Electoral systems in India have been manipulated and destroyed to such an extent that good governance remains a pipe dream for the populace. A look at the mix of legislators that the polls in Karnataka have thrown up further reinforces this point.
Source: ADR Press Release dated 10th May, 2013. The data pertains to 218 out of the 223 elected MLAs affidavits filed by 5 candidates were illegible. Interestingly, only 5 of the 223 are women MLAs.
This post will lean heavily on tables and data, keeping the commentary, interpretation and narrative to a bare minimum. So feel free to interpret and draw your own conclusions – if you need the source report, please drop me a line and I will be happy to mail it across.
At this juncture, let us refer back to a table I that I had shared last week which focused on the 179 MLAs who re-contested these elections:
Now I turn my attention to the criminal antecedents of the worthies that we have elected to serve the citizens of Karnataka. For a quick look at the quality of candidates that was poured into the electoral funnel.
The table below focuses on the elected MLAs and the criminal cases they have declared on their affidavits.
The 39 MLAs who have declared serious criminal cases against their names are distributed across all political parties – INC: 17, BJP: 9, JD(S): 6 and Others: 7. Between them, they have a sordidly impressive tally of 147 IPC counts.
To make matters worse, there are 5 MLAs who have declared murder cases against their names, and another 11 with cases under Prevention of Corruption Act. The party-wise break-up is as under:
So these, ladies and gentlemen, are the staggeringly unimpressive credentials of the elected representatives who, even as they are wrapped in their gigantic anxieties pertaining to wealth-accumulation and criminal cases, will lord over the citizens of Karnataka – legislating, reviewing policies, allocating resources, clearing proposals and files related to infrastructure/ education/ healthcare/ environment, overseeing law & order, fixing social inequities and doing whatever else that is detailed out on their KRA sheet. Moral authority to govern be damned!
Congress may have won the elections – but the citizens, I am afraid, have lost once again. Solutions to the problems that are leading to outcomes as spelt out in the data mentioned above, exist; I have written on the same extensively in the past.
Unfortunately, political will to undertake the task of restoring the glory of the so-called pillars of parliamentary democracy, appears to have died – or at least, it is no longer alive.
Afterthought: In the same book that I quoted from at the beginning of this post, Paine also shared the words of Marquis de la Fayette: For a Nation to be free, it is sufficient that she wills it!
India may have gained Independence in 1947, but are its citizens really free yet? Free in all 8 tones & all 5 semi-tones of the word’s full octave, to quote Stephen Fry completely out of context!