March 19, 2009


With general elections round the corner, it is not just the political parties but various organisations that have voluntarily launched themselves into the election campaign. The only difference being that the former is wooing the voters to vote for themselves, and the later is making various attempts to either get voters to the booth or educating them on their franchise rights. And with each passing day, the visibility and the audability of such campaigns are increasingly getting louder. So, on the one hand it is Aamir Khan beaming on the radio – ‘aao hum apne bachchon ke sar pe haath rakh kar kasam khate hain that we will vote. Not for, but against. Against those who are against our nation’. Or on the other hand, some other campaigns are saying something like - ‘the dot on your finger is hot’. No doubt, if one has to judge on the merit of mere campaigns, full marks to their efforts and the very right, motivational and positive intent… but then the truth is that a nation cannot just run on campaigns and jingoism, particularly where criminalisation is so deeply entrenched into the political system.

Exercising adult franchise is just one aspect of the whole process of elections, but what pedigree of candidates are getting elected is not just a passing matter but perhaps an even more pertinent issue. To get a perspective on the extent of criminalisation in Indian politics, one has to understand that almost one fourth of current Parliamentarians have some kind of criminal backgrounds. And we shamefully have the entire mix of criminals present in our Parliament – starting from violent crimes like murder, attempt to murder, robbery, dacoity, kidnapping, theft and extortion, rape and other violent crimes like assault using dangerous weapons or causing grievous hurt, to petty crimes like cheating, fraud, forgery, et al, we have them all. And mind you, this is the list of those who finally make it through to our Parliament. Imagine the character of the list which an average voter has to vote upon, irrespective of any constituency. Not that every Parliamentarian is a criminal but then being in the same political party that houses criminals, does not make them any less criminals. And this is irrespective of whether it is a national or a regional party. Criminalisation in politics is ubiquitous across the nation. So, in the given environment and amidst all such overpowering campaigns, the moot question is never answered – who should the Indian voter vote for? Think for a while – does the Indian voter actually have any option to exercise his/her franchise and yet not vote a criminal to the Parliament? The answer is perhaps a big no! Almost every candidate standing for elections that most of us go to, and vote for, is an anti-national and a criminal. For some statistics, take a look at these crazy figures!!! In the last Lok Sabha, there were 120 MPs with proper charges against them!! BJP had 29, Congress had 24, SP had 11, RJD had 8, CPI(M) had seven, BSP had seven, NCP had five and CPI had two. The number of cases against them were a whopping 333!! SP led the pack with 80 cases against their MPs, followed by BSP with 43, and so on… and that is purely the ones with legal charges against them. Then there are scamsters who haven’t been caught (which includes almost every politician of this country) and the ones who have a very clean front but are actually anti India in their policies of being anti-poor!!

Therefore, one should definitely ask oneself that is the dot on your finger really hot? Or is it a big embarrassment because the dot on your finger might actually tell others that you have also voted for an anti-national criminal in all likelihood… So the question is that in this given environment, how can we make people vote, yet not vote criminals to the Parliament. To cater to this issue, we need to understand that if voting is the right for every citizen of the country, then he should also have the right of not to vote. Every ballot paper should have a provision wherein the voter can exercise his franchise of not to vote for anyone from the list ie an option which says “none of the above”. At least, this would ensure that the franchising is democratically respected, which currently stands blatantly abused. When something like this happens, it is only then that every Indian can go and vote with his head held high and proudly exercise his/her power of franchise. And that’s when the dot really becomes hot! And that’s why we must campaign for the right causes, not just slogans which sound nice...

Till then, unfortunately, even when an Aamir Khan tries his best to make people vote, and yet not for anti-nationals – that probably means that the voter might really go and vote, but on account of a lack of option, and in all probability would vote for one such criminal, anti-national to the Parliament, once again. Probably from Aamir’s own constituency he will fail to find a truly patriotic person to vote for. And that’s the big problem with India. If you don’t vote its not a great thing on pen and paper, but if you vote then in all probability you vote for an illiterate or a criminal. So is not voting an option?? Well, if you go purely by statistics then it is a fact that almost half of the educated developed world doesn’t care to vote. Not because they are non patriotic but because they are educated and realise their votes don’t bring about any change, and that’s why, when suddenly they see hope – as in someone like Barrack Obama – they go all out and vote! Assuming that we don’t have any rigging, one may actually argue that going to vote just for the heck of it is almost a crime, because that means you are making sure that not only a criminal comes to power but he comes to power with a huge confidence and support!!

