Thought Box



by HUMRA QURAISHI April 30 2023, 12:00 am Estimated Reading Time: 4 mins, 36 secs

Humra Quraishi gives us the details of how many of the members of parliament in the present have cases against them of dacoity, murder and unforgivable crimes against women.

You go ahead and gun down a gangster and his brother, in Uttar Pradesh, in full public view! Then you pat yourself for the big act of bravado! Really? The guys were already in police custody and at the mercy of the State and its machinery. The gangster’s battery of sons, too, are in custody. His four children (two of them said to be minors) are lodged in prisons.

With this in the backdrop, let us focus our attention on the detailed reports of the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR), which focuses on the rising number of criminals and corrupt politicians getting elected year after year, especially in recent years.

To quote from a news report of 2022, “A total of 363 MPs and MLAs have declared criminal cases against them, an analysis of 2,495 candidate affidavits by ADR, has found. The lawmakers face charges against them by the court for offences falling under Section 8(1), (2) and (3) of the Representation of People Act, 1951. As per the report, these 363 include 296 MLAs and 67 MPs. With 83, BJP tops the list of parties whose members (both MPs and MLAs) have declared criminal charges against them. The Congress stands second on the list with 47, and AITC third with 25 of its lawmakers facing criminal cases.”

The report also revealed that 24 Lok Sabha MPs have a total of 43 criminal cases pending against them for 10 years or more, and 111 sitting MLAs have a total of 315 criminal cases pending against them for 10 years or more.

The report details much more. It says, “Among the elections, the 2019 Lok Sabha polls saw the participation of 67 MPs who had declared criminal charges against them, followed by Bihar assembly elections 2020 where 54 MLAs having declared criminal charges contested. Surprisingly, four Union Ministers and 35 Ministers of State Assemblies have declared criminal charges against them. All four Union Ministers, Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, Satyapal Singh Baghel, Kailash Choudhary and Ashwini Kumar Choubey, are from the BJP and face charges as serious as abduction, dacoity and attempts to cause death or grievous injury. On an average, the criminal cases faced by MPs, against whom charges have been framed, have been pending since 7 years while those faced by MLAs have been pending since 6 years.”

And,  if one were to focus on the  Indian politicians’  criminal behaviour towards women, it is best to read this news report of 2019, focusing on ADR’s findings:

Between 2009 and 2019, there has been an increase of 231% in the number of candidates with declared cases of crime against women contesting Lok Sabha elections. The number elected as MPs has increased 9 times, according to an analysis by the Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and the National Election Watch. For current MPs and MLAs, the ADR analysed 4,822 election affidavits (759 MPs and 4,063 MLAs) out of a total of 4,896 (776 MPs and 4,120 MLAs). It found that 76 MPs/MLAs had declared cases of crime against women. Of these, 18 are MPs and 58 are MLAs. Among candidates in MLA, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha elections in the last five years, 572 were found to have declared such cases; none of them has been convicted. Among them, 410 were given tickets by recognised political parties while the remaining 162 were independent candidates.

Another news report of 2018 carries the following details:

The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) has revealed that out of 1580 MPs, MLAs with declared criminal cases, 48 are facing charges related to crimes against women, including rape charges. As per the ADR report, of the 48, 45 MLAs and three MPs have cases of crimes against women. Among various recognised parties, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has the highest number of MPs, MLAs (12) with cases of crime against women followed by Shiv Sena (7) and All India Trinamool Congress (6). In the last five years, among the major parties, the BJP has given tickets to 47 candidates who are facing cases of crime against women, while 35 and 24 such candidates were given tickets by the BSP and Congress respectively. These candidates had contested for Lok, Rajya Sabha and State Assemblies Elections in the last five years. Among the states, Maharashtra has the highest number of MPs, MLAs that is 12, followed by West Bengal with 11 and Odisha and Andhra Pradesh with five each. In the last five years, Maharashtra has the highest number of candidates, that is 65, followed by Bihar, with 62, and in West Bengal 52 candidates were given tickets by political parties despite facing charges related to crimes against women.’

I will end with  this  verse of  RAYJI de GUIA, from Amity  Peace  Poems - Hawakal  Publishers:

New Creation/Hailed as god, he drops the word: Bodies/fall one  by  one, not  by  the  force  of  gravity/but by the whims  of  a  few; a command as  easy/as pointing at a star in any galaxy//Which is to say there may not be enough/of us for the downpour of meteors and meteorites into our sky//Tell your friends and their friends/tell the children and their  parents/the horrors/but do not stop/when they have  sunk into a void//Pull them up, whisper of love/and  bring them out in the  sun/because when we chant our  hopes/a new universe unfolds from each syllable/and the aftermath will outlive us.

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