Sons-in-law are 'in' these days in the circles of power.
United States President-elect Donald J Trump has just appointed his son-in-law Jared Kushner as his senior advisor.
Kushner, a billionaire real estate developer and publisher of the enjoyable New York Observer weekly, is married to Ivanka, Trump's elder daughter and long believed to be his favourite child.
Kushner, of course, is not the only influential son-in-law floating around in the circles of power in world capitals these days.
Turk strongman Recep Erdogan -- whose career and politics T N Ninan noted on Rediff.com could be a template for Prime Minister Narendra Modi has a son-in-law as his energy minister; only one of Kazakhstan dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev's sons-in-law is still in favour with the longest-serving ruler in Central Asia; and Vladmir Putin's rumoured son-in-law (like everything else about the former spy in the Kremlin, his daughter's wedding is also shrouded in mystery) has done very well for himself since the reported nuptials.
And how can we forget our best-known jamai, Robert Rajendra Vadra, whose business deals clearly bear the stamp of a financial genius ;))?
IMAGE: Donald Trump accompanied by his daughter Ivanka, wife Melania, son-in-law Jared Kushner and son Donald Trump, Jr after the first debate with Hillary Clinton, September 26, 2016, at Hofstra University.
Trump came to value Ivanka and Jared's advice when his campaign was tottering last year.
'Jared is a very successful real estate person,' his father-in-law cooed after winning the Republican party's nomination, 'but I actually think he likes politics more than he likes real estate. And he is very good at politics.'
Trump wants a family member close to his Oval Office. His sons Donald Jr and Eric will run his business empire.
Jared has his trust and will be, no question, the most influential senior advisor in the Trump WH.
Photograph: Joe Raedle/Reuters
IMAGE: Few beyond Vladmir Putin's immediate circle can declare with certainty if Kirill Shamalov is the Russian president's son-in-law.
Shamalov, whose father Nikolai is a member of Putin's St Petersburg clique (many powerful Russian leaders have their origins in the city where Putin was born), is reported to have married Katerina Tikhonova, Vlad's daughter, in 2013.
The wedding was apparently an Open Sesame for Kirill to an Alibaba's cave of riches.
In just three years, Forbes noted, the 34 year old has built a fortune of $1.3 billion. Gulp.
And none of it could have happened had the lawyer not had a powerful patron and possible pa-in-law.:)
PhotographL: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters
IMAGE: Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has ruled Kazakhstan with an iron hand since 1989 and won elections with over 90% of the vote, has no sons, only three daughters, Dariga, Dinara and Aliya
His elder son-in-law Rakhat Aliyev was forced to divorce Dariga -- now her country's deputy prime minister and likely her father's political heir -- had to flee Kazakhstan and mysteriously committed suicide in an Austrian prison.
Timur Kulibayev -- seen here leaving a voting booth in Astana, January 15, 2012 -- Dinara's husband, has had a roller-coaster relationship with Nazarbayev, but managed to elude the troubles that felled Aliyev.
A successful (can you be anything else when your father-in-law is the law?) businessman, Kulibayev now runs Kazakhstan's Olympic Committee.
Guess he is till the Games in Tokyo.
Photograph: Mukhtar Kholdorbekov/Reuters
IMAGE: Last month, Wikileaks released 57,000 emails allegedly from Turkey's Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, revealing how Albayrak was in the know about an ISIS oil smuggling operation to Turkey.
Albayrak, an American-educated manager, ran Çalık Holding, one of Turkey's biggest business empires with revenues of $2.8 billion, till 2013.
In June 2015, he was elected an MP from the ruling AKP party and was appointed energy minister in November that year.
That his father-in-law Recep Erdogan -- Albayarak is married to Esra, Erdogan's youngest child -- is Turkey's president was obviously just a coincidence.
Turkish Opposition politicians have called for Albayarak's prosecution after the Wikileaks expose, but no one is betting on him landing in any trouble given his father-in-law's influence and power.
Erdogan, left, and Albayarak are seen here at a funeral for police officer Hasim Usta who was killed in an Istanbul terror attack, December 12, 2016.
Photograph: Osman Orsa/Reuters
IMAGE: Nelson Mandela -- when Madiba received the Gandhi Peace Prize -- with Priyanka Gandhi and Robert Vadra in New Delhi, March 16, 2001.
Vadra has become a multiple abs man since this photograph was shot 15 years ago.
His bod has beefed up, and so, according to reports, has his income.
Despite the hoo-ha about the manner in which his wealth was allegedly acquired, the Modi government has yet to put him in the dock.