Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Get Criminals out of Political Life

Much of the outrage associated with the Delhi gang rape has been directed at the political class, with good reason. It appears these worthies continue to include criminals in their ranks--many politicians who recently stood for election have criminal cases pending against them. Why do political parties continue to field such candidates? Hence, this petition to the Election Commission, requesting the Chief Election Commissioner to de-recognize political parties which field candidates with criminal records. Independent candidates with such records should not be included on the ballot rolls.

Something else that's outrageous--it appears the person responsible for assaulting the Delhi gang rape victim is a juvenile and will therefore be let off lightly, with a three-year sentence in a juvenile home. Why should the perpetrator be treated so gently, keeping his age in mind? Why not judge him on the basis of his crime and give him the punishment he deserves?

The outraged response to the Delhi gang rape has not made India any safer for women--stories of atrocities against women continue to fill the pages of our newspapers. I think the only way the Indian governing class will actually take some action is when Western governments declare India an unsafe place for women visitors--there was the case of a foreign diplomat raped in a South Delhi car park, as well as the more recent case of a foreign tourist raped in Mumbai.

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I work as a freelance editor and writer in New Delhi. 


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