Ahead of Rahul Gandhi’s expected elevation as Congress president, his cousin and BJP MP Varun Gandhi has said that youths’ participation in politics is largely dependent on wealth and legacy; but the scenario should change. In an article in The Economic Times, Varun, son of Union Minister Maneka Gandhi, asserted that he himself is beneficiary of the system. Varun said that politicians in India seek to hold on to their positions until their progeny is ready to take it, adding that as consequence of this practice, most political parties in India have become family businesses.
The BJP MP said that political empowerment, it seems, has become the domain of the elderly. Varun underlined the fact that political parties need the support of youths. “And it’s not that political parties don’t seek the membership of young Indians. Most major political parties have youth and student wings,” he wrote. The BJP MP, however, added that growth of these leaders in politics is seemingly capped.
Varun’s new column has come days after he had said that there is a need to infuse fresh blood from non-political backgrounds into the Indian political system. Delivering a lecture on ‘Political Reforms in India’ at the NALSAR University of Law, here too Gandhi acknowledged that his surname had made it possible for him to gain a foothold in politics.
The Fatehpur MP added there is a need for structural changes are needed to entertain young individuals from different social and economic backgrounds in poltics. “The most important thing is to make Parliament a place of policy and not a space for politics. For too long in our country, inclusive politics has only been about religion, region and caste,” Gandhi had said, adding, “So, we need to have different voices in Parliament and politics. We need labour activists, NGOs, agriculturists, artisans and lawyers. In fact, we have too many lawyers.”