Sunday, April 12, 2009

Elections - the young and the old

It’s election time and we all know how it feels during election time in India. One of the attempts has been to get the younger generation involved, to get some of them to stand for elections and getting others to the polling booths. So, it was heartening to learn about a young entrepreneur, 28 years old, running a catering service after rejecting jobs with MNCs, now standing for elections from Chennai. That’s the way to go.

I was, therefore, surprised to learn about V. Kalyanam, personal secretary to Mahatma Gandhi during the latter’s last years, now all of 87, registering the Desia Paadhugaappu Kazhagam (National Protection Party ) as a political party and deciding to contest in the parliamentary elections from Chennai. According to an email I received from N. S. Venkataraman, trustee, Nandini Voice For The Deprived, those who stand for elections must “understand the seriousness and severity of the issues facing Indian democracy...” The email goes on to say that the Gandhian philosophy of ahimsa, truth, probity in personal and public life have not been highlighted as principles by any political party in the country and that “the important fact is that when concerned people swearing by Gandhian ideology in personal and public life would contest in the elections, it would give a sense of hope that the tide of corruption and dishonest dealings would be stemmed.”

Venkataraman, a chemical engineer, I understand, will also be a contestant in the election.

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