a Here in the badlands of Uttar Pradesh State, India's Wild West, Dharam Pal Yadav is regarded as one of the baddest of the bad: a 45-year-old gangster with at least 25 outstanding criminal charges, including at least 6 for murder.
Mr. Yadav is campaigning for re-election to Parliament and has become something of a totem in the Indian general election that ends next week. In the land of Mohandas K. Gandhi, the apostle of nonviolence, the election issue that has attracted more attention than almost any other is not poverty, illiteracy or even endemic disease.
The dominant issue is the crim inalization of politics, symbolized by Mr. Yadav.
Although no reliable figures exist for this campaign, the extent of the problem emerged in the 1996 vote, when one study counted more than 1,500 of the 13,886 candidates with criminal records, including murder, kidnapping, rape and extortion.
Reasons Of This Criminalization:-
(1) Vote Bank:-
The political parties and independent candidates have astronomical expenditure for vote buying and other illegitimate purposes through these criminals or so called goondas. A politician’s link with them constituency provides a congenial climate to political crime. Those who do not know why they ought to vote comprise the majority of voters of this country. Therefore majority of the voters are manoeuvrable, purchasable. Most of them are individually timid and collectively coward. To gain their support is easier for the unscrupulous than the conscientious.
We have long witnessed criminals being wooed by political parties and given cabinet posts because their muscle and money power fetches crucial votes. Elections are won and lost on swings of just 1% of the vote, so parties cynically woo every possible vote bank, including those headed by accused robbers and murderers. Legal delays ensure that the accused will die of old age before being convicted, so parties virtuously insist that these chaps must be regarded as innocent till...