It’s Always ‘Father’s Day’ in Politics: From Gandhis to Yadavs, a Look at Famous Dad-Daughter/Son Duos

It’s Father’s day on Sunday. Most of us look at our male parental figure with awe and inspiration, and a lot of us even follow in the professional footsteps of our fathers. This holds true for Indian politics as well.

There are many famous examples of now successful politicians who have walked in their father’s footsteps. News18 takes a look at some of these examples:

Bal-Uddhav Thackeray

Bal Thackeray, the founder and former President of the Shiv Sena, was a powerful influence and a force to be reckoned with in Maharashtra. Bal Thackeray began his career as a cartoonist before launching his own cartoon weekly ‘Marmik’ and eventually founding the Shiv Sena, a Hindu right-wing religious party. He was a strong advocate for Marathi people and their interests, and he was outspoken about the preservation of Maharashtrian culture and the prohibition of people from other communities from taking jobs in Maharashtra that he believed belonged to the regional people.

Following his father’s death in 2012, his son Uddhav Thackeray assumed leadership of the Shiv Sena, carrying on his father’s legacy. Shiv Sena evolved from a religious-based political party to a mainstream political party under Uddhav Thackeray’s leadership. Comparisons between the two leaders, while inevitable and unavoidable, are redundant and unnecessary given how the party has evolved over time. Though it was initially thought that the party would not have the same status and influence as it did under Bal Thackeray, Uddhav proved the doubters wrong by keeping the party flag steady.

Lalu Yadav- Sons Tejashwi and Tej Prakash

Lalu Prasad Yadav, the supremo of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, has been embroiled in controversies and legal battles. Lalu Yadav served as Bihar’s Chief Minister twice and as Railways Minister for five years. He was charged with multiple scams and incarcerated for the fourth fodder scam case.

Tejashwi and Tej Pratap Yadav, his sons, seem to have inherited their father’s political genes. Tejashwi Yadav is the current leader of the opposition in the Bihar Legislative Assembly and was previously the Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar in the Nitish Kumar government. Tej Pratap Yadav, on the other hand, was Bihar’s former Health Minister. According to the sons’ and father’s statements about each other, theirs appears to be a tightly knit political family, with the sons understanding the political landscape and the complexities of politics through their father’s experiences.

Mulayam Singh Yadav, Akhilesh Yadav

Mulayam Singh Yadav and Akhilesh Yadav are another powerful father-son duo with a stronghold in Uttar Pradesh. Mulayam Singh founded the Samajwadi Party and served three non-consecutive terms as Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. He was also India’s Minister of Defense and is currently a Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha.

Mulayam’s son, Akhilesh Yadav, deftly followed in his father’s footsteps, quickly rising to the position of President of the Samajwadi Party (though incumbent). He was elected Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh in 2012 and served his full five-year term. The father-son relationship, on the other hand, has not been without drama. Their relationship soured in 2016 when Mulayam Yadav expelled his son from the party, only to reverse his decision later. This prompted Akhilesh to succeed his father as party president.

Jawaharlal Nehru-Indira Gandhi

Jawaharlal Nehru was a key figure in India’s struggle for independence from the British and later became the country’s first Prime Minister. Jawaharlal Nehru bore enormous and numerous responsibilities as the first Prime Minister of independent India.

He was also India’s longest-serving Prime Minister. Indira Gandhi is another well-known national figure in the world of politics. She followed in her father’s footsteps and became the third Prime Minister of independent India.

Rajiv Gandhi- Priyanka Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi

After his mother was assassinated in 1984, Rajiv, the elder son, took over the presidency. From 1984 to 1989, he was India’s sixth Prime Minister. At the age of 40, he was also the youngest person to hold the position of Prime Minister. He served as Congress President until the 1991 elections. He was assassinated by a suicide bomber the same year, while campaigning for elections. Sonia, his widow, was then elected President of the Congress. Rahul and Priyanka Gandhi are Rajiv Gandhi’s children.

Rahul Gandhi, the son of Rajiv and Sonia Gandhi, has previously served as the Congress Party President. His political career began in 2004 when he ran for Lok Sabha from his father’s constituency of Amethi.

Ram Vilas Paswan-Chirag Paswan

Chirag Paswan, stalwart Dalit leader Ram Vilas Paswan’s son, made his Bollywood debut in 2011 with the film ‘Miley Naa Miley Hum.’ After the film’s box office failure, the 35-year-old turned to politics. He first ran for Lok Sabha in 2014 on a Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) ticket. He won the elections in Bihar’s Jamui constituency and was elected to the 16th Lok Sabha. Their party faced political turmoil amid the Bihar elections held earlier, after Ram Vilas’ death.

The Scindias

Jyotiraditya Scindia, Madhavrao Jivajirao Scindia’s son, is a descendant of the Scindia dynasty that once ruled Gwalior.

Scindia’s political career began in 2001, when his father, the then-MP, died in a plane crash. In 2002, he ran for office and defeated BJP candidate Desh Raj Singh Yadav. In 2004, and 2009, he was re-elected to the seat. He was then appointed Secretary of State for Commerce and Industry. He was appointed Minister of State for Power in 2012.
Scindia made a foray into the BJP from Congress in 2021, and is now serving as the Union Minister for Civil Aviation.

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