Money is the sum of the entire resources, property and assets owned by someone. Muscle power is the force that can be applied to the weaker sections for any specific reason. Combined, these two can provide the greatest power to any individual, which is why it is often the weapon for most politicians. Money and muscle play a very significant role in Indian Politics. This is because parties tend to nominate candidates who can create or have financial strength.
What Roles Are Played by Money And Muscles In Indian Politics? How Is It Different From Other Democracies?
Some factors in India fuel politics and crime. Political parties started recruiting candidates by identifying the person with deep pockets. Elections have grown much more expensive. Parties select candidates who are rich and may have criminal and dubious reputations. Voters also support candidates with questionable pasts. When the Government cannot fulfill the necessities, strongmen are called to deliver what the State could not. This nexus is not unique to India and is common with other democracies of the world, starting from the Philippines to Pakistan.
How Does This Situation Arise?
There have been noticeable changes in social, economic, and political sectors. When Governance cannot keep up with the rapid pace of changes, a gap is created between what the citizens expect and what they are delivering. Indians are diversified with various religions and ethnicity and those can be easily sliced and diced before the elections by the electorates.
How Criminals Become Electable?
Criminals have access to financial resources that helps them to customize their ways into the political systems and become competitive instantly. They can work by hook or by crook by using their criminal powers.
What Are The Steps Taken to Make The Political Systems Transparent? Were They Effective?
Many scrutiny and rules have been imposed on politicians. In 2003, the Supreme Court announced that politicians should submit documents of their educational qualifications, financial records of assets and liabilities, and criminal records. These data have proved to solve many issues regarding muscle and money. When it comes to voters, unfortunately, lack of information does seem to be a constraint to them. Thus, the informed voters can select the candidates they know are tainted.
Did Narendra Modi Govt. Clean Up The Politics As He Promised In 2014?
In 2014, Modi delivered a heated speech on anti-corruption during the general election. 282 Parliament members experienced criminal backgrounds, which covered 35% of BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). Among the rest, 22% have serious criminal cases pending in court.
8 BJP MPS found their way to Modi’s first cabinet. But criminal background could not be avoided. Even Amit Shah, number 2 in Gujarat for a long period, has a criminal background. During the manifesto 0f 2014, the key issues that need to be addressed are unemployment, price rise, poor delivery of the policies and government-led programs. BJP stated that they could establish a system that could help in decreasing these issues.
Modi Government Applied Demonetization As A Hit Against The Black Cash. Was the Decision Alright?
A liquidity crunch was created for the short term. Due to the crunch, many parties were forced to do haircuts to turn their black cash into white. Many industries also fund elections. Industries like construction or real estate companies top the list. BJP had access to the inside financial information, so they were better situated in the storm.
Should India Have Embraced Reforms to Political Parties Funding Instead of Demonetization?
If demonetization’s purpose was to identify black money, there could be many other solutions to this issue. Reformative steps are to be taken on how the elections are financed. Contributions are fully transparent when the third-party audits are done from the party’s finances. Legislative changes are required when the power of the Indian Election Commission is applied for the betterment of the civilians.
The License Raj will create huge scope for corruption and cronyism. As long as the state exerts a huge influence on the economy, corruption will continue. India needs proper planning to improve the investment climate and pull the Government out of business to exercise its control over the business.
How To Decriminalize Electoral Politics Of India?
Reformers may take part in decriminalizing the electoral process in India. When Governance is upgraded, long-term solutions for reforms are found. Government has the incentives for impartially executing the core functions. The personnel and the resources can be used for dispensing justice, providing basic security and core public services. Though these services cannot be done overnight, steps should be taken to decriminalize politics.
Parliament considers legislation that cleans up political finance and cancels candidates with criminal backgrounds. When the legal charges are framed from the court of law, the candidates will go through a fast judicial process that resolves short-order cases.
What Are The Other Methods of Decriminalizing Politics?
The effect of money and muscle in politics is to be decreased if total eradication is impossible. The cash donations to political parties have decreased to 2000 instead of 20000. For starters, the law is a little reluctant, and there are no limitations on cash donations. The anonymity of the donors should be removed so that the information is more transparent and clear. The law also limits the election campaign time for the electorates, so chances of political crimes decrease. Political parties have privately admitted that the candidates overshoot the 30 lakh budget for the parliamentary assembly elections.
Though the Election commission has stated laws, observers say that the rules can be customized and fail by not keeping in line with the ground realities. Money should not be received from dubious sources and suspicious accounts.
Appointment systems of the Parliament Legislation should be done transparently. The reforms will help to change the social and political scenarios. When the candidates of the election have criminal backgrounds, they should be stopped from taking an oath. Demonetizing India is done by laws from the court or permanent legislation. Access to financial resources is limited as the laws are imposed to check black money possession.