South India Coalition for Proportional Electoral System
It was yet another amazing day in the history of the Campaign for Proportional Electoral System in India. All new campaigns have to pave their way of success with many events that will give meaning to their objective and create a sense of purpose among participants. CERI has been doing this consistently from 2008. Having built up a substantial quantum of intellectual capital among the Indian intelligentsia, academia, political and civil society leadership CERI moved into the corridors of Parliament of India to push the agenda of Proportional Electoral System among the members of the parliament. The success we tasted cannot be said to be very great but it brought about multiple impacts in the mindset of political forces in India.
Armed with many researches, documents and books that CERI produced every now and then it decided move in paths that are generally not treaded by by similar campaigns. CERI decided that it was high time that political leaders and parties began to take up leadership to further push the agenda of PR system in India. The first meetings that were sort of testing grounds both in Bangalore and in Delhi manifested greater interest in the cause than CERI anticipated. The South India Coalition for Proportional Electoral System moved much faster in a concerted manner than anticipated. The Bangalore meeting set up a Working Group to move forward towards the launching of the South India Coalition.
Working Group members were drawn from people who were more politically oriented and involved. Mr Manohar Elevarthi of Praja Rajakiya Vedike Bangalore and Ms. Sheema Mohsin of Welfare Party of India took up the responsibility of Coordinating jointly, thus setting up a good model of political maneuvering. Mrs. Jyothi of REDS, Kathyayini of CIVIC, Ravi of the Fourth Wave Foundation (Disability Sector), Mr. Gunaga of the AIPF and Ms. Mufeeda Begum of Aga Foundation are other members who worked assiduously towards the Launch. This Working Group does not belong to CERI and has an independent existence of its own.
Today the Launch Event in Bangalore started with a full house of over 300 participants from multicultural sectors in India and also drawn from different states. It was a very good sign that many came from all other South Indian States in good numbers. The stage was adorned by a galaxy of eminent personalities. Dr. Kamala Hampana, a very well acclaimed Kannada litterateur, Shri Veerabhadra Chennamalla Swamiji, a strong fighter for human rights and long time friend of Dalits, Thol. Thirumavalavan MP of the VCK from Chennai, Dr. Jawahirulla of the TMMK also from Chennai took over the inaugural session along with a Keynote Address from M C Raj.
There were many speakers pledging their support to and membership of South India Coalition for Proportional Electoral System. Mr. P V Lokesh, Karnataka State Secretary of CPI, Mr. Gurushanth of CPM, Ms. Leena Dabiru, the national Spokesperson of CERI, Dr. Ruth Manorama of NAWO, Ms. Yashodha of Karnataka Dalit Mahila Vedike, Mr. Sinthanai Selvan of VCK, Prof. Narasimhaiah of AHINDA, Ms. Jayashree Ramesh of ASHA for Autism, Mr. Ambujakshan of Dalit Panthers of Kerala as well as of Welfare Party of India, Mr. Nagesh Vilas Sakre and Ravikrishna Reddy of Lok Satta Party, Mr. Gunaga of AIPF, Mr. G Ravi of Fourth Wave Foundation, Ms. Veena of the Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum, Mr. Sripad Bhat of Adima Living Times, Mr. Pranabjyothi Borah of Assam society of Bangalore and Sr. Celia of NAPM-Karnataka added much strength to the deliberations.
Akkai of the Karnataka Sexual Minorities Forum compered the proceedings of the entire day while Manohar Elavarthi and Sheema Mohsin were moderators. Vivek provided much of the logistical support.
All the speakers and parties with the exception of only the Adima Living Times have pledged their full support to the South India Coalition and have also come forward to join all future efforts in that direction, with the twin purpose of political mobilization and mobilization of people for PR system in India.
The Launch Event ended with a characteristic and unusual sense of fulfillment for most people. The determination to carry this mission forward filled the air in the entire campus of the Central College in Bangalore University.