Only people with net-worth of >Rs 100 Cr should be allowed to become politicians or bureaucrats in India

There are a few discussions going on in the social media space on encouraging a minimum educational qualification for becoming an Indian politician or civil services bureaucrat. The proponents of this proposal feel that educated people will be more honest and will care more about the country. This is a seemingly logical hypothesis. But then, if you look at the CVs of our current union cabinet ministers or that of any of the past few governments (UPA/NDA), there are many of these ministers with superb education and IQ, but who still have been unable to stem the rot of corruption (I shudder to think of the possibility that some of them might be participating in that as well).

The other proposal (inter alia by Goa CM, young Mr Parrikar) is to make politicians retire from govt posts at 65 years of age. Whether there is any vested interest in his proposal, considering his hero is 62 years himself is a subject of debate. But ostensibly, Mr Parrikar would be thinking that younger people have more fire in them to care for the country and are not too jaded not to pick up fights for the noble causes. A decent enough thought.

Possibly in addition to all of the above, I would like to propose a slightly different dimension of qualification for politicians (especially Minsters) and bureaucrats (especially IAS, IRS type officers) – people who are directly responsible for running the nation. And that dimension is Personal / Family Wealth. I think that only people from really wealthy families should be allowed to hold these posts. The premise for this recommendation is that hopefully with so much wealth in the family and having grown in such an environment, these people are the least motivated to worry about making money for themselves at the cost of the nation’s progress. They will be most dedicated to the cause of nation-building, having already crossed the basic steps of personal wealth-building.

Given our history, anyone else will be tempted or coerced (as some people tell) to start making money for themselves in such posts, and once started in that direction, it’s a slippery slope. You cannot become honest after taking a few steps there. Vested interests, colleagues, superiors will force you to tag along…And the nation will suffer. But if all the people in such posts are already so rich, then no one should indulge in corrupt activities and should not allow others below in the rank and file to do this.

Sounds like the system of kings and princes of old times, correct ? This could be possibly one of the positive aspects of dynastic politics. Third-generation politicians, whose earlier generations might have made enough money for these younger people not to worry about such things and to focus on nation-building.

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