BANGALORE: The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Sunday launched its election campaign with clear instructions to party workers not to resort the unethical means of electioneering, but stick to the principles of the party. The party organised a State party workers’ meet, which was attended by the office-bearers of different district units.
The party has sent a signal through the workers to the voters not to write off the BSP as a party belonging to certain class or group, but a party of all people. General secretary of the party Veer Singh said that the campaign should not involve mud-slinging, but deliver to the voters the true philosophy of the party.
Mr. Singh said the party workers have to influence the voters not to sell their votes.
National general secretary of the party P.G.R. Sindhia said BSP president Mayawati had given the freedom of choosing the candidates to the State unit. He said that the manifestoes of the parties were only facades and none of the parties carried out the promises made in their manifestoes. The BSP has done away with charting a manifesto and has planned to release a 20-page “concept paper,” which would spell out of the philosophy of the party.
World Wide E-Training For
Creation of Good, Positive Radiant and Wise Rulers
Chosen by Good, Positive, Radiant and Wise Voters
Advise on Good Governance
The basis of religion is morality, purity and faith forever
The basis of religion is morality, purity and faith forever
While that of politics is power
Aims and Objects
Reformation of individuals of the society suggesting some general principles through which the society can be guided towards greater humanism, improved welfare of its members, and more equitable sharing of resources
A good and just political system guarantees basic human rights and contains checks and balances to the use of power as an important condition for a happy in society. Complete freedom can be found in any system only in minds, which are free. To be free, people will have to look within their own minds and work towards freeing themselves. Freedom in the truest sense is only possible when a person uses Self imposed Rule of Law to develop his character through good speech and action and to train his mind so as to expand his mental potential and achieve his ultimate aim of enlightenment.
While recognizing the usefulness of separating religion from politics and the limitations of political systems in bringing about peace and happiness, there are several aspects of the Buddha’s teaching which have close correspondence to the political arrangements of the present day.
Firstly, the Buddha spoke about the equality of all human beings long before Abraham Lincoln, and that classes and castes are artificial barriers erected by society. The only classification of human beings, according to the Buddha, is based on the quality of their moral conduct. Secondly, the Buddha encouraged the spirit of social -co-operation and active participation in society. This spirit is actively promoted in the political process of modern societies. Thirdly, since no one was appointed as the Buddha’s successor, the members of the Order were to be guided by the Dhamma and Vinaya, or in short, the Rule of Law. Until today very member of the Sangha is to abide by the Rule of Law which governs and guides their conduct.
Fourthly, the Buddha encouraged the spirit of consultation and the democratic process. This is shown within the community of the Order in which all members have the right to decide on matters of general concern. When a serious question arose demanding attention, the issues were put before the monks and discussed in a manner similar to the democratic parliamentary system used today. This self-governing procedure may come as a surprise to many to learn that in the assemblies of Buddhists in India 2,500 years and more ago are to be found the rudiments of the parliamentary practice of the present day. (Historians maintain that one of the world’s first democratic republics with an elected assembly of representatives flourished here in the 6th century B.C. in the time of the Vajjis and the Lichchavis. And while Pataliputra, capital of the Mauryas and the Guptas, held political sway over the Gangetic plain, Vaishali was a rich center for trade and industry.) Vaishali has a past that pre-dates recorded history. It is held that the town derives its name from King Vishal, whose heroic deeds are narrated in that around the time Pataliputra was the centre of political activity in the Gangetic plains, Vaishali came into existence as centre of the Ganga, Vaishali is credited with being the World’s First Republic to have a duly elected assembly of representatives and efficient administration A special officer similar to ‘Mr. Speaker’ was appointed to preserve the dignity of the Parliamentary Chief Whip, was also appointed to see if the quorum was secured. Matters were put forward in the form of a motion which was open to discussion. In some cases it was done once, in others three times, thus anticipating the practice of Parliament in requiring that a bill be read a third time before it becomes law. If the discussion showed a difference of opinion, it was to be settled by the vote of the majority through balloting.
Equality of all human beings
While recognizing the usefulness of separating religion from politics and the limitations of political systems in bringing about peace and happiness, there are several aspects which have close correspondence to the political arrangements of the and guides their conduct.
Firstly, about the equality of all human beings, it is based on the quality of their moral conduct. Secondly, encouragement of the spirit of social -co-operation and active participation in society. This spirit is actively promoted in the political process of modern societies. Thirdly, the members of the good, positive, radiant and wise Order were to be guided by the Rule of Law. Until today such member of the is to abide by the Rule of Law which governs
Consultation and the democratic process.
