Sunday, October 22, 2006

Criminalization of Politics in India

The Constitution of India needs to be amended to prevent those with criminal records from being nominated to stand in any elections. It is a shame that we allow individuals like Phoolan Devi who was a notorious dacoit, Lallo Prasad Yadav, who ruled Bihar while in prison, and now Abu Salem, who is in jail accused in the 1993 Bomb Blasts and who had to be extradited from Portugal, to be in political power. How can we expect the country to prosper when we elect criminals to power? The problem is not with the government, the problem is with us who elect such people to decide on our behalf. How many of our politicians are actually qualified to hold the ministries they do? What qualification does Lallo have to be the Railway Minister? What qualification did George Fernandes have to be the Defence Minister? Democracy in India is in ruins. We have a highly qualified scientist as a President, but he has no powers to do anything. We have two extremely intelligent economists as the Prime Minister and Finance Minister, but they can do nothing better than promote regressive socialistic policies and nod their heads to the communists who they have to appease to be in government. I can understand an ideologically polarised country like the US; however, I fail to understand a pathologically callous population like Indians. These are supposed to be some of the brightest minds in the world, but within the country they choose to elect Phoolan Devi and let Abu Salem contest elections.

The Association for Democratic Reforms was started by a few professors at IIM. The one election year that I was there I knew they published the criminal records of all contestants. Here is an interview with Prof.Trilochan Sastry. Here is their webpage. Despite Prof. Sastry's interview statistics, Modi is still Chief Minister of Gujarat. Who in the population reads such reports and acts on it. Even if they want to act on it what options do they have? Do we have better candidates? The whole political lot in India is brimming with criminals and the choices are between those that have a foot long rap sheet and those that have a mile long rap sheet!! Sometimes I wish I could wipe it all clean and start with a fresh slate and do it right!!

1 comment:

v said...

wiping it clean and starting from scratch ... hmmmm ... if the fault is in us/them then why would we think that rejiggering the institutions will have more than a limited effect? and, why would we expect that people who "vote for criminals" would support a constitutional amendment to remove that choice?