Dynastic politics has dominated Haryana since the inception of the state in 1966. Former chief ministers Devi Lal, Bansi Lal and Bhajan Lal and their descendants ruled the state for about a quarter of century.
It is evidently obvious that the state has remained a fiefdom of the chosen few families that dominate the political scene in Haryana. The diktats of these families run in the affairs of their respective political parties where all key posts are held by close relatives. As the successive generations thrive on the charisma of father and forefathers, all democratic norms in Haryana are conveniently bypassed to carry forward family-centred politics.
Some of the most prominent families of the state are:
The Devi Lal family : Devi Lal was a former deputy prime minister of India. His son Om Prakash Chautala is a former Chief Minister and also president of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD). Promoting the family cause in politics, Chautala's brother Ranjit Singh too was a Congress MP while his sons Ajay and Abhay are members of Legislative Assembly in the state. Ajay is also the general secretary of his father's party.
The Bhajan Lal family : Bhajan Lal too was a former CM and now his son Kuldeep Bishnoi is an MP and also the president of Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) while his daughter-in-law Renuka Bishnoi is an MLA. Lal's another son Chander Mohan was a deputy CM of the state.
The Bansi Lal family : Former CM Bansi Lal's son Surender Singh was an MP while the latter's wife Kiran Chaudhary and daughter Shruti Chaudhary too are an MLA and MP respectively. Bansi Lal's another son Ranbir Singh too was an MLA.
The Hooda Family Ranbir Singh Hooda was a freedom fighter, Member of Constituent Assembly, Member of Lok Sabha & Rajya Sabha, and an ex-Minister of Punjab & Haryana. His son Bhupinder Singh Hooda is the present chief minister of the state and grandson Deepender Singh Hooda, too is an MP. BS Hooda was also a president of Haryana Congress.
Another prominent political family was that of Rao Tula Ram, who fought during the First War of Independence in 1857. Carrying his legacy in state politics are Rao Inderjit Singh, a union minister in the present NDA government, Rao Yaduvender Singh, an MLA and Rao Ajit Singh, a leader of INLD.
Besides there are the political families of Rao Mohar Singh, who was an MLA in British Punjab, Capt. Ajay Singh a six time MLA and cabinet minister, and Col. Rao Ram Singh, a former minister in the state. A prominent woman politician from the state, Kumari Selja too is daughter of Chaudhary Dalbir Singh, a prominent politician. Singh's brother Chaudhary Neki Ram too was an MLA.
Although it is condemnable, caste cements most regional dynasties in Haryana as well as in other parts of the country. This caste-based politics serves the interest of only a chosen few while ignoring a vast majority. Yet, it continues to flourish in Haryana.
Look at the last general election. It witnessed a new crop of politicians emerging from these families that signified the emergence of an era of next generation politicians in each political parties of Haryana. Obviously these young satraps are now being groomed to carry forward the legacy of their families in Haryana politics cousins Dushyant Singh Chautala and Anirudh Devilal Chautala, the next generation of the Chautala family; Bhavya Bhisnoi, the son of Kuldeep & Renuka Bhishnoi.
Political commentators have time and again warned that this trend of family-dominated politics stifles the aspirations of the genuine talent flourish in the political arena. It does not only encourage a feudal mindset quite evident in Haryana's overarching patriarchal society, it also encourages nepotism.
Hence, is it a coincidence that in December last year, at least two-thirds of the 30 candidates selected to Haryana Civil Service posts were relatives of politicians and bureaucrats?
It is, indeed, high time to get rid of the family politics business in Haryana which is damaging the democratic system in the state.