In an interview with a TOI reporter, Rashid Ansari, Salems lawyer ,unknowingly provided a shockingly honest analysis of the political scenario, on a question as to what were the possibilities of Salem winning the elections, if he chose to enter the fray. An indication of the abyssmal state of Indian polity, a first hand picture which is reponsible for the gumption of criminal partcipation in governance.
A: Tell me, out of the politicians you see in UP or the other states, how many of them do not have criminal cases registered against them? You have examples of Raja Bhaiya (a minister), Mulayam Singh (Chief M inister), Mayawati (former Chief Minister) and Mukhtar Ansari (MLA) who is touted as a don. All these people have cases registered against them, and yet, they are out in the open and contesting elections. In Bihar you have the likes of Shahabuddin and Lalu Yadav’s brother-in-law, Sadhu Yadav.
Today, the electorate is fed-up with politicians who make false promises and do nothing for them. People have realised that politics is no longer a decent man’s cup of tea. The constituents of Mubarakpur believe that it’s some one like Salem who can survive in this and because of his popularity, he will be able to help and uplift them. You must visit the area to gauge the public mood.
Any wonder then that a Gandhi cap might soon adorn the don !!
Dreaded gangster Abu Salem presently lodged in Arthur Road jail in Mumbai,is in search of ‘respectability’ by fighting elections in U.P. Whether donning the mantle of a politician alludes to that, is highly debatable. What perhaps nudged the decision was the similarity of milieu and mindset between his ‘yesterday’ and ‘tomorrow’. He was a criminal ‘on the run’ to now officially turn into a criminal in the ‘chair’.
Till a few years back, Salem spelt doom for the film industry. He was known to be a cold blooded gangster whose orders for ‘elimination’ of those who crossed his path,were delivered frequently. Arrested in Portugal, bringing him to India was no mean task for the police, since the extradition treaty norms created a hurdle. With the present turn of events, it would seem pertinent to add that his detention in no manner contributed to smooth functioning of judicial procedures, instead has ironically provided him scope for personal progress.
The question that comes uppermost at this news of ‘travesty of justice’, is information on those willing to back his ridiculous ambitions. BSP or Bharatiya Samaj Party is the organisation ‘willing to give him a chance’. To quote the National President Om Prakash Babbar “We are trying to get the “BEST” candidates to fight the elections”. Scary.
Any wonder then that voter turn out for major elections in India never exceed 45% of the electoral roll. On the one hand there is the gnawing thought of ‘getting the governments we deserve’ by not ensuring that only the ‘best’ come to power. On the other hand, when the ‘best’ sometimes is a criminal with various instances of extortions and murders to his discredit, the apathy is understandable.
Ashok Sarogi, counsel of Abu Salem claims that all expenses of Salem’s election campaign would be taken care of by BSP, as reported by Mid-day. Legally, an under trial is permitted to fight elections, until convicted. So what happens, in the event of a conviction after having won the elections? Simple. Manipulations of records for a politician is hardly an issue losing sleep over. What were our ‘Founding Fathers’ thinking when passing such horrendously antiquated, unjustifiable laws? Lacunae, beg to be exploited.
Consider this.Although India occupies only 2.4% of the world’s land area, it supports over 15% of the world’s population. However for offices in governance , our options include criminals. Is this a reflection of our stupidity, paucity of eminent citizens willing to join politics, or simply a resigned fatalistic mentality towards polity or rather lack of it?
Ironically, Abu salem may be disallowed from ‘voting’, states the jail superintendent, since undertrials and prisoners could not as per law..Are we supposed to, at this, raise our hands in thankfulness to God Almighty?
It is exasperating to witness Governmental concerns over trivial non-issues of censorship of movies on Television, rather than endeavouring to plug loopholes in the Constitution which allows for gangsters attaining positions of pwer, through legitimately fighting elections. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely averred Lord Acton almost a century ago. What is the fate of a nation where those already heady with Power, gained nefariously, are further posited to enhance it, this time legally, in an effort to undermine justice, manipulate offices to perpetuate a reign of terror, misunderstood as extinct after French Revolution?
It is appalling that we live in times such as these where we are but mute spectators to the audacities of criminals and criminal intent. There should be a hue and cry by the media and all right minded citizens in opposing an occurrence of further ‘criminlisation of politics’. We ought to speak up, voice our disgust, express our anger. Democracy and democratic principles have to be upheld and refurbished,tested and utilised. Alternatively, why impotently complain, unendingly crib, meaninglesssly rant as to where we are headed as a nation?
“Democracy forever teases us with the contrast between its ideals and its realities, between its heroic possibilities and its sorry achievements.”