In India, the world's largest democracy, the symbiotic relationship between crime and politics raises complex questions. For instance, how can free and fair democratic elections exist alongside rampant criminality? Why do political parties actively recruit candidates with reputations for wrongdoing? Why do voters elect (and even re-elect) them - to the point that a third of state and national legislators assume office with pending criminal charges? In this eye-opening book, political scientist Milan Vaishnav takes readers deep into the marketplace for criminal politicians by drawing on fieldwork on the campaign trail, large surveys, and an original database on politicians' backgrounds.