Dangerous nexus of politics and crime

Dangerous nexus of politics and crime

After the arrest of Shahjahan Shaikh, the accused in Sandeshkhali of West Bengal, an attempt will be made to treat it only as a criminal case. But Shahjahan Sheikh’s case is not just criminal, it also draws attention to the problem of criminalization of politics. Look at the small political parties across the country, the nexus of crime and politics is easily visible there, but the same is rarely seen in big parties like BJP and Congress. Small party politics gains support on the basis of the local influence of criminals, on the basis of this support it acquires constitutional strength and then becomes established as a representative and political force of its particular area. Since in this process the criminal becomes the biggest tool and stands with the political party, hence he also tries to gain power, position etc. in return. Be it Shahabuddin of Bihar or Sunil Tiwari or Mukhtar Ansari or Atiq Ahmed of Uttar Pradesh, he liked small and local parties. His business continued to flourish under the political umbrella.

Till the sixties and seventies, criminals continued to be involved in politics by looting booths, threatening voters and persuading them in various ways. In return they continued to receive some contracts and financial benefits. Later, when the criminals started feeling that if the party can get constitutional posts and win elections on their own, then why can’t they themselves enter politics directly. After this, people like Surajdev Singh, Kali Pandey, Surajbhan, Shahabuddin emerged in Bihar. Political forces like Mukhtar Ansari, Atiq Ahmed, Harishankar Tiwari, Virendra Pratap Shahi, Dhananjay Singh emerged in Uttar Pradesh. A long list of such criminals was formed in places like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Assam etc. Left parties have been claiming that they have been pursuing morality politics too deeply. Leftist politics has been the architect of most of the values ​​that have been established in the public sphere of Indian politics. But the dark side of this politics has also been the politics of West Bengal, where the politics was once dominated by criminals, who continued to get the shadow of the Left Front’s power. Whoever tried to question this corruption and criminalization of leftist politics had to face defeat. Fighting remained a permanent feature of Bengal politics. Mamata Banerjee definitely promised to control this, but when the time came to fulfill it, she also started changing. This is the reason why leaders like Shahjahan Sheikh started emerging there.

The nexus of politics and criminals was first considered in 1993 by the then Union Home Secretary NN Vohra Committee. But no government took action on that report. A petition was filed in the Supreme Court in 2000 demanding that the report be given to the investigating agencies. But the Supreme Court could not fulfill this demand. This report has not been made public yet. It should be good for the Supreme Court that it has made it necessary for candidates in elections to declare their assets and those of their spouses and submit affidavits of the cases pending against them. Of course, under the Representation of the People Act, the membership of an MP and the legislative tenure of an MLA ends only when the public representative is sentenced to three years or more. It would be called a flaw in the law that even people who are considered criminals contest elections and sometimes people support him out of respect for his Robin Hoody image. After getting political support, he takes bath in Ganga like a criminal.

Our society is also such that if someone who has been punished in the past achieves a position through manipulation, the world takes notice of him. Politics is always eager for support, that is why it does not want to distance the criminals from itself. But when the world of politics starts getting affected due to that criminal personality, then politics runs away from getting rid of it and even showing its relationship with it. She does all this to become free from sin. The dismissal of Shahjahan Sheikh from the membership of Trinamool Congress is an example of the same tradition of politics. The case of Shahjahan Sheikh has left a challenge before the political parties that can there not be a political party which does politics of 22 carat solid morality, can keep the criminals away from itself at any cost and can keep the politics clean? Have more confidence in yourself and your workers. At present this does not seem to be happening.
(These are the personal views of the author.)

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