The Oommen Chandy Ministry, which assumed power in Kerala this month, has several progenies of past Ministers and political leaders.
The Muslim League has two ministers —M. K. Muneer, son of C. H. Muhammed Koya and P. K. Abdu Rubb, son of Avukhader Kutty Naha. Agriculture Minister K. P. Mohanan is the son of former Minister P. R. Kurup, Forest Minister K. B. Ganesh Kumar is son of former Minister R. Balakrishna Pillai and Shibhu Baby John is son of former Minister Baby John.
It is not infrequent for sons to follow the profession of their fathers. Partly, this is a remnant of ‘caste system’ under which the sons always took up the occupation of their fathers. Chaturvarnya was designed for that. The State is yet to forfeit our casteist leanings.
However, more than that, large number of progenies in the ministry indicates favouritism and cronyism prevalent in the political parties. It is also point to a barrier existing in political parties in rising to the top of the ladder if you don’t have a father or god father in politics. It is notable that many of sons rising in politics get their opportunities early in life whereas others usually have to work for a life time to obtain positions like ministerships.
Leaders like K C. Joseph (Congress) who have many years of work as member of the Assembly and Gandhian behind him, get the chance to become a minister only after decades. The media knowingly or unknowingly support this trend by projecting the sons of established leaders. One reporter of a Malayalam daily even wrote that the Muslim League had favoured Muneer despite his ‘anti-party positions’ considering that he was the son of C. H. Mohammed Koya. However, the Congress had failed to show similar considerations for K. Muraleedharan, son of K. Karuranakaran, his criticised (!).
Progenies will cease to have undue advantage in seizing power only if we change our mindsets.