Criminals must be kept out of Parliament

HK. Dua’s front-page editorial, “Parliament: Haven for criminals” (Feb 3), is bold and meaningful. It is shameful for a country of over a billion that there are 40 MPs in the present Lok Sabha who have criminal records. They say, they are there because people have elected them democratically, but we say they have been elected by the people out of “fear”.

These moneyed musclemen ensure victory in many constituencies. And so, the party leadership unashamedly allots them tickets. After becoming MPs they become busy in their own world and are least concerned with the Gandhian philosophy or the constitutional spirit to promote democracy, secularism and social justice.

Yes, Parliament must not become a haven for these rogue-politicians. Right thinking persons in all political parties, the media, the intelligentsia and the public at large must come forward forcefully to keep these criminals out of Parliament which is supposed to be a sacred and pious institution and meant to provide a democratic and fearless environment to the people. On its part, The Tribune should carry forward its struggle to evolve such an India.




The writer has aptly deplored criminalisation of Parliament and state legislatures and advocated the passage of a Bill by the present Lok Sabha, before its life comes to an end next year, to ensure that criminals do not even enter Parliament’s portals.

But I don’t share his despair when he says that the honest in political parties “will fail” in their pursuit. They will continue to fail in their endeavour for good, only if you and me – the media and the masses — let it fail.

No political party should be allowed to field corrupt and criminal elements in the elections. Nor should they be permitted to promise freebies like loan waiver, free power, minority appeasement, social division on caste, region and religion basis and possession of a magic wand to overcome all limitations and ills. They must know the reality.

The gullible among the IAS and IPS officers, army generals and so on should shun dreams of getting plum post-retirement positions in return for their loyalty to political masters. They must call a spade a spade and fight any onslaught during their service tenure.



Mr Dua has summed up beautifully the prevailing political ethics by making a telling observation: “The handful of ashes was all that was there of Mahatma Gandhi surviving sixty years after his assassination”. We Indians believe in hero-worship but are reluctant to follow the ideology of the hero we worship. By putting up statues on road-crossings and naming the institutions after national leaders, we think, we have done our duty to the revered.

The political parties’ sole aim is to grab power which is a game of numbers. Criminals help parties to browbeat the really deserving candidates and in the bargain, get themselves elected to the august body which was once adorned by such personalities as Acharya Kirpalani, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, Dr Ram Manohar Lohia and Shyam Prashad Mukherjee.

There is dearth of leaders and proliferation of politicians who never follow what they say. Many issues of national importance are pending because the present politicians’ future will get compromised if such issues are resolved or attended to.



The front-page editorial is a perfect analysis of our democracy today. Politicians at the Centre and in the states have only three agendas: how to win elections, how to form government and if in the opposition, how to topple the government. The English proverb “Politics is the last refuse of a scoundrel” fits well in this scenario.

Aristotle, the great Greek philosopher, rightly observed that “Democracy is the government of fools where ten asses are better than nine horses” because they have one more vote in their favour.

Sadly, our bureaucracy, consisting of the country’s best brains, kow-tows the politicians to fulfill their vested interests. Every change of government follows mass transfers of IAS, IPS and state civil service officers so that pliable people of the new government are posted to plum posts and help politicians. How can we achieve good governance if this is the case?

JASPAL RAI, Panchkula


Mr Dua’s piece explains the gloomy political scenario in India. You can judge the horrible situation well when you know that the Phulpur Lok Sabha seat, which was represented by Jawaharlal Nehru, is now represented by Atiq Ahmed, a murderer with 46 criminal cases pending against him. What a downfall!

No party has a clean slate. All parties open their doors for powerful candidates (who are usually criminals, scamsters, history sheeters, rapists with underworld links). Winning is more important than the character. Our present democratic set-up, shorn of moral values, will meet its waterloo if we don’t take necessary course corrections.

Mahama Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Subhash Bose and the likes are so irrelevant in the present scheme of things. There is no silver lining in the dark clouds until our political leaders break the nexus between crime and politics. The media and the people are capable of stemming the rot to usher in a new dawn.



Stop gender bias on roads 

Traffic on the highways has become unmanageable. Thousands are losing their lives. The lawlessness on Punjab’s roads, particularly in Amritsar, is increasing day by day.

Motorists, whether driving four- wheelers or two-wheelers, hardly follow the traffic rules. The police penalise only for non-use of helmets, but exempt those guilty of overspeeding, jumping the red light, overtaking from the left side, etc. Even here, one hardly comes across any woman driver or rider being stopped, though a cursory look will confirm that the fair sex violates the rules of road more than men.

Gender bias on roads must stop and penalties imposed on all the traffic violators. Only then we can send the right massage to all sections of road users.




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