Organized by Karnataka Child Rights Observatory, it was an effort to uphold children’s rights. “The objective is to engage and involve students in the democracy of our country,” said Vasudeva Sharma, convener. For two hours – 11 am to 1 pm, the CM took the questions in his stride and asked the 80-odd children to write letters to him whenever they encountered injustice.
For the full report in the ToI, click here.
I expect the CM's invitation is not confined to just students. Logic suggests that it should extent to evryone. And, in today's world, and, particularly in Bengaluru, the e-capital of the country, the letters can perhaps be in the 'e' form, in order to save on paper, as also to eliminate the carbon footprint involved in reaching a non-e letter to him (In fact, the IRCTC has been exhorting those making bookings through them not to print tickets, but to carry them in e-forms on mobiles, laptops, etc, with a view to saving some 3 lakh A4 pages a day. If Railways can think along these lines, what prevents the government in Bengaluru from doing so?).
Now, I have already been writing a number of letters to him, his ministers, as well as his government's various departments. Some specific cases, I would like to bring up here.
1) LPG akrama - the discussion on the subject, and the letter written by me to you, may be accessed here. The e-letter was sent to email@example.com, apart from firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, on Oct 21st, followed by a hard copy by registered post about a month later (for the receipt of which I have a postal acknowledgement). The matter pertains to Rs 1200 cr per annum scam burdening the tax payers to that extent. Though the solution is simple and straight-forward, and the minister concerned had acted in all sincerity to move on it, the order was reversed by the Chief Minister, pursuant to cabinet decision.
2) Lacunae in Karnataka Apartment Ownership Act, Property Undervaluation racketeering - the discussions on both these issues, and the e-petitions sent to Sri Suresh Kumar, honourable minister for law (followed immediately by hard copies by registered post) can be accessed here, and here. I raised these issues with the minister again through Mr Balram on the Radio Indigo interview, when the minister suggested that I meet him. Many attempts later, I have just managed to get an appointment for Monday, the 28th Nov - hope something comes out of that.
3) Sending e-letters to BBMP is a totally lost cause, including SPANDANA (check this).
Most other departments are no better. So, what does the Chief Minister mean when he asks children to write to him? Apparently, he doesn't expect the children to take him seriously. Perhaps, that applies to netizens too. Can he afford that for too long?
Either way, since he is on record as having asked to be written to, I shall take the effort of doing so, on issues that I feel concern him.