CRIMINALISATION OF POLITICS
Criminalisation of politics is one of the serious problems affecting the democracy of our country. A large number of criminals are entering the Parliament and Legislative Assemblies. How can a ‘law breaker’ become ‘law maker’?
India practices Parliamentary system of government with a territorial representation. There are various constituencies and whoever gets the highest votes in that particular constituency wins the seat and becomes MP or MLA. So the goal is just to get maximum number of votes by any means. As a result all sorts of means, some fair and some unfair, are employed to secure the votes. Money and muscle power plays important role here to get to one’s side. That is why violence has been increasing during polls in recent years. The violence is not only limited during polls or before polling but can be witnessed within the houses of state assemblies in recent years.
The reasons for increasing criminalisation of politics can be explored at various levels. The most important is the degeneration of values on the part of politicians. The only motive left is to serve themselves. Caste and religious loyalties are emphasized and populist measures are announced. The influence of money and muscle play an important role. So booth capturing, bogus voting and ballot boxes replacements have become normal features.
Criminalisation of politics has other recent dimensions. Previously, due to nexus between criminals and politicians, politicians were using criminals for malpractices of money and muscle power. But now these criminals are themselves contesting the elections and winning the seats using all sorts of unfair means. Even the Vohra Committee report on ‘criminalisation of politics’ came out with the existence of politicians and criminals nexus. But nothing has happened to expose the nexus and on taking actions against them. Every political party gives tickets to criminals and that is why we have reached such a political mess.
The administration whose duty is to execute the laws and prevent the malpractices becomes a party to the whole nexus. So the nexus between politicians, criminals and administration has to be broken at all levels in order to ensure smooth and effective functioning of our democracy.
Criminalisation of politics has serious repercussion on our society and polity. The people are left with no choice but to choose between worse candidates.As a result the whole social atmosphere is vitiated. Our educational patterns are not able to instill correct moral values which lead to drop out becoming criminals and entering legislatures.
The quality of debates in the Parliament and Legislative Assemblies has suffered badly. Most of the time the houses are adjourned on trifles and personal matters. What can criminals discuss? They do not have moral right to legislate and make laws when they have already violated laws. Sometimes the ability to debate on various issues has been questioned due to specializations on matters of governance. Governance is becoming technical and specialized day by day.
Criminalisation of politics need to be checked on all fronts. Political parties need to take the initiative by not giving tickets to tainted persons, only law to debar the criminals from contesting the elections will not help. The people should not encourage the criminals by making them win. The awareness should increase by imparting proper education with moral education right from the home to the school and college levels. Otherwise the nation will be wasting resources and time for nothing to be achieved. If it is not checked right now, the Parliament and Assemblies will not be right place to sit and legislate and govern the nation for the betterment of people.