It?s all in the family

The Hindu Business Line, March 27, 2014

Bhai-bhatija-vaad (brother-nephew nexus) is a commonly used term in Hindi to denote nepotism.

While the phenomenon is well established in politics, what is interesting is the extent to which it has percolated across communities.

Take Muslim politicians in western Uttar Pradesh.

Kairana constituency?s Samajwadi Party (SP) candidate Naheed Hasan is the son of Munawwar Hasan, who before his death in a road accident in late 2008, was an MP from Muzaffarnagar.

Munawwar?s wife Begum Tabassum, however, won the 2009 elections from Kairana on a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket.

This time, while her son is contesting on an SP ticket, Munawwar?s brother Kanwar Hasan is BSP?s candidate.

Uncle?s nephew

Muzaffarnagar?s sitting BSP MP, who is being fielded again, is Kadir Rana, whose Rana Steels Group is into manufacture of TMT bars, girders and structural rolling products.

His bhatija (brother?s son) is Shahnawaz Rana, who owns the Hindi daily Shah Times and is the SP?s candidate from neighbouring Bijnor. But the Hasan and Rana families aren?t the only ones.

Infamous disqualification

Rasheed Masood is a five-time MP from Saharanpur and India?s first-ever lawmaker to have been disqualified under a Supreme Court order, following his conviction in a medical college admission scam while he was the Union Health Minister in 1990.

Rasheed Masood isn?t in the fray now, but his son (Shazan Masood) and bhatija (Imran Masood) are. Both are fighting from the same Saharanpur constituency ? the former on an SP and the latter on a Congress platform.

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