Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Commit a crime to cast your vote, EC orders

In an astonishing move, the Election Commission ruled late today that those without a criminal record would not be allowed to vote.

In a terse notification, the EC said those without a history sheet are simply incapable of evaluating the merits of most of the candidates contesting elections. "It takes one criminal to understand another," it said.

It has also lowered the age bar to accommodate juvenile delinquents.

The EC has ordered a revamping of the electoral rolls in consultation with the law-enforcement agencies.

Political parties have been too stunned to react to this sudden development. But this correspondent managed to corner one of the electoral candidates -- whose crime sheet includes two murders, a dacoity and polygamy.

"What do you think of the EC's new order?"
"It was high time someone realised that the country needs people like us."
"Why do you say that?"
"Look at me! I have three wives, four houses and more money under this bed than you can earn in several lifetimes."
"Would I have progressed so far, so soon, if I had been an honest man?"
"Probably not."
"Then how can an honest country ever expect to progress. You think you can fight crime with the law? No way! The only way to stop crime, is to legalise it. No crime, no criminals."
"If there are no criminals, who's going to vote?"

A direct fallout of the EC's order is an unprecedented surge in crime rates around the country. Large-scale bookings of crimes never committed have been recorded at police stations which, in turn, has spawned a wave of crimes actually committed.

This correspondent ran into one such criminal at a police station in Mumbai:

"What crime did you commit?"
"Oh, I have committed two crimes. One that I didn't commit and one that I did."
"What do you mean?"
"I asked this policeman here to book me on a shop-lifting crime that I didn't commit. Hell, I have not shopped in ages, ever since I was laid-off in the dotcom meltdown."
"So what crime did you commit?"
"I committed the crime of bribing him to book me on a crime that I didn't commit."
"I am confused. Will you be voting or not?"
"Of course I will. Not as a shop-lifter, but for bribing a law-enforcement officer. Our cop here will be voting too, for accepting the bribe."

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