There are no set ways, to enter into politics in India. Currently I see there are 'Five feeder lines to politics':
- From political families or from the glamour world (sports, bollywood etc).
- Student/college leaders Incubated by industrial tycoons to garner their interests
- Side-kicks/Chamchas of Netas after 15-20 years of mindless dedication
- Contractors - who enter into politics to get more govt. construction business
- IAS officers turned politicians
Someone from middle class, from a non-political family background has neither means nor any incentives to enter politics.
The anti corruption campaign started by Baba Ramdev and later joined by Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and General V.K. Singh has a left a huge residual effect – It created a market/demand for political candidates with clean image and development focus. Maybe such instincts were always there in some/many among the Indian voters, but these campaigns have further strengthened the thought. This is the only tiny space opened, where normal people can engage with politics. I call it “traction politics” and it seems to be taking birth in India!
By Shantanu Gupta, IDS Alumni and development consultant based in India