Advertisement
Wednesday, Dec 01, 2021
Outlook.com
OPINION

Democracy For A Dime

In 1970, company donations to political parties was banned, opening the field to power brokers whose strengths lay in their skill in raising funds.

Democracy For A Dime
Democracy For A Dime
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Till 1970, Indian political parties were free to accept donations and indeed obtained most of their funding from Indian firms. These were allowed to claim a tax deduction on their donations and so preferred to give money 'in white'. Till 1962, this sufficed to meet the needs of most—if not all—parties and certainly that of the Congress. The party felt the pinch for the first time in December 1966 before the fourth general election when then treasurer Atulya Ghosh bemoaned the drying up of contributions and resultant shortage of funds.

The Congress won that election by a hair, winning just 282 seats. The Syndicate, as the high command was then called, immediately concluded that this was because it had fallen short of funds. It blamed industry for diverting contributions to the much more business-friendly Swatantra Party and the princes for giving a good part of their contributions to the Jana Sangh (now bjp).

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

UN Seeks Release Of Kashmiri Activist Khurram Parvez, Amendment In UAPA

UN Seeks Release Of Kashmiri Activist Khurram Parvez, Amendment In UAPA

The UN has sought probe into civilian killings in Jammu and Kashmir’s Hyderpora and called on the security forces and armed groups to exercise restraint.

Omicron Cases Spike: 21 Countries That Recorded New Covid-19 Variant

Omicron Cases Spike: 21 Countries That Recorded New Covid-19 Variant

South Africa, the first nation where the virus variant was detected, has reported 77 cases of Omicron so far, prompting travel bans across the world.

Man United, IPL Big Boys, Sydney Sixers Enter UAE T20 League

Man United, IPL Big Boys, Sydney Sixers Enter UAE T20 League

Lancer Capital has made its first-ever historic foray into cricket by acquiring a franchise in the UAE T20 league. The ECB has already roped in IPL teams like MI, DC and KRR.

Five Powerful Indian-Americans Rocking Silicon Valley, Parag Agrawal Latest Addition

Five Powerful Indian-Americans Rocking Silicon Valley, Parag Agrawal Latest Addition

As Parag Agrawal becomes the CEO of Twitter, the Indian diaspora's representation in the tech giants of America, especially the companies in Silicon Valley gets a new badge.

Advertisement