Money and Muscle Rule the Indian Politics

Milan Vaishnav, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, writes in his upcoming book “When Crime Pays” that muscle and money still rule the electoral event in India.

Here are the few insights of the interview with Milan Vaishnav.

Money and Muscle Rule the Indian Politics

Q: Your book is titled “When Crime Pays.” According to you, what is the role of muscle and money in Indian politics?

A very clear link can be observed between politics and crime in India which is boosted by following two reasons. The elections have become expensive and parties eventually select candidates with heavy pockets, which ultimately make them support wealthy individuals who have questionable reputations. Also, the voters tend to support such candidates due to their own reasons. When the government is not able to attain its responsibilities, the voters turn toward such candidates who are able to fulfill what the state cannot. Thus, the fading line between the “criminal” and the “politician” is what makes India stand out from the rest.

Q: What steps would effectively help to overcome this situation?

Improving governance is the only long-term solution. This can be made possible by assuring that the government has the personnel, incentives, and resources to accomplish unbiased functions such as grant justice, provide security, and provide public services. This will surely not change in an overnight, but there are measures which can help to decriminalize politics.

What do you feel about this whole issue? Are you with Milan Vaishnav’s thinking—muscle and money still rule the Indian politics. Feel free to share your thoughts.

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