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

Banned? Indian ports 'received' 38 US plastic waste containers reexported from Indonesia

By Rajiv Shah
An Indonesia-based international environmental watchdog group has dug out what it has called “a global pollution shell game”, stating how officials in Indonesia approved re-exports of “illegal” US waste shipments containing plastics mainly to India, as also to other Asian countries -- Thailand, South Korea and Vietnam -- instead of returning them to the US “as promised.”

Gujarat refusal to observe Maulana Azad's birthday as Education Day 'discriminatory'

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government decision not to celebrate the National Education Day on !monday has gone controversial. Civil society organizations have particularly wondered whether the state government is shying away from the occasion, especially against the backdrop of "deteriorating" level of education in Gujarat.

Cops' 'inability' to deliver justice? Model Gujarat ranks 12th among 18 major states

By Rajiv Shah
A Tata Trusts study, released in Delhi on Thursday, has ranked “model” Gujarat 12th out of 18 major states it has analysed across India to “assess” the police's capacity to deliver justice. Several of the advanced states such as Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as well as some of the so-called Bimaru states such as Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are found to have ranked better than Gujarat.

People's pressure? GPCB mining cancellation 'notice' to top cement unit in Gujarat

By Sagar Rabari*
Environmental Clearance (EC) was given to Ultratech Cement Co Ltd for limestone mining in villages Talli and Bambhor of Talaja taluka in Bhavnagar district of Gujarat on January 5, 2017. EC was issued ignoring, overriding and undermining opposition from local farmers to mining activity in the area. The mining in these two villages covers an area of 193.3268 hectares (ha), while the entire project is spread over an area of 1,715.1311 ha.

Bullet train acquisition: Land holding worth Rs 1.5 crore, Gujarat govt 'offer' Rs 8 lakh

By RK Misra*
Foundation stones laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi litter India’s cities, towns and villages, but there are few projects which he has pursued with such perseverance and tenacity as the Ahmedabad-Mumbai bullet train one. However, the overwhelming state power notwithstanding, the farmers, whose lands are being acquired for the Modi government’s dream project, have no plans to give up the fight.

NHRC notice to Gujarat chief secretary following silicosis deaths in Rajkot

By Our Representative
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Gujarat chief secretary and the district magistrate, Rajkot, to respond to a complaint filed by health rights activist Jagdish Patel of the People's Training and Research Centre (PTRC), Vadodara, regarding the alleged death of Raju Prakash Parihar and two others reportedly because of silicosis, a fatal occupation disease, in Rajkot, one of Gujarat’s top cities.

Concern in UK over BJP supporters, Hindu charity 'interfering' in general elections

By Our Representative
Following apprehensions of “foreign interference” in Canadian elections, which took place last month, from several countries, including India, a similar a concern is now reported with regard to the next month’s United Kingdom general elections. The concern has particularly come from Labour Party candidates, who are citing campaign by “India-linked Hindu nationalist group” targeting Labour candidates.