From: M C Raj <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 11:38 PM
Subject: The Campaign Trail....
To: "Gaski, Harald" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, gaganssethi <email@example.com>, gangadhar thilak <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Gerard Oonk <email@example.com>, george mutholil <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Gert de Gans <Gert.de.Gans@iccoenkerkinactie.nl>, Gemma Boetekees <Gemma.Boetekees@iccoenkerkinactie.nl>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Fr George K <email@example.com>, Gebhard Haider <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "ghanshaym.shah2008" <email@example.com>, "Ghosh, A." <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, giriprabha singh <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Gitte Dyrhagen <email@example.com>, "gilbert.godavery" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, "Fr.Gnani" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Goldy George <email@example.com>, Godha <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Govert van Oord <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, "Gumaste, S.P." <S.P.Gumaste@tue.nl>, gururaja budhya <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, Hahn Walter <W.Hahn@brot-fuer-die-welt.de>, halappa guruswamy <email@example.com>, Heather Devere <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Helam <email@example.com>, IDSN-Council <IDSN-Council@yahoogroups.com>, info IGSSS <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Jack van Ham <Jack.van.Ham@icco.nl>, "Jahnke, Huia" <H.T.Jahnke@massey.ac.nz>, "Janne Hansen (Gáldu)" <email@example.com>, Jaap.t.Gilde@icco.nl, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Jeroninio Almeida <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, jessi Micheal <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, jeny <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "R. JEYASEELAN" <email@example.com>, jilukara <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, Jigna <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Joanna Kidman <Joanna.Kidman@vuw.ac.nz>, John Borrows <email@example.com>, Johngi varghese <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Jolly, S." <email@example.com>, Jon Ross <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, "Fr. John Suresh" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Johnson <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, jrsita2007 <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Jules Soers <email@example.com>, jules soers <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, Kalamani <Kalamani@icco.nl>, Kabini Sanga <Kabini.Sanga@vuw.ac.nz>, "Kailash C. Das" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Kalinauskaite, I." <email@example.com>, Kapa Oliveria <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Kaspar Akermann <email@example.com>, Kataraina Belshaw <Kataraina.Belshaw@envbop.govt.nz>, katsuhide kitatani <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Kathryn Ramsay <email@example.com>, "Kerkhof, P.J.A.M." <P.J.A.M.Kerkhof@tue.nl>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, kennedy joseph <email@example.com>, Kesuma Saddak <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Kevin O'Brien <email@example.com>, Khalid Anis Ansari <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, Kidss <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Laiana Kanoa Wong <email@example.com>, "Lambert, A.J.D." <A.J.D.Lambert@tue.nl>, Larissa Behrendt <Larissa.Behrendt@uts.edu.au>, "Laurensse, S.E.T." <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, "Fr.Lara Lawrence" <email@example.com>, LEISA India <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Lena Ganesh <email@example.com>, Leni Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, "Fr.Leo Vijaya Pushpa Raj" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Leonie Pihama <email@example.com>, Leo jeyaseelan Leon <firstname.lastname@example.org>, LENZERINI FEDERICO <email@example.com>, leo raj <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Linda Nikora <email@example.com>, Lindsey MacDonald <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Linita Manu'atu <email@example.com>, "Litnhouvong, J." <IMCEAEX-_O=TUE_OU=TUE+20Campus_cn=Students_cnfirstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, Liz Blong <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, louis mathias <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Louis Rayar <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, Loretta Quinn <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, "Manikandan ..." <email@example.com>, Manas Jena <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Manil Joshua <email@example.com>, Mary Vattamattam <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Magne Ove Varsi (Gáldu)" <email@example.com>, Manas Gosh <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Manjula Pradeep <email@example.com>, marimarcelt <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, MDU-Provincial <email@example.com>, mee na <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Meena Dave <email@example.com>, "Mertineit, Anja" <Anja.Mertineit@misereor.de>, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mezger Renate <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Michael Sammanasu <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, "Monique Lagan (MIN)" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, "Mohite, S.S." <S.Mohite@tue.nl>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Mrmrljmc@aol.