Political disinvestment is a political process that happens in countries with practising democratic features. India is the world’s largest democratic country. As per the latest publication of the Election Commission of India, the total number of political parties registered in India are 2,599, with eight national parties, 53 state parties and 2,538 unrecognised parties.
Two questions arise from such a huge number: first, who runs them, and second, why are so many political parties required? Political parties have their own financial requirements, which are met by crowdfunding and systematic collections. Moreover, in a democratic setup, every individual has the right to independently discharge their political right, and sometimes, it reflects the demographic diversity of the country.
Some bigger political parties often fund regional parties for their own political purposes. Such financial support is often considered a part of political disinvestment – when bigger political parties fund or extend their support to sustain their political motives either in smaller or longer run. Such an idea leads to the independence of a political establishment.
For example, Hindustan Unilever Ltd or Proctor & Gamble produced several products with different names, although the parent company is the same. People are least bothered to know about the company. Rather, they focus on the product and its name to some extent.
Similarly, those who run a political party are nevertheless discussed in the public domain. The future of democratic values is under serious threat from those political parties that believe in money politics and are instrumental in the idea of political disinvestment. For example, Prashant Kishor is founder of I-PAC and political strategist who was made the Vice President of the JD (U) as soon as he joined the party.
The game was further extended and the same age-old formula was applied, created and managed amongst a few regional parties with a similar political approach.
There are two types of regional political parties in India – one is established and run as Family Ltd. political party viz. RJD, SP, Shiv Sena, etc, and the second type is a political party that is run by a leader, but that doesn’t have an immediate successor.
Such political parties would have a political crisis, but will remain in existence and work for a bigger political party. For example, AAP, JD (U), BJD, AIADMK, etc.
These parties would soon have to succumb to a bigger party for fund management, along with the maintenance of political hierarchy. The appointment of Kishor in the JD (U) was materialised on the request of the leadership of the BJP.
Political disinvestment is not new in its function, but unlike different market products produced by a company, it is liable to rise and fall. Similarly, the fall and rise of such political parties are too liable for the bigger political parties.