The State, Networks and Family Raj in Goa

Published date01 December 2018
Date01 December 2018
Subject MatterSpecial Section on Dynasticism in Politics
The State, Networks
and Family Raj in Goa
Parag D. Parobo1
Goa achieved statehood in 1987. While from 1963 to 1989 there were only two legislators with
‘dynastic ties’, since 1990, there have been 23 political families contesting elections, with 10 dynastic
candidates voted to the assembly. How might we understand the rise of ‘family raj’ in Goa’s politics?
What does Goa teach us about the relationship between economy and politics? This article analyses
Goa’s changing political economy and argues that apart from ‘increasing financial returns associated
with state power’, it is the ‘networked’ contexts of these families that catapult them and sustain their
growth. Two important political families and their particular networks are discussed to show how
family raj is weaved in a wider network of power and money.
Goa, statehood, political economy, family raj, networks
The 2012 assembly election is generally considered as marking the beginning of the end of family raj in
Goa. Competing for the 40-seat assembly in that election were 18 candidates from nine political families.
The Congress party alone had fielded 11 candidates from five families and one candidate from the
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), with whom the Congress had a pre-poll alliance. In a keenly watched
election, all four candidates from the Alemao family lost, as did two from Ravi Naik’s family and one
from the Madkaikar family. These results are often regarded as Goa’s rejection of family raj. However,
the problem with this simplistic view of the ‘end of family raj’ is that it fails to acknowledge the changing
nature of family raj. While before the 1990s family raj largely functioned to establish a secure hold over
political parties, after the liberalization of the Indian economy in the 1990s a complex network
has emerged whose economic interests are maintained by having particular families in power. The very
notion of the ‘end’ is also something that is in question. Five years later, in the 2017 election
and by-election, Goa witnessed nine political families fielding 16 candidates. Interestingly, at least
one family member has won from each of the nine political families, irrespective of their party
1 Associate Professor, Department of History, Goa University, Goa, India.
Studies in Indian Politics
6(2) 168–179
© 2018 Lokniti, Centre for the
Study of Developing Societies
SAGE Publications
DOI: 10.1177/2321023018797408
Corresponding author:
Parag D. Parobo, Associate Professor, Department of History, Goa University, Goa, India.

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT