Saturday, May 01, 2004


"Jailbirds belong in jail, not House: HC",screams a newspaper headline.

It refers to a landmark judgement by Patna High Court which orders that criminals behind bars must not contest the elections. It also asks the Election Commission of India to countermand the elections if necessary "wherever such persons have contested seats for the 14th Lok Sabha."

Now, this judgement is going to ruffle many feathers. Every political party worth its salt has criminals in its fold, and most of our netas have criminal nexus. It is almost impossible to win an Indian election these days without muscle power.

Ever since the independence, our netas have relentlessly used the criminals though in a sneaking, almost unobtrusive way, to meet their ends. As only expected, the criminals have emerged as an open and formidable force over the years. No wonder now that mafia dons like Pappu Jadav or Babloo Srivastab or Md. Shahabuddin have long been contesting the elections, some are MPs even, with direct patronage from our leaders and main political parties.

So will the Election Commission heed to the High Court's order? You can never say for sure, because Indian poticians are a very wily and unprincipled breed, and they know how to flout a court order.

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