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Dynastic politics and table story journalism

"What compelled me to write this piece is a discussion on a TV talk show, where all panelists belonging to rival parties agreed to a point that dynastic politics is a curse, and mother of all crimes in Pakistan. They called it an instrument of corruption and underdevelopment, without producing any proof. Neither the anchor, nor the producer, cared about proof"

I never understood the hatred of Pakistani media and the general public towards dynastic politics.

What’s to fear?

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If a man contests a seat and tries to win it, already occupied by his father, or uncle in previous elections, there is nothing wrong with that.

It’s not like family politicians snatch votes and voters from the streets and chain them to a ballot box.

What compelled me to write this piece is a discussion on a TV talk show, where all panelists belonging to rival parties agreed to a point that dynastic politics is a curse, and mother of all crimes in Pakistan. They called it an instrument of corruption and underdevelopment, without producing any proof. Neither the anchor, nor the producer, cared about proof.

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If people love the parties or candidates, which have a history of MNAs, MPAs, and senators in their family, and can’t keep themselves from those parties and candidates, is that our fault?

Of course not.

If you vote a first-timer in an election, chances are that the same candidate will be a repeat candidate in the coming polls. Chances will remain high that the same candidate will introduce his son or daughter in politics. The family will either thrive or soon their fortune will be consumed by expensive electioneering.

Every candidate becomes a compulsive, addicted election candidate whenever there are elections in the country, and their habit of doing politics will be parted when they die.

Let the media, public, and rest of us enjoy the excitement that accompanies the game called election and politics.

Some readers may take me as non-serious towards politics, which is the finest form of social service. A wrong political step can destroy the future of a nation. In these columns, I have long advocated sane politics and an end to political uncertainty brewing every other day.

Voters have to take responsibility for their choice. You can’t throw the book at the devil.

Exactly.

The other day, I came across a politician from south Punjab. He is a full-time politician. His two sons are full-time politicians and are at the beck and call of the people of their constituency.

“My original area of interest was farming,” he says. “When my father was alive, and very much into politics, I would often be drawn towards the farms. As he aged, I had no other choice, but to do politics. This has become a matter of our survival.”

Now, he is active both in farming and politics.

There is nothing wrong with being a progressive farmer and a politician simultaneously.

The friend in question likes fields, trees, and crops.

“I’m not good at public speaking; I don’t like to be in the media limelight, as I think politics is not all about public speaking or issuing a sensational statement in the media. Most of the time, either I’m among my electorates or at my farms. Then, the media hates us for being family politicians. Please, stop it. It does not serve our society,” he said.

But do the active media people agree with his position on politics?

Not many.

“Dynastic politics is against the spirit of politics and democracy,” says a journalist friend, who likes to spend most of his time in a posh club of the city. “No dynasty should be allowed to take part in the election,” he adds.

If the journalist in question is worried about the future of the nation, the politician friend has offered him to try his hands in elections.

“If he can’t afford to contest a general election, ask your journalist friend to try press club elections,” says my politician friend. He will realize that contesting an election is a tough job.

One thing is for sure.

Dynastic politics is inevitable.

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