Criminalization of politics i India is very serious issue and is debated very often in India, but very little has been done in this direction. Candidates with serious criminal charges contest elections and even win it and become law makers. For some people it might sound impossible scenario or something happening in some third world or totally undeveloped country with very unstable political environment, no…you are completely wrong if you are thinking this. I am talking about worlds largest democracy India, you don’t believe me? Please check the published data yourself then. Please check candidates with serious criminal charges contesting on tickets from major national parties. If anyone argues that sometimes numbers don’t tell the real story, I totally agree with them. We should not just go only by numbers sometimes data can be deceptive, that’s why we need to carefully analyze it, study it and then come to conclusion, form our opinion. Fortunately election commission (EC) of India comes to our rescue in this case. Most of candidates need to submit an affidavit while filing their nomination which contains details about their financial assets and criminal cases. This is the data we need to carefully look into and decide who is facing what type of criminal charges. This is the real piece of document which can help voters to decide whether criminal cases pending or filed against candidate contesting in their constituency are serious or not. I also agree that after being in Indian politics or in any agitation movement it’s not easy to get slapped with some type of criminal case but the nature of criminal case is what it matters not just the case itself. As a voter it is our duty to study background of candidate afterall they are applying for a job to represent us and we need to analyze their application carefully.
Most parties talk about decriminalization of politics, they all say that they are not the one who started it. They all say that they are not the one who are making political environment dirty, it’s always other parties who are doing the wrong stuff and because of others they are forced to give tickets to such people as they also have to win the seats to get that numbers. I wonder who are these “others” who are doing these things and our poor national parties are forced to follow? They all shamelessly give tickets to tainted people. People with serious criminal charges against their name are openly welcomed in these parties. By serious charges I mean charges like rape, murder, corruption, forgery, kidnapping, etc. Some candidates have multiple charges of these crimes and their affidavit looks like CV of some seasoned criminal. After giving tickets to such people these parties even try to justify their action by using whatever excuse they can find. They offer some lame excuses like those are only allegations which are not yet proven, these people are not convicted by any court, they are out on bail so should not be considered guilty, lower court or some committee acquitted them, etc. etc.
Why these political parties do such things that too so openly and shamelessly? Why they are not scared that voters can punish them for such actions? If every party is interested in cleaning the system then why these people with serious criminal background keep on getting tickets from these parties? There are many questions like these, mainly this is happening because people (voters) still vote for these candidates. Even after knowing criminal history of these candidates people vote for them, they fall for false propaganda of these parties. These parties make use of casteism, religion, money, muscle power or whatever other way they can to win votes of people. As long as people fall prey to these tricks, as long they keep on voting for such candidates these parties no matter what they say they will keep on offering tickets to such objectionable candidates. It is very clear that they are not going to stop on their own.
As a voter we need to educate ourselves about the candidate who is contesting from our constituency. We need to know his/her background, qualifications and other related things. We need to ask them questions from whatever forum we get chance to interact with them. We should treat them like we treat any candidate who is asking for a job in our company to work for us. Based on all this information we should take our decision. Democracy is not useful without informed consent of people involved in it. We need to bring culture of open debates and discussion in our election process. Information brings knowledge, and knowledge brings power, voters need to empower themselves using all the information which is available to them. Once voters become empowered and realize value and importance of their vote I don’t think they would like to waste their vote on some criminal or non qualified person who is not going to do any good for their region. We all need to be concerned about criminalization of politics, we cannot ignore it any more, rather we cannot afford to ignore it. Based on data available around 1/3rd MPs in current parliament have criminal record, if this is not alarming then I wonder what else is?These traditional political parties are not going to clean up the system on their own, we citizens of India have to do this. It is our responsibility to give our vote to right candidate who respect and follow law. I request all the voters to use all the information available to make informed choice. If we don’t act now then these political parties will continue with their belief that these people don’t care about criminalization of politics so what should they change. They will continue with their current strategy. If we want to act we need to act now before its too late. After all vote is ours and choice is also ours.
Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.