhang Jiandong told reporters Wednesday that those taking part in the games beginning Feb. 4 must remain in a "closed loop" for training, competing, transport, dining and accommodation.
A strict Olympic bubble has long been on the books, but Beijing has now made it official in keeping with its zero-tolerance approach to the pandemic. Athletes and other participants will also be tested regularly for the coronavirus before and during the Games. Family, spectators and sponsors from outside the country will not be allowed to attend.
"All participants of the Games and our Chinese staff and volunteers will implement the same policy," Zhang said. "They will be strictly separated from the external society.
"Those who do not comply with the epidemic prevention regulations may face severe consequences such as warning, temporary or permanent cancellation of registration, temporary or permanent disqualification or expulsion from the competition, and other punishment."
All participants must have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days prior to their departure for China.
China has enforced strict rules on mask wearing, quarantines and contact tracing that have largely succeeded in eliminating the local transmission of COVID-19, but imported cases and domestic infections continue to appear in daily reports.
"Indeed, epidemic prevention and control is the biggest challenge for us to host the Winter Olympic Games," Zhang told a news conference.
Wednesday marked 100 days until the Beijing Games. Organizers have held test events featuring international athletes at Olympic venues under strict conditions.
Japan imposed restrictive rules and an Olympic bubble during the July 23-Aug. 8 Summer Games in Tokyo, which had been postponed by 12 months because of the pandemic. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: China, Winter Olympics, Closed Loop, Epidemic Prevention