The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), a non-government association working for democratic reforms, has undertaken a study that shows how many MPs and MLAs have declared cases of crimes against women. The results allow us to play a fun game called Guess Which Party is the Rapiest.
The results reveal that the BJP has the highest number of MLAs and MPs who have declared cases of crimes against women: 14. The Shiv Sena comes in second, with 7, and the All India Trinamool Congress brings up the rear, with 6. According to the study, the crimes that these illustrious representatives have declared range from “charges related to assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty, kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage, rape, husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty, buying minor for purposes of prostitution and word, gesture or act intended to insult the modesty of a woman”.
The study also found that political parties across the country had given tickets to 334 candidates who declared crimes against women. The study also details the number of independent candidates who have declared such crimes who contested in Parliament elections over the last five years (122).
As the Hindustan Times reports, state-wise, Maharashtra has the highest number of such MPs and MLAs (12), followed by West Bengal (11) and Odisha (6).
So reassuring! This report comes out essentially at the same time as news that BJP lawmaker Ashwini Upadhyay is asking the Supreme Court for a “lifetime ban” on convicted lawmakers. Except, as our nation-wide investigation into the number of women who actually receive justice in sexual assault crimes reveals, a staggering majority of the perpetrators of crimes against women go scot-free, and the accused in this investigation aren’t even all powerful political leaders. The chances of powerful politicians being convicted for crimes against women remains shockingly low, so even if this plea is accepted, there’s no reason to expect it to radically clean up Indian politics.