Let me start my letter by saying that I am neither a supporter of the Bhartiya Janata Party nor of the Congress Party. I only wish the best for India.

Recently, Rahul Gandhi addressed students at the University of California, Berkeley. When a question was asked about him being propagated as leader of the Congress Party in India, simply because he happened to be born with a surname Gandhi, his response was: "Don't go after me, every political party has dynastic leadership.” He gave examples of Akhilesh Yadav, Stalin, Abhishek Bachchan, etc. as new dynastic rulers.

Looking back at the history of India, when the Britishers left India in 1947, there were approximately 500 maharajahs in India. Special credit goes to Sardar Vallabbhai Patel, the first home minister of independent India, who single handedly forced these maharajas to merge their kingdoms into the new united India. In 1972, Mrs. Indira Gandhi (Rahul's grandmother) passed a law in Indian Parliament that deprived these so-called maharajas of their privy purses and forced them to become ordinary citizens of India like every other Indian.

By giving examples of Akhilesh, Stalin, etc., Rahul Gandhi is trying to justify this new class of kings, like Lalu, king of Bihar; Mulayam Yadav, king of U.P.; Prakash Singh Badal, king of Punjab; Karunanidhi, king of Tamil Nadu; Farookh Abdullah, king of J& K, etc. He sees nothing wrong with this system and seems to propagate that these new kings and their sons/daughters deserve to be rulers of modern India simply because these individuals were born with these last names, whether they have the qualifications and/or leadership qualities or not. Since these persons were/are ruling in various states, it is fine for him also to aspire to rule India.

Approximately 65% of the population of India is under the age of 35 years. These are young people who are educated and are very ambitious. They want good paying jobs and want India to become one of the most advanced nations of the world. I believe that they will vote only based on the leadership qualities of a candidate rather than based on which family the candidate belongs to.

Under the Constitution of India, India is a democratic republic, but the political families in India still believe that India is their personal property, like the old maharajahs used to. I believe that later or sooner, these new kings will meet the same fate as that of the old maharajas.

Gian Aggarwal

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