Scions of India’s many political dynasties of the new millennium
will arrive in one group in the US next weekend for a stint of
academic work at Yale designed to promote their careers and then
travel to Washington to engage their dynastic counterparts in the
Among the dozen members of Parliament will be Mausam Noor, new
member of the Lok Sabha from Malda North and niece of A.B.A. Ghani
Khan Chowdhury, Mohammad Hamdullah Sayeed, son of eight-term Lok
Sabha member from Lakshadweep P.M. Sayeed, H.D. Kumaraswamy, son of
former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, both former chief ministers
of Karnataka, Neeraj Shekhar, son of former Prime Minister Chandra
Shekhar, Jayant Chaudhury, grandson of former Prime Minister Charan
Singh, Shruti Chowdhary, granddaughter of former Haryana chief
minister Bansi Lal and daughter of Haryana tourism minister Kiran
Choudhary, and Priya Dutt, daughter of former Congress MP Sunil Dutt.
Yet another member of the delegation, Ijyaraj Singh of the Congress,
Lok Sabha member from Kota, is blue-blooded. He is a member of the
Kota royal family.
Leading the team will be the chairperson of the India-US Forum of
Parliamentarians, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, Congress MP and son of
former BJP member of the Rajya Sabha L.M. Singhvi.
The visit of the young inheritors of Indian political dynasties will
go down well in the US, where scores of similar dynasties control
American politics from coast to coast.
the chambers of the US Senate and the House of Representatives, it
is difficult to take 10 steps without running into a member of one
or other of America’s ubiquitous political dynasties.
The Kennedy and Bush stories are well known, but the Udall family
from America’s west, for instance, now has two members of their
political dynasty in the 100-member US Senate.
They are Senator Mark Udall, a Democrat from Colorado, and Senator
Tom Udall, a Democrat from New Mexico. Senator Gordon Smith, a
Republican from Oregon, also an Udall who uses a different last
name, lost his bid for re-election last year in the Democratic wave
for Barack Obama.
Similarly, John Salazar, a Democrat, has represented Colorado in the
US House of Representatives for three terms. His brother, Ken
Salazar, was the Senator from Colorado until a few months ago when
president Obama appointed him to the cabinet as US secretary of the
Virtually every US state has a story of one or more such dynasties
in politics. So the interlocutors here for the visiting delegation
will be extremely at home dealing with their mirror images from
Before arriving in Washington in about 10 days for the first Indo-US
legislative interaction since the Lok Sabha elections, the MPs will
provide a shot in the arm for Yale’s India initiatives.
The participation of several MPs in their 20s or early 30s — college
enrolment years at the Ivy League institution — in an India-Yale
Parliamentary Leadership Programme now in its third year, will help
ensure that recession in the US will not affect the university’s
Yale has seen its endowments slide from $24 billion to $17.5
billion, but the excitement here over a generational change in
Indian politics, reflected in the composition of the visiting
delegation, will mean that its India programmes will, in fact, be
Sources at Yale said that if the team left in its wake an impression
of excitement about Indian politics and the economy, a prestigious
CEO Leadership Summit organised by Yale’s Chief Executive Leadership
Institute twice a year, is likely to be held in India in November
with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci)
as a supporting partner.
will be the first time that the summit, which brings together about
100 CEOs, will be held outside the US. In addition to their intense
engagement of Senators and members of the House of Representatives,
the MPs are to have discussions with a cross-section of leaders in
the Obama administration at meetings to be also attended by Harsh
Pati Singhania, president of Ficci and Amit Mitra, its secretary
The India-US Forum of Parliamentarians is supported by Ficci.