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Praja, Elections, Politics and Issues!

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Having chosen to earn my livelihood outside India, I have deprived myself to participate in the greatest Indian tradition of voting in the elections since 1997. Even though I am still a proud citizen of India, due to distance and resources, it has become difficult to plan the trip during the elections. Nevertheless I always had my heart tuned to India and its affairs by closely following the every election and its outcome. This year it has been little different and bit more satisfying with participating with Praja to highlight the issues that matters to me, you and others.

Now that elections are over in Karnataka at least, time to reflect upon what did we aspired and what did we achieve? Thanks to Praja and hundreds of its members that put their hearts and minds to highlight the issues that cut across the usual, caste, religion and regional basis. I am talking about Praja's campaign for "I Vote I count". I think this is the first time that majority of voters have highlighted the fact that "Roti" Kapda and Makaan, are the issues that voters were looking for. Voters looked at the delivery vehicles of governance and development that should have delivered the RKM to every citizen of this country. How much each politician has put efforts for that promise is all before the people. I am sure people have taken this into consideration for the Vote in this election. Hopefully on May 16, we will know who would be leading the country for next 5 years.

Coming to Praja as a platform, as a chaupal (in traditional) did a fabulous job of presenting the opportunity to the INTERNET savvy crowd to become the agents for voicing the real issues to the political parties and their candidates. From the data it looks like about 3000 participated in the survey to highlight the top ten issues that they think needs immediate attention from politicians and governments. It's a good sampling number.

What is more interesting is this efforts by Praja community did not go waste. I have been told that, politicians, political parties and the candidates specially in Bangalore have regularly followed the discussions, arguments and counter arguments and tried to shape their campaigns. This is all across the parties and candidates. Not only they followed it, they also made some of the issues into their vision of development for the city and the state. Praja's survey also made it to the election speeches and vision papers. Looking at those developments, one can surely conclude that it is pretty decent success any new platform can have in influencing the elections and the issues.

Congratulations Praja!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well done Prajagale. Your efforts have borne fruits. Let this spark be carried to the next assembly elections with much more in numbers and focused campaigns.


Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

Prajas are contemplating bio-metric or online voting suggestion

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Hi KBS61

I second your post and congratulate Prajegalu for their activism.

Like ECI is accepting postal ballot marking facility, mostly for defense personnel posted at Leh / NEFA borders and also for poll staff who are on duty but cannot go back to their voting booth for exercising their franchise, Prajegalu are contemplating requesting ECI to consider and implement technology based voting system like bio-metric / Iris/LHTumb impression based voting and ballot marking through ATMs/credit/debit cards for enabling Indian citizens/NRIs to mark their ballots from across the globe.

Thank you for a Internet Indian Hyde Park

-Vasanth Mysoremath


silkboard's picture

Long ways to go

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And as I keep saying, I am a little 'this' about chasing 'success stories'. Success in this space (local activism) means different things to different people. Even activism (that overdone quote "be the change you want to see") means diff things to diff people.

Best way to define right and wrong is via democratic means :)

Instead of defining success or activism, in the middle of disagreements here and there, let us build this as the Hyde Park (the new term that emerged recently), a place which will have no stated or endoresed standing of its own. Rather. it will be the meeting ground, where those wanting to do things on their favorite urban local issues will come, 'influence', and 'recruit'.

As long as the place is open, democratic (and moderated for basic hygeine), we are sure that the 'right' causes will see more discussion and action.

We have got some was to go. But by now, we do know that the Hyde Park concept, and "indirect influence" can work.

Cheers to Praja!

-SB aka Pranav

psaram42's picture

Let us not pat our own back

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 There is a long way to go indeed. Instead of patting our own back let us get emboldened to set some more time bound ambitious projects. How about as VKM says "online voting in next general elections?" We have to have a brain storming session to chalk out various strategies for achieving this goal.


nl.srinivas's picture

Give credit where it is due

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Indeed it is heartening to see some of the issues disussed here and by other "activist" is being "noticied". Why is it a good sign? Because these issues are raised by people who are genuinly concerned with the current state of affairs and those who will not just shout slogans and go back home. The politicians simply cannot turn a blind eye after the elections since they know they will be held accountable for whatever they did or didn't do later. Though still there is a  long way to go to create this awareness in an average joe, it is some beginning and congratulations and all the best to everyone who made this beginning possible.

Vasanthkumar Mysoremath's picture

ONLINE VOTING - An outline

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PSA Sir and dear All

Thanks. Let us get going on online voting.

To begin with, I have posted a separate post "ONLINE VOTING - An outline" - in order to keep it as a separate entity (not to be mixed up with other related issues) for creating a product from the valuable feed back from Prajegalu. 

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