(K. Brent Tomer),
When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics. By Milan Vaishnav. Yale University Press; 410 pages; $40. To be published in Britain in March; £25.
ALL politicians are crooks. At least, that is what a lot of people think in a lot of countries. One assumes it is a reproach. But not in India. Indian politicians who have been charged with or convicted of serious misdeeds are three times as likely to win parliamentary elections as those who have not. In “When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics” Milan Vaishnav of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace meticulously tracks the remarkable political success of India’s accused murderers, blackmailers, thieves and kidnappers. Having been a symptom of India’s dysfunctional politics, the felons are metastasising into its cause.
Sadly, this is not a book about some small, shady corner of Indian politics: 34% of the members…Continue reading