29 August 2012: Those that support Congress and insist BJP is undemocratic for obstructing Parliament need political reeducation. A dynastic party is inherently despotic and totalitarian in style, substance and functioning, and it is such a party that stymies democracy. India is a lesser democracy because of the iron grip of the Nehru-Gandhis on Indian politics, and it is all coming to a head now.

Nearly all the non-Congress leading lights of Indian politics, dead or alive, owe their origins, directly or tenuously, to the Congress party, before and after independence. For example, K.B.Hedgewar, a Congressman, started RSS as a reaction to the Malabar riots and M.K.Gandhi's regressive support of the Khilafat Movement. Ram Manohar Lohia and Jayaprakash Narayan also went their independent ways revolted by the single-party dominance of Congress after 1947.

Later-day politicians such as Morarji Desai, Chandrasekhar and I.K.Gujral all came out of Congress, unable to stomach the intensifying dynastic and authoritarian strains of the party. Jawaharlal Nehru out of a sense of political correctness did not formalize Indira Gandhi's succession but knew in his bones that she would follow him. Such artfulness, however, was beyond Indira Gandhi who anointed Sanjay and then Rajiv Gandhi as her successor without a care for the feelings, ambitions and aspirations of senior leaders in Congress. Insofar as she was concerned, Congress was her party, and she would do as she pleased.

It is this psyche that led to the promulgation of Emergency, and it is this that, under the present dynasty, infects and makes infirm Indian democracy.

Chandrasekhar, Morarji Desai, etc, however, were not the last leaders to leave Congress. Post-Emergency and post-Bofors, there was an exodus. Congress was further depleted of talented politicians at the end of P.V.Narasimha Rao's government. Those like Mamata Bannerjee who felt choked cut away, whilst some like Madhavrao Scindia suffered in silence. Two days before he died in a plane crash, Scindia lamented to this writer that it wasn't easy to build a political party from scratch. And the late Arjun Singh told one of his close aides that the Nehru-Gandhis wanted "ghulami".

It was this side of Congress, so unknown to the outside world, which probably repulsed Pranab Mukherjee, who saw his prime-ministerial ambitions first scuttled by Rajiv Gandhi and then his widow. He knew for all his talent he wouldn't become anything bigger than a trouble-shooter, begged Sonia Gandhi for the presidency, and got out.

Who's left in Congress today? Hardly any top-level politicians. Pranab Mukherjee was perhaps the last of them. Politicians are compromisers, strange bedfellows, give-and-take people, consensus-builders. This makes them (not unless they are demagogues) perforce democratic. On the other hand, which are (to use a Nietzschean meter) the dominating types in Congress presently? Lawyers, technocrats and managers. The Nehru-Gandhis don't do any politics that wins elections.

So how do you expect a non-political Congress, powered by dynasty and run amok by lawyers, technocrats and managers, to bother about a nicety such as democracy? Congress started the game of parliamentary obstructionism, and to check its totalitarian instinct -- which includes the instinct for rabid aggrandizement -- others have had to mirror its tactics. Surely in opposition, Congress will return to obstructionism, unless it breaks free of dynastic control and becomes democratic and wholesome.

Congress was undemocratic before independence (radicalizing Subhash Bose, so to speak, by promoting Nehru's ambitions) and after. There was nothing very democratic about deposing the first elected Communist government in Kerala. It toppled state governments at will till the Supreme Court put a stop. Its own chief ministers were nobodies. And as head of a coalition government, it remains undemocratic as ever. Troublesome allies are kept in line by CBI. Allies get no ownership stake in government but are free to loot you and me. And behind a shield of phoney liberalism and fraudulent piety, a corrupt and totalitarian Congress hardsells democracy and constitutionality and demands a polite society.

How long can the con go on?

India has been notorious for fat cats who enriched themselves at the cost of their companies and shareholders.

Similarly, family-run Congress has brought India to ruin.