Real voting, therefore, can happen only when we have the real hope that change is around the corner. Till then, we can only sit confused. Undecided whether to go and vote for criminals, or to sit at home and not vote, despite the media-created populist frenzy that voting is happening because the dot on your finger is hot!!

I strongly appeal to my readers that have the intent to vote for sure, and do try to vote (more especially if there is any chance of your vote being rigged)… but vote for someone who is really not anti-national. And if you think that’s a tough choice, and you are helpless to change the face of the nation, then go ahead and someday sooner than later, be the candidate whom people can look up to and vote for...and if you win, do live up to the promises you made and the expectations you created.. and if you can’t enter politics, at least motivate someone you trust to enter politics. That is probably the only way out and probably that should be the only campaign for this nation!! Let the educated and truly patriotic people enter politics someday soon. Let us truly be the change we want to see!

Blurb 1 : what we need to understand is if the dot on your finger is really hot, or is it just going to elect another criminal to the parliament.

Blurb 2 : let the educated and truly patriotic people enter politics and let us truly be the change that we want to see in this country.



sujata said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sujata said...

I like the idea of " none of the above". I wonder if we can motivate some of the IIM & IIT graduates to contest the election. Then at least we will be able to use our voting right in a true sense.

Technology Journal said...


I think criminals are being accepted by our society.

Or people are so busy hand to mouth, that they hardly have any time to think of national change.

Politics in India and elsewhere is won by Money and Muscle.

Criminals have both and hence they are eligible to rule the nation.

Our Judiciary is responsible for such state of affairs as cases gets dragged for 10's of years and unless convicted, criminals are mere "Abhiyukts".

paul said...

Wonderful Article Sir, I used to think about this often. when not even a single candidate is good enough and worthy to get our votes! Does a voter have any option? Whom to vote for?. Best alternative is to boycott Voting and show all your expectations for a good candidate by electing no one. This will create a political problem and obviously President of India has to come with a solution for this. But who can make this 1 billion+ (still increasing)population understand?. If an IAS Candidate has any criminal records he cannot become an IAS officer. But an MLA above him can be a criminal or illiterate, what kind of a joke is this? Long Live India! Long Live Democracy!

Shivam Mehra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shivam Mehra said...

Aah good article!
Few more things to add upon.
Don't get your vote sold at any point of time.As (because he is campaigning & seems to be brand ambassador of these election) Aamir Khan rightly says the person who is going to buy your vote would be the person who is going to sell you when he/she comes to power.

It seems eligibility to be MP is to be involved in some crime

We have a billion of population,having more than 40% youth,still we are unable to find 500 good person to oil political machinery ! WHY?.

There seems to be fault at youth's part of our country because,apart from illiterates,even if (the so called) literates can utilize their vote effectively
it would easily bring a party in power and a change can arrive.

Political parties too should try to recruit from IITs,IIMs to woo population to change such perspective of general public.

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

Am I a politician ?
If no, then voting should be in the interest of the country not in an individual interest.
The day we realize the power, the day we are the SUPERPOWER.

Sara said...


vroom said...

Nice Thought Sir...
But I think ....By this way its become very Herculean Task to guide each and every youth of india Where Politics becomes a Prank. We are here talking about Of Throwing The Rotten Fruits Out of the Basket and only selecting the good ones.Can this System will assure Us that In future the Selected Fruits will not get rotten, they will Not become criminals and Thet will only think for country when power come in their hands. I still have many doubts. But still I think where there is a Hope there is way.
Sir i think instead of Throwing these Criminals out of the Parliament, We should have to change Our Electorate system , we have to deploy new policies or memorandum which Insures-:
(a)- Every politicians should be properly educated There should be some Bench mark In educational qualification which every politicians Must Posses.
(b)-:politician Having a criminal Record or having any case pending should not be Given any ticket by any Party for contesting the elections, if this happen there should be proper Ban to those political parties also.
(c)-: There should be some predefind age also for the Retirement of the Politicians,so that New Person will get chance.
(d)-: There should be Mixing of Both the Experienced and young youths in the Political parties,
(e)-:Before contesting the elections there should be proper interviews or some sort of tests should be taken by Our election Board, so That The Coming MP or MLA should be well known about the Facts that what he has to done if he/she gets selected.....
and many many moree sir......
these r the only examples.....

ttpian said...