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Muerkens@misereor.de, email@example.com, Narender IPAC <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Navsarjan <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Nathalie Arsenault <email@example.com>, National Dalit Christian Council <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Neera van der Geest <Neera.van.der.Geest@icco.nl>, Nelleke van der Vleuten <Nelleke.van.der.Vleuten@iccoenkerkinactie.nl>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, "Nickel, P.J." <P.J.Nickel@tue.nl>, Nidhi Sadana <email@example.com>, Niels Groth <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Nikita Dulvy <Nikita.Dulvy@icco.nl>, Niranjana Maru <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Noeau Warner <email@example.com>, "Nomaler, Z.O." <O.Nomaler@tue.nl>, Noni <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, "Nuvolari, A." <A.Nuvolari@tue.nl>, "Onna, T.J. van" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Ott@misereor.de, packianathan anthony <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Pankaja <email@example.com>, Paul Eagle <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, "Fr.Packia" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, "Peeters, E.A.C.S." <E.A.C.S.Peeters@student.tue.nl>, Pettersen Torunn <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, Petra Kocen <Petra.Kocen@dka.at>, email@example.com, Philip Mathew <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Philip Anthony <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, Pip Pehi <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Pohai Kukea-Shultz <firstname.lastname@example.org>, poonam pande <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, Port Hawkesbury K of C <email@example.com>, SIB PONDY <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Pradeep Esteves <email@example.com>, Pradeep Esteves <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Praja Rajakiya <email@example.com>, Prasad <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Pruthvi Hegde <email@example.com>, puratchi <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Pushpa Achanta <email@example.com>, pushkar khati <firstname.lastname@example.org>
On the Campaign Trail……
The drive to Kakinada took four hours from Vishakapatinam. The roads are not the same any more. India represented the bumpy and dumpy roads with doubts lingering all along if you would reach your destination in one piece, if you happen to reach. Not any more. The roads are very good all the way. One cannot imagine the type of head-on collisions any more that were so common only a few years ago. Many heads have rolled in the meantime. The drivers have changed track. Now they like it from behind, I mean they hit from behind. Hitting the other is such a thrill here. One wonders what the driving schools teach. License can be obtained in some places even without driving. The trainer in the driving school has one brake on his side and never allows the learner to apply brakes. He instinctively applies brake for the fear of his life. The learner never learns to apply brake. After all, the instructor is there. Why strain my leg with the brake? Steering is the most important role in a driving, they learn. We saw it all on the opposite side of the road. Ha, this man must have been in mad rush. One truck driving itself straight into the back of another! The end product looked like a new type of vehicle just out of the world. Half of the back of the vehicle in front swallowed by the front of the vehicle at the back! It is not a twist of tongue you know, it is a twist of madness. Believe me the vehicle at the back drove itself into the other vehicle to become an integral part of it. An apt lesson in national integration on the Independence Day of India!
India, the land of miracles! Hey, it is a landmine of miracles, no? Miracles are possible. But they are called miracles because they symbolize the impossible. And this man from the vehicle behind slowly walked into the ambulance that was rushed to take some dead bodies. No one was dead. Impossible! If you were not on the scene you would have surmised many dead. But the driver of the vehicle at the back was still sitting at the steering wheel. I told you steering is the most important part of driving in India and you would have jolly well thought this man did not want to let go of the steering wheel despite the huge number of vehicles stuck behind honking their horns. 'Sound horn if you want to have your way. That is 'Mera Bharat Mahan' (My India is great). He was stuck. His legs would not let him move. Machines had to be rushed to disentangle him from his attachment to his beloved truck that gave him his livelihood. The man was red boy, sorry girl, all over. You would have thought it was a festival of colors on India's independence day. But it was fresh blood oozing from his body. He was not crying in pain. He was simply waiting for the machines to arrive to cut the mangled metals that were so attached to him. And he would drive again after the formalities of registering a case and paying to many undeserving case sheeters, the police I mean.
