How to we perceive a politician who has made significant amount of money in Indian politics? Common person will reply it in very innocuous way “Sir, he has gone to politics, spent lot of money, fighting elections is so costly, one has to pay the party also, he has to offer tea to all those people who come to his Kothi also?” Discussion will be over. Now, you ask the same person about a successful businessman and his answer will be very simple – “Sir, entire money is No 2 money.” He will not even look at you and pass the judgement about businessmen.
Why it is so? Why we hate businessmen and assume that he has to be unfair and unethical to make money.
Making profit is assumed to be something which should not be done by any pious individual. There is no format or scale on which politicians can be evaluated because they are not required to be. People will just pass the judgement and who else will be most pleased to do that? A crony politician?
All these people do not realise that unless the businessman makes profit, how the nation can grow in terms of GDP or total welfare. Every one wants to be looked after by state but businessman should not grow rich.
Let us come to Rahul Gandhi and that breed of crony politicians who blame Adani and so many in this category and misguide people. Politicians specially of ruling class and business people have to move in alignment. if you pick up the history of License Raj, how do you define that? Crony capitalism with crony politician and crony businessman part of it. How much damage crony politician can do to system? Please visit the states of Bihar, UP (before Yogi), Mamta Didi and so many others in that category. Ateeq Ahmed and his gang and the Mafia Raj which they created in Prayag Raj is a classical case of damage which can be inflicted by crony politician like Mulayam Singh Yadav to the system just because he is looking for power at whatever the cost. Can you imagine the situation in which Ateeq Ahmed is the Member of Parliament from a nearby constituency and his younger brother is Member of legislative assembly in UP from Allahabad West? How dare the district administration touch any gangster if entire family is running a Mafia Raj? Ateeq Ahmed fighting election from jail, wants to come out for nomination and canvassing, applies for bail and ten high court judges recuse themselves, eleventh one listens to bail application and grants him bail. These are some of the instances which I have quoted to show that Mafia can not survive without crony politician in power. There are so many examples all over India. While there is no generalisation of individuals or party, why I have singled out Mulayam Singh Yadav is because of his fatal attraction with criminals all around UP. These criminals kept on switching from one party to other but lateral movement to BSP was rampant though I must confess that Manavati kept them in check and Mulayam Singh Yadav ruled with their help. Abduction, kidnapping, robbery, murder, and lootings were the order of the day during Mulayam Singh Yadav time and people were so fed up that Yogi arrived on scene as a remedy.
Let us come to Bihar, Lalu employed the same mechanism to retain power. Crony politician with crony mafia? So, what do you expect? Mohammed Shahabuddin who was MP from Siwan in Bihar.
All these gangsters can not survive without the protection of crony politicians. National parties will be bit careful in handling them. because it can give them bad publicity at central level. However, while regional parties are open about political connection of criminals, Congress will support them with legal cover as they did in case of Mukhtar Ansari.
Crony politicians allow these gangsters to run their empire from jail as happened in case of Ateeq Ahmed or Mukhtar Ansari. These gangsters become leaders of community. In case of Ateeq Ahmed, he mobilised Muslim voters for Mulayam Singh Yadav in entire UP and helped in developing Muslim Yadav combination. It is a symbiotic relationship. Cost can be any but it has to be paid by community or society but who cares or bothers.
They help the party in booth capturing as well. Lallu Yadav repeated the same formula in Bihar and Mamta Didi is deploying the same formula in West Bengal. How does the normal public responds? They just keep quiet and respond in submissive way. Even if they oppose, they are threatened and violated as happened in last elections in West Bengal.
How does the bureaucracy or police officers behave? They become part of it. System allows them the leeway that they keep their perks and privileges intact and mark their tenures. They act a broker if some conflict arises in favour of Mafias and crony politicians. What support they expect from a person who is so insensitive to make these remarks openly.
Or Mamta Didi who will just shudder her shoulders if she is asked about post-election violence in West Bengal against Hindus, primarily BJP supporters at that time. You will find identical situation in Bihar.
Have you ever seen Rahul Gandhi talking of crony politicians or Mafia gangs? It will never happen. While I am no supporter of crony businessman or crony capitalism, there are still govt regulatory agencies which work efficiently and effectively but what about crony politicians who provide support to Mafias and there is no check on them. Murder of Umesh Pal on 24 Feb 2023 in Prayag Raj now is classical example of how much power they exercise in a state like UP where Yogi is Chief Minister with zero tolerance for any criminal. It just proves that old habits die hard and system is yet to be won over and overhauled. Let’s not forget that crony politicians and crony gangsters affect every system of our society, be it education, healthcare, business, public conduct …the list is endless. There is no place for people like Lalu and Mulayam Singh Yadav and his breed in our society irrespective of the political party they are in.
These crony politicians at every level are again trying to hijack Indian democracy and they have to be stopped. Its time, Indian voters revisit our political conduct, shun these Mafias in a quiet way through EVM and support the right candidates during elections. That will take us forward.