A report by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) stated that 35% chief ministers face criminal charges in India. We see alleged criminals everywhere but having them in the decision-making system might not be the greatest idea. Sure, India is the largest democracy in the world, but the path we seem to be taking might be dangerous. We seem to be killing the essence of democracy and heading in the wrong direction.
Do the voters prefer candidates with criminal reputation?
Apparently, they do. Another report said that candidates with criminal records had a 12% higher chance than the ones with 'clean' records. Even the candidates don't shy away from their 'criminal records', instead boast about it. Political parties nominate candidates with criminal backgrounds because they win. Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, himself wonders how can convicted people be head of political parties.
That is what the youth wonders as well. But that is not all...
Yes, a person isn't suitable for a post in government services if they have a criminal record. Commendable, but clearly, the same notion gets drowned when it comes to politics.
In the plethora of powerful slogans, strong leaders and endless promises, the criminal background is somehow overlooked.
This concern is shared by the public as well because someone from Instagram said:
"If anyone has criminal case against him/her then he/she will not be eligible for gov job but to rule or to run Gov there is no such criteria, don't know why" @a_bh_i
Rich or poor?
Well, the majority leans towards the rich. Highest assets worth Rs 177 crores belong to the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Chandrababu Naidu. The poorest CM is Manik Sarkar from Tripura with assets worth Rs 26 lakhs.
The richest is 680 times wealthier than the poorest.
Salaries of CMs are only around 2 lakh per month on an average. Still, a majority of them are crorepatis. The government provides for a lot of things. From giving accommodation to transport, everything is provided so that they can focus on doing their jobs. Maybe that isn't enough, and income from 'other activities' are more important.
Another report by ADR mentioned how 186 out of 541 MPs have a criminal background which includes murder and rape. Such serious criminal charges on those who are the decision makers of the country.
"Exclusion nai exclusive criterion to become a politician in India is to have committed a crime." @raynestor
The Lok Sabha has had its share of drama and confusion. From throwing things to beating people, even pepper spraying in the Parliament. The gravity of these sessions is severely undermined and somehow ends up in wasting a whole lot time of the entire nation. Something is not right; either the politicians or the criterion with which they're selected.
"Yes. There should be a kind of entrance test. And, also the have to be educated, and smart enough to tackle the situation. We don't want any illiterate ruling literates." @_iamruksar
More than 70% wish to have some kind of exclusion criteria for politicians. Around 13% don't think there should be one. Some 14% think even having any criterion wouldn't help. A small 1% does not even care.
Is it because they have lost faith in the system? You can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions, suggestions or feedback!