In the initial years of India’s independence, Jawaharlal Nehru, the Prime Minister, was also the Minister of External Affairs. Before independence, he was in charge of the foreign relations committee of the Congress Party. He had traveled widely and had personal friendship with several world leaders. He was considered to be an intellectual. Compared with his cabinet colleagues or opposition leaders, he was thought to be great. Perhaps in view of this, Parliament or the political leaders took for granted that the foreign policy of the government serves the best interests of the country in particular and the developing countries in general. Hence, the parliament members did not bother to discuss the foreign policy in details. This tradition has continued even after the Nehru era. This is not a healthy development.
There is a need for critical scrutiny of the foreign policy of India by the Parliament and political parties.
There is a lot of discussion about de-criminalisation of politics. By “de-criminalization” of politics, intellectuals mean that political parties should not give seats to those convicted of or alleged to be involved in crimes, to contest parliamentary, assembly or any local body election. The intellectuals also want these people to be expelled from their parties. While there can be no two opinions on the political parties not harboring criminals, it should be borne in mind that:
- There are possibilities and several instances of a person who committed a crime some time ago repenting for his misdeed , becoming a good person and leading saintly life
- There is no guarantee that a person who has not committed any crime till today, will not commit crime, in future
The main criterion for admitting people into the party and giving seats to contest elections, should be their interest and ability to serve the people.