Sunday, December 30, 2012

Value of Childless Leaders

"Wang himself is seen as uncorrupted, partly because he doesn’t have any children, who often operate as family bribe-takers."

-- David Ignatius, Washington Post

Very few in Western Media understand the 'allure of childless politicians' in Asia. Family connections and intentional or unintentional usage of those connections for graft; that is such an ingrained culture in Asia, South Asia that every now and then when a childless politician comes along fighting corruption; Asians instantly recognize the priceless nature of such a leader and then they flock to that politician.

In India we have long list of such leaders who carried the swagger because they did not have children. In recent days it starts with late BJP PM AB Vajpayee, current Gujarat strongman Narendra Modi, activist  Anna Hazare and many others. Of course for every childless corruption crusader  we have childless corruption Goddess like ex-UP CM Mayawati and current Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa. Trinumal leader and current West Bengal CM Mamta Banerjee, is sui generis since personally she is unmarried with no children, totally corruption free individually; but for her fight against corruption comes at a lower priority to the top priority of  redistribution of wealth. (That is understandable in West Bengal milieu where Communism is the lingua franca of Politics.)

Compared to Western norms, especially Conservative politics, where a married politician with kids is such a desired  life story; in India and China having no children is considered as a political asset. (Rahul Gandhi is not even entertaining to marry!) Clearly it is a statement about 'how corrupt' these economies are. But things are not that squeaky clean in USA as well and there is more ground to cover in attaining Scandinavian standards in this regard. Regardless, fight against corruption is global and all countries, nations have to work. 

No comments: