India opted for parliamentary form of democracy after independence to ensure accountability of the executive to the ordinary citizens. Unlike the proportional representation system that was prevalent in presidential form of democracies, India opted for ‘first-past-the-post’ electoral system in which any person getting one vote more than his immediate political opponent can be declared as elected.
Single party rule continued from independence till 1967. The fragmentation of Indian polity took place after 1967 because of the failure of national political parties to fulfill the aspirations of various regions within the country. Emergence of regional political parties has resulted in increasing competition for electoral offices. The objective of any party is to win elections so that it can implement its ideology.
While selecting candidates for the elections the criteria of service orientation, credibility among masses and leadership qualities have been replaced by the sole criteria of winability. As a consequence, members of political parties were ready to seek the help of antisocial elements in order to win elections. These elements provided money and muscle support to the political parties leading to the birth of the concept of ‘criminalisation of politics’.
Since 1989, the country witnessed further fragmentation of Indian polity because of the rise of communalist & casteist forces. This has also resulted in the advent of coalition government both in the centre as well as majority of states. This gave added momentum to the antisocial elements and instead of supporting the parties to win the elections; they started actively participating in the process of elections. Political parties also for short term political gains have actively encouraged this process, resulting in politicization of crime.
These anti-social elements have become lawmakers and because of hung legislatures have started dominating the affairs of the government. This had a major adverse impact on the working of police. Police is forced to take directions from those people, who they should otherwise have punished for their crimes, resulting in a major dent in the morale of police personnel.
These anti-social elements have successfully dwarfed any attempts to reorganize and restructure the police force. The control of political executive over police force has become much more stringent in the form of suspensions, transfers and other disciplinary measures. Politicization of police force is a major consequence of the process of politicization of crime.
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