Skip to main content

Winnability "not important" for Cynthia Stephen, Karnataka civil society candidate

By KP Sasi*
The debates on the forthcoming elections have already started. Activists and people's movements who have been contributing actively without the representations in Parliament have started discussing on strategies. The usual debates are on. All these debates have been repetitions of the debates we have heard for decades. Some will decide to opt out.
Some will decide to back those political forces which can effectively form an alternative to BJP governance, while these opposition political parties are still negotiating and fighting for their presence in power among themselves. Some would say, `vote for the eligible candidates'. And others will follow the `mainstream opinion within the alternative'.
We have seen that enough in history. It is also a matter of irony that this Parliament election in 2019 has become so crucial for many discourses and discussions at a time when Parliament itself has become more or less a rubber stamp. The data of the number of millionaires and billionaires as sitting members in the Indian Parliament are available.
The corruption details are heavily debated within the mainstream press itself. And it is an open reality that most of the MPs that we elect do not even read and reflect crucial Bills that affect the lives of the majority of people in this country, before they decide to `vote for' or `vote against'. Many of them are also `sleeping members'.
The influence of the investment of money in these campaigns to determine the success or loss of a candidate has also transformed drastically in recent times. Therefore, the crisis is to find eligible candidates who worked for the people and articulate the concerns of the people, if we have to protect this important institution of democracy.
In this situation, there are some candidates also fighting without the backing of money power and with the intention of raising important issues they have been representing for decades as activists. In Bengaluru North, Cynthia Stephen has decided to contest. She is not an unknown face for the activists in Bengaluru.
I have seen her presence in many protests and public programmes and seminars for a long time. She has been consistently raising the issues of Dalits, women, religious minorities, child rights, rights of the physically challenged and other issues of the marginalised as well as various developmental issues. Her contributions in research, writings, advocacy, activism are known to the activists in Bengaluru.
In this context, it is too appropriate that the activists in Bengaluru support their own candidate whole hearted and work for her success. I do not see this from a perspective of `winnability', but as a matter of `principle'. When decisions are based on `winnability' and not on `principles' then I can assure you that there will be no transformation in the structure of Indian Parliament.
KP Sasi
And if people dare to vote on `principles' and work for this candidate, she may win also. My best wishes to Cynthia Stephen!
---
*Film director and cartoonist from Bengaluru, whose documentaries include "A Valley Refuses to Die", "We Who Make History", "Living in Fear", "In the Name of Medicine" and "Voices from a Disaster", ands feature films include "Ilayum Mullum", "Ek Alag Mausam" and "Ssh..Silence Please"

Comments

TRENDING

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.

Recalling Jallianwala martyrs' communal amity as BJP 'warns' of Sitalkuchi everywhere

By Shamsul Islam*  The RSS-BJP rulers declare India to be a battle-ground between Hinduism and Islam. Muslims have been declared as ‘internal threat’ by RSS ideologue MS Golwalkar (“Bunch of Thought”, Chapter xvi). Behaviour of many of their leading cadres, including those who hold high constitutional posts, is such that they seem to be conspiring over-time to ignite a civil war between the two communities. They are under the impression that this would help divert attention from failures of the Hindutva rulers on developmental front.