There is something about Indian politics that strikes everybody who has a closer look at the biographies of politicians ruling the different states, regions and even of those sitting in parliament. You will find a lot of crimes in their curriculum vitae. According to Indian law, a politician can be elected, even if there are criminal charges pending against him. He can be elected as long as he is not being found guilty. So even if a politician sits in prison, in police custody while he is waiting for trial or his trial is going on, he or she can be elected.
History can tell how many people who had murdered, killed and robbed and who had spent years and years in prison became members of parliament. Big mafia bosses, who are presently in jail, are planning already for the next election and asking parties for a ticket to be a candidate.
Here are some statistics of one of our neighbouring states, Bihar: in the elections 2005, there were 358 candidates who had criminal cases pending against them. They came from all parties. Out of these 358 candidates, 213 had cases like murder, attempt to murder, kidnapping, robbery, extortion or similar pending against them.
The election commission of India were worrying about these serious cases such as murder and rape and asked the government to stop the participation in election of people accused of such crimes. They should be banned from elections completely and not receive a seat for any party. It is obvious why: Indian politics become more and more criminal, the more criminals are sitting in our parliaments and councils. It is not good for democracy, not good for the trust of people in our government and not good for the country. Funnily enough a person sitting in prison does not have the right to vote but he has the right to be elected as long as he was not found guilty. Being elected won’t get him out of prison either but there will be enough people who bring him papers to sign while he is there. The system of law enforcement however, with too many pending cases and only few judges, can lead to such a prolonging of a case that a criminal is not found guilty for many years.
Now imagine, you are going to vote for your state’s or country’s election and you know which party you usually sympathize with. But you see that their candidate is a murderer! Okay, reluctantly you turn to the next party and you see their candidate is a known rapist! Well, all you can do in this situation is to choose the lesser evil and maybe vote for a robber or thief.
What can you expect from such politicians? We have a democracy but the public chooses the criminals and sends them to parliament! Of course the biggest responsibility lies with the parties who make them candidates but the public has to take their responsibility, too. And there, again, lack of education is a big problem. Some people don’t know about the people whom they vote for. Other times, those criminals force whole villages to vote for them or simply fill everybody’s election papers themselves and nobody gets to see one. Is it really such a wonder that corruption is a big problem in our country?
For more information on criminals in politics: http://www.adrindia.org/