Mr.Arintham chaudhri,i am so close to u now and i would like to draw ur attention that ur article related to suffering srilankan tamil was flashed in tamilnet
atleast people like u realise the fact and I am very much worried why north indian media painting terrorism mark on tigers?we fought against British and we were branded as traitors,terrorists by the British then:now we have taken a new avadar:FREEDOM FIGHTERS:similar way tigers are fighting to get freedom for their Homeland!
why indian media does understand this?is it due to RAW feelings?
In south,media blamed tigers for assasinating Rajiv:O.K,can any one produce data whether tigers has killed anyone in any Arab nation or Chrisitian nations?
It is a known fact that the entire Arab+Christians nations are againt Tigers who are Hindus,by birth&Growth:why (Hindua) political parties does not carry this?
Only a great writer like u can throw LIGHT on this and I am sure ur article will be read by the entire tamil community around the world!
wishes to ur team!

Satya said...

Well, guys its happening. Here's news that IIMs are now joining politics -->

Avishek said...

Well, am not sure whether this will bring in any change.. but we can visit this link and try and make a change happen:
If this idea is implemented, probably none of the electorals will be able to win!!

V.Muthuswami said...

Currently on visit to USA, it is interesting to do a comparative analysis of the "democratic governance" in both USA & India, separated by thousands of miles. Here is a sample:

1. Here the president is on line everyday to inform and listen from people who elected him to the high office. He openly says "I am your employee" and "judge me by what I say and do", not color of skin.

2. To my recollection, I have not seen any Indian elected rep or leader ever even "feeling honestly" that he/she is there in LS or State Assembly to "serve the people" NOT his/her clan, tribe or family.

3. Here, the president emphasises the need of a budget for foundational developments in schools, education, health care, scientific research, infrastructure, WHILE addressing the immediate problems of globalised economic crisis. He tries hard making even common man understand his budget goals and listen to different views, ideas,..

4. Lesser said better about any worthwhile discussions on the Indian budget taking place in the LS; in fact most of our bills/acts are voted by fewer and fewer members happened to remain in the Parliament or Assembly because nothing else worthwhile may be available at that time or maybe due to airconditioned environment or perks for moving his/her ass.

It may be worthwhile to make every citizen vote, but for what? India is probably spending more money per capita than USA for these useless elections, but at the end what we get is a bunch of criminals and total idiots; and also some clever guys who know to make hay while the house is in fire. Our democracy is not going to grow and mature unless we do something bottom-up, beginning with good human-value based education for children who are properly nourished, are healthy, body and mind, and lifted out of poverty.
Rest of our development needs should emerge from this basic requirement.

If this is done today, maybe we can hope to live in a real democracy after one or two generations.

Otherwise, we will have voters enticed by criminalised politicians offering dhotis, sarees, rice bags, color TV sets, cycles, et al.

The choice is ours to make.

armageddonsaviour said...

Voting should be as per Section 49-O Norms.
It's a good option for Democratic India.
Read Here ...

anniiee said...

I Know ONE person who I can request to contest for elections!.....that is YOU SIR!.....i think YOU can be OUR that is INDIA'S BARRACK OBAMA...I see it in YOU...REALLY Sir!!...PLEASE CONSIDER IT SERIOUSLY...

Guha Rajan said...

Take a look.

He is an entreprenuer (BE,MBA-IIM) and would be contesting from South Chennai.

ashutosh said...

good one;
But i feel it is better to vote for the better one, rather than opting none.
A theory of elimination may be applied to choose the lest destructive candidate so as to ensure that the worst one has not made it to the highest institution of the country.
But if there can be a option of "non of the above " can be made available on the ballot paper its, surely, the better option.

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