Aamir Khan discussed one of the gravest threats facing the Indian democracy in the final episode of Satyamev Jayate 2. He brought forth the issue of people facing criminal charges being elected as MPs and MLAs.
Interestingly, not only did the perfectionist talk about political parties giving tickets to such candidates, he also talked about the people where the onus ultimately lies - the voters electing such candidates.
From use of power and money for buying votes to the grim fact of citizens casting votes for caste instead of the candidate's credentials - the episode was a much-needed and well-timed discussion. Well-timed as the country goes to Lok Sabha polls in the next few weeks.
In a detailed and informative discussion, Aamir Khan's show talked about how 'bahubalis' once helped leaders get booth captured and have now turned into leaders themselves.
Highlighting the plight of genuine leaders who fell victim to these criminal MPs, the late Purnia (Bihar) MLA Ajir Sarkar's life, work and murder were showcased on the episode on Sunday. Unlike the MPs and MLAs we know today, Sarkar was never fond of luxuries. He even lived in a rented house and never fell short of helping out the people of his constituency.
Former Election Commissioner SY Quraishi came on the show to talk about the various raids that Election Commission conducts during and before elections, highlighting the sale of votes.
"The EC had suggested that any candidate against whom the court has framed charges (indicating that the court finds the accused guilty, prima facie) should not be allowed to contest polls and all such cases should have been filed at least six months before the elections. Unfortunately, the government rejected the suggestion, arguing that the law in out country says that an accused person is innocent till proven guilty," Quraishi said on the show.
A grim fact highlighted in the episode was that all the major parties in India have a huge percentage of criminal MPs.
While Shiv Sena tops the list with 80% MPs facing criminal charges, BJP ranks second with nearly 41%. JD(U) has a share of 36.84% MPs facing criminal charges while Congress, BSP and SP have 28.575, 27.27% and 23% such MPs respectively.
What needs to be changed is not only laws and policies that do not allow people facing grave criminal charges to fight elections, but also the voters' attitude. We should find out about the candidates of our constiuency and as a rule never vote for an criminal.