KANPUR (6TH February): Unity in diversity is the cliché often used to describe the multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-ethnic community that is India. The flavour of the season is unity in adversity, because if they don’t swim together they are bound to sink together.
Kanpur was witness to the strange spectacle of diverse political parties with varying ideologies coming together on one platform to protect the Constitution and the social fabric of the country. This is because of the common threat perception from a belligerent BJP. The Congress, SP, BSP, CPM, CPI, AAP, JDU, JDS, RLD, NCP and Swaraj India (of Yogendra Yadav) came together under the aegis of the Kanpur Sanyukt Morcha (United Front).
A four hour long meeting attended by 50 political leaders, social activists, and intellectuals was held today at Mega Mall, Noronha Crossing, hosted by chhotebhai, President, Kanpur Catholic Association and Convenor Kanpur Nagrik Manch. This was the initiative of Athar Naim of the Congress and Suresh Gupta of the RLD. Noted litterateur Padamshri Dr Giriraj Kishor was the chief guest and Sri R.N. Trivedi IAS (Retd) was the main speaker. Representatives of the Kanpur Bar Association, Guru Singh Sabha, Mahila Manch and the Kanpur Catholic Association also participated.
The participants were unanimous in their view that the so-called “revolt” by four senior most judges of the Supreme Court had literally set the cat among the pigeons. The rot in the highest echelons of the judiciary was indicative of the decline of democracy in the country and the rending of its social fabric, for petty electoral gains. It was the duty of all conscientious citizens to stem the rot.
Besides supporting the stand taken by the honourable judges the participants also strongly asserted that the time had come to revert to the time tested manual ballot paper system, as the sanctity of the EVMs was under a cloud. The danger of a polling booth being grabbed or a ballot box being snatched could easily be acted upon by the Election Commission. But there was no way of determining or verifying how an electronic system can be hacked, as no machine or system is tamper proof.
Grave concern was also expressed about the misuse of both the mainline and social media, especially the latter, for spewing vitriol on those who do not support the regime at the Centre.
Voicing the concerns of citizens, chhotebhai said that the opposition parties needed to go beyond just burning effigies or organising protest matches. They must address the genuine needs and grievances of the people and espouse their causes. It is no use leaving decisions to the parties’ respective “high commands”. They must convey to their higher ups the ground realities and people’s expectations.
All the political parties present resolved to carry this show of unity forward and convert it into a mass movement to protect the constitutional values of secularism and socialism with justice equality and fraternity.