October 13, 2010

honorable public represenatives or rascals?

The scene we saw in Karnataka assembly three days back and what we might see today are but two examples of what we can expect from our representatives in Union and State legislatures.

The rowdy behavior is perhaps one of their most pardonable acts of misconduct if you realise that the root cause of this all is inherent criminality and lust for money and power. Becoming MP and MLA gives them a good degree of protection against legal or administrative action, and becoming minister or chairman of a state corporation gives them the right to mint money by whatever way and give immunity against any action against them. See what is happening to Raja even after CAG has directly implicated him, with incontrovertible evidence, in 2G spectrum allocation? Whatever has happened to Lalu, Rabri, Mayawati and other bigwig politicians despite clear-cut cases of financial irregularities?

An analysis of the candidates for the first phase of elections in Bihar, to be held a week from now, shows that over one-third of them have one or more criminal cases pending against them. One-fifth of those accused are supposed to have committed heinous crimes. This, based on their own affidavits, and does not include (i) cases that were not registered because of fear and their connections with politicians and police, (ii) cases not reported by them, (iii) their indirect involvement in threats, extortion etc and running rackets and mafias for which no cases will be registered as they become norm rather than exception, and (iv) non-criminal law suits.

Coming back to Karnataka, the battle is for getting power – if not allowed by own party, then by joining forces with others. And power, not for doing public good that the present government is failing to do, but to make enormous money – mostly by illegal means. The illegitimate interest is much higher than the political ambitions that could be called legitimate in a democracy. When such are the considerations for joining politics and when such delinquents become our representatives in seats of law-making, power and governance, Karnataka like power-politics will be played again and again, and with severe fallout for democracy.

For now, the Centre has done to ignore Governor's call for President's Rule in the state.

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