Criminals are a big threat to democracy

Apropos of H.K. Dua’s article Enter, Hon. Member Arun Gawli: Supping with criminals is risky (Oct 29), democracy in India is losing its shine and meaning when criminals are getting elected to Parliament and the State Assemblies despite sustained efforts to keep them at bay.

In this country, the parliamentary system of government seems to be suitable for the survival of criminals, thugs and history-sheeters. Once they are voted to power with comfortable margins, all their sins of omission and commission are washed away. This is how law-breakers become lawmakers. Mr Dua has rightly pointed out: “In the process, they are increasingly acquiring not only legitimacy in public eye, but in effect considerable immunity from punishment for the crimes they are inclined to commit”.

It is time all right-thinking politicians and senior citizens got united. They should start a forum and launch a vigorous campaign against criminalisation of politics.





The Election Commission has been repeatedly stressing the need for suitable legislation to keep criminals off elections. But the political parties are dilly dallying. The result: even after 57 years of Independence, we could not check criminalisation of politics.

In this regard, the voters are equally responsible. They need to be educated on the perils of electing criminals to representative institutions. In a democracy, the electors must be educated. Otherwise, this system will not survive. The media - electronic and print - and NGOs should come forward to make people aware of this malady.

Palbhu (Hamirpur)


Today, the politician-criminal nexus has become far too strong and mutually advantageous to be easily broken. Even the few honest people left in the parties are helpless against these links. It would, therefore, be futile to wait for the political parties to initiate any salutary changes in this regard like, say, refusing to nominate candidates with a criminal background.

The only way out, therefore, is to amend the Representation of People Act, although there may still be snags in this respect. For example, the black-listing of only those who have been convicted may not stop all the “history-sheeters” since few of the so-called dons are ever convicted and sent to prison. It is only the small fry who suffer the fate.

It may be worthwhile to spread the net wider by taking the number of criminal offences pending against a person into consideration. That may help cleanse the system to some extent. Anyhow, criminalisation of politics is indeed an evil against which a united fight on all fronts is urgently needed if democracy is to survive in this country.

K.M. VASHISHT, New Delhi


Since MPs, MLAs and MLCs are themselves involved in the racket of getting criminals elected to august houses to strengthen their base, there is very little hope that these houses would put an end to this malady. Parliament should pass a law to the effect that those individuals against whom the courts are prime facie satisfied about their involvement in serious crimes, should neither be allowed to seek elections for Parliament or state legislatures. Criminals should neither be given party tickets nor should they be allowed to fight elections as independents as their endeavour would always be for helping the criminals to stand against the social order.

Major SARDAR SINGH (retd), Jalandhar City


The mafia dons have taken over the centerstage in our polity wherein an honest person, howsoever intelligent and capable, has no chance to stand for an election. In Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and elsewhere, some voters are threatened by goons to vote according to their dictates. Though the political parties were reluctant initially to implement the guidelines of the Election Commission on the supply of information about criminal antecedents of the candidates while filing their nomination papers, yielded after the Supreme Court intervened.

The common man is confused and helpless. The only ray of hope is that the Supreme Court takes notice of the present conditions and issues guidelines to the political parties for compliance.

Major NARINDER SINGH JALLO (retd), Mohali

A thrilling experience

A visit to Kasauli is indeed a thrilling experience. Distinguished writer Khushwant Singh’s villa in the hillside, with the sloppy roof chimney embracing the clouds, is really magnificent. In the close vicinity is the Kasauli Club. Its board warning trespassers of exorbitant penalty reminds one of the law of torts.

At the other end of the hill is the Holiday Club from where one can have a bird’s eye view of Chandigarh in the plains. One can also see from this point the sky-touching chimneys of Ropar’s Guru Gobind Singh Thermal Power Plant. The scene from the Monkey Point is another pleasant adventure. The panoramic view of Dagshai School and the bewitching Sanawar Lawrence School is an added attraction.

All roads in Kasauli are clean with self-addressing pyramid refuse pockets. The township is maintained well by the Cantonment Board authorities. The people of Kasauli possess a very high civic sense. Keep it up, the Kasauli spirit.



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