Since the police, ambulance, any number of people were there to help we decided to proceed towards our CERI meeting in Vishakapatinam. It was worth the rush straight to the stage. Waking up at three in the morning, traveling till four in the afternoon and walking into a meeting! Hey, this Campaign is worth its salt, isn't it? Yes, when Jhansi and Daniel are at work. Amazing people, eh! Their cultural group of Dalit women can wake up and shake up the whole city if they sing. Such is the power! Women power! Dalit women power! At the helm is this Dalit woman Jhansi, unshakable confidence written all over her face. She sings and rattles the arrogant confidence of the caste fellows in the nooks and corners of Hyderabad and now also in Vishakapatinam. That is why the Member of Parliament, Harsh Kumar decided to come on her invitation despite the fact that he had to rush to Delhi that evening. He made it a point to call her again from the airport and congratulate her for bringing up the issue of electoral reforms in India to the public knowledge. The man has got guts, yar! Despite being in Congress!
There was no dearth of guts. There was all the freedom to show it forth. It was after all India's Independence Day. An ageing country without maturing into a democracy! The child living in old people! Full throttled gears from the powerful throats and perhaps also from the hearts of all leaders of all parties! It was a good treat fit for the day. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) took on the mantle of leadership and gave a loud cry for Proportionate Electoral System in India. Raj had already churned their emotional cords through his opening speech. A lot of people call him emotional. But this man has stuff yar! There was not sore throat yet. They were all soaring high.
The Woman leader of the Lok Satta party made it a point to remind even Raj that it was her party that took up the cause of Proportionate Electoral System in India before anyone else did. Raj nodded his head in approval. She pledged to stand by CERI in this mega struggle to bring genuine democracy to India. Wow! But this man is very confusing. His nod can mean yes sometimes and not at other times. Also it can mean yes and no often. A nodding confusion indeed!
I told you earlier, this is a land of miracles. All sorts of weird things keep happening in this country. The BJP leader was on the stage. Very rare to see such straight people in BJP! This Mala Kondaiah is a character. "I did not know what is Proportionate electoral system till I came here and listened to Mr. Raj. Now it is clear to me. I asked my party High Command if I can attend this Conference on Proportionate electoral system. They told me that this is one of the most urgent needs in India today. You go and attend this Conference. That is why I am here today on behalf of my party". He was thundering, literally you know? A strong man with a powerful voice!
This Jhansi and Daniel, they are the first ones to translate the Manifesto of CERI and release it on that day. Amazing people! They also overtook all the others in the translation of Dalitocracy into Telugu and released it first. Now it is the Manifesto. You do not know when she will sing while speaking and you cannot make out if she is speaking while singing. That is how she presents her point of view. Her people have now started wearing a black shawl like the revolutionary Gaddar. It is not fun. People sit in front of her in rapturous attention. She points out her fingers at the young people in front and asks one of them to come forward and speak. They are highly excited and they whistle their life out. They are of course the whistle blowers.
'We were waiting for this initiative for more than 20 years now. We are happy that at last some creative initiative has come in our own lifetime.' This was Rajender. All of them are leaders in their own rights.
Communist Party of India has always been with CERI in all the States. But this time it was also CPM that sent their representative to pledge support to this Campaign. Will India turn around towards greater democracy? The next generation will see it happening. More and more youth are coming forward and Jhansi handpicked the women to come forward and speak. Emboldened by her being at the center stage they came in procession and stressed the need for carrying the campaign to the villages, the schools, the colleges and to political parties.
The pouring rain, the frequent power cuts, the late hour, nothing deterred the audience. The speakers provided the thunder and lightning. The aidience stayed put till more than 20 leaders and the youth and women in addition pledged their support and manifested their determination to the Proportionate Electoral System in India.
The next one is in Coimbatore of Tamilnadu on 27 August. Three more State conferences are lined up before the Round Table of the World Parliament takes place in Tumkur. Pondicherry, Jharkhand and Chattishgarh are getting ready for their share of pioneering.
It is an adventure, no doubt. But not a blind rush into the vehicles in front! In those good old days vehicles in accident used to remain in roads for many days and even weeks before they were removed. When we returned in only four hours there was no trace of the accident. Times have changed. Systems are changing fast. There is no doubt electoral system will change in this country. Soon enough for our children if all of us join hands now! Now yes! Remember now! Dalits, minorities, women, Adivasis, Tribal people seem to be into a new awakening. Let it happen. Let it happen more in front of us. Let it happen more and more even after we disappear. Let Electoral Reforms come before we say bye to the world. Let my country awake into that Earth of freedom oh my Mother!