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Election, A Peaceful Way For A Change

This refers to Pachu Menon’s letter, ‘Exercising’ Adult Franchise (NT, April 22). Since we do not believe in bullet, therefore, we must have faith in ballot. Indeed, the people’s aspiration through ballot and peaceful movements makes some countries become truly welfare states. For example, the people of Nordic countries make their government take an amalgamated path of socialist equality and capitalist liberty and score high in human development and happiness indices. They have achieved it in a peaceful and democratic process. I have great admiration for B R Ambedkar for his efforts for giving us Universal Adult Suffrage. India has a democratic set-up with all citizens having equal rights. The Article 326 of the Indian Constitution says, “The elections to the House of the People and to the Legislative Assembly of every state shall be on the basis of adult suffrage…” Every person who is a citizen of India and who is not less than 18 years of age is entitled to get registered as a voter if not otherwise disqualified by law on the ground of “non-residence, unsoundness of mind, crime or corrupt or illegal practice.” In 1928, Dr Ambedkar appeared before the Simon Commission and insisted on incorporating universal adult franchise in the Constitution of India. He said that vote was “a weapon in the hands of the most oppressed sections of society.” The Indian National Congress took a stand in favour of political equality at the 1931 Karachi session. India has made a great stride towards democracy and political equality by accepting the modern concept of giving equal value for every vote. We need to vote after thinking about who should be our representatives in the Parliament for the next five years. Come rain or shine, vote we must because election is the most peaceful way to change.


Humanitarian Gesture By Lankans To Donate Blood

The island nation, Sri Lanka, has been numbed by serial bomb blasts.   Churches were the obvious choice of the terrorists, as they were decked up on an Easter Sunday. Three of them were targeted and body parts were found strewn all over. Next in line were the luxurious hotels, the favourite destinations for foreigners.  The ‘suicide bombs’  were said to have caused the maximum damage in two places – at a house when the police raid was on to round up suspects,  and in a hotel restaurant. The suicide bombing theory gained ground after it was reported that a top police official had warned the authorities based on intelligence input. The authorities have temporarily banned social media including the popular Facebook till investigations are completed and proper arrests are made. Rumour mongers were having a field day by circulating wild. There were no stories of tensions between any religious or linguistic groups in recent memory.   Countries of the world must stand united and in solidarity with Sri Lanka. Any form of terrorism or extremism has to be treated with disdain. Conspiracies must be spotted and thrashed. Airports and other sensitive places must be secured. The citizens of Colombo have shown their might by queuing up to donate blood – an extraordinary humanitarian gesture.  Sri Lanka can recoup soon with its brave citizens.



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