Fourthly, encouragement the spirit of consultation and the democratic process. This is shown within the community of the Order in which all members have the right to decide on matters of general concern. When a serious question arose demanding attention, the issues were put before the wise and discussed in a manner similar to the democratic parliamentary system used today. This self-governing procedure may come as a surprise to many to learn that in the assemblies in
Moralization and the Responsible use of Public Power
The Buddhist approach to political power is the moralization and the responsible use of public power. The Buddha preached non-violence and peace as a universal message. He did not approve of violence or the destruction of life, and declared that there is no such thing as a ‘just’ war. He taught: ‘The victor breeds hatred, the defeated lives in misery. He who renounces both victory and defeat is happy and peaceful.’ Not only did the Buddha teach non-violence and peace, He was perhaps the first and only religious teacher who went to the battlefield personally to prevent the outbreak of a war. He diffused tension between the Sakyas and the Koliyas who were about to wage war over the waters of Rohini. He also dissuaded King Ajatasattu from attacking the Kingdom of the Vajjis.
The Buddha discussed the importance and the prerequisites of a good government. He showed how the country could become corrupt, degenerate and unhappy when the head of the government becomes corrupt and unjust. He spoke against corruption and how a government should act based on humanitarian principles.
The Buddha once said, ‘When the ruler of a country is just and good, the ministers become just and good; when the ministers are just and good, the higher officials become just and good; when the higher officials are just and good, the rank and file become just and good; when the rank and file become just and good, the people become just and good.’(Anguttara Nikaya)
Buddha’s Rule for Good Government
In the Jataka, the Buddha had given to rules for Good Government, known as ‘Dasa Raja Dharma’. These ten rules can be applied even today by any government which wishes to rule the country peacefully. The rules are as follows:
1) be liberal and avoid selfishness,
2) maintain a high moral character,
3) be prepared to sacrifice one’s own pleasure for the well-being of the subjects,
4) be honest and maintain absolute integrity,
5) be kind and gentle,
6) lead a simple life for the subjects to emulate,
7) be free from hatred of any kind,
8) exercise non-violence,
9) practice patience, and
10) respect public opinion to promote peace and harmony.
Regarding the behavior of rulers, He further advised:
- A good ruler should act impartially and should not be biased and discriminate between one particular group of subjects against another.
- A good ruler should not harbor any form of hatred against any of his subjects.
- A good ruler should show no fear whatsoever in the enforcement of the law, if it is justifiable.
- A good ruler must possess a clear understanding of the law to be enforced. It should not be enforced just because the ruler has the authority to enforce the law. It must be done in a reasonable manner and with common sense. — (Cakkavatti Sihananda Sutta)
In the Milinda Panha,it is stated: ‘If a man, who is unfit, incompetent, immoral, improper, unable and unworthy of kingship, has enthroned himself a king or a ruler with great authority, he is subject to be tortured‚ to be subject to a variety of punishment by the people, because, being unfit and unworthy, he has placed himself unrighteously in the seat of sovereignty. The ruler, like others who violate and transgress moral codes and basic rules of all social laws of mankind, is equally subject to punishment; and moreover, to be censured is the ruler who conducts himself as a robber of the public.’ In a Jataka story, it is mentioned that a ruler who punishes innocent people and does not punish the culprit is not suitable to rule a country.
Long live His Majesty
The king always improves himself and carefully examines his own conduct in deeds, words and thoughts, trying to discover and listen to public opinion as to whether or not he had been guilty of any faults and mistakes in ruling the kingdom. If it is found that he rules unrighteously, the public will complain that they are ruined by the wicked ruler with unjust treatment, punishment, taxation, or other oppressions including corruption of any kind, and they will react against him in one way or another. On the contrary, if he rules righteously they will bless him: ‘Long live His Majesty.’ (Majjhima Nikaya)
The Buddha’s emphasis on the moral duty of a ruler
The Buddha’s emphasis on the moral duty of a ruler to use public power to improve the welfare of the people had inspired Emperor Asoka in the Third Century B.C. to do likewise. Emperor Asoka, a sparkling example of this principle, resolved to live according to and preach the Dhamma and to serve his subjects and all humanity. He declared his non-aggressive intentions to his neighbors, assuring them of his goodwill and sending envoys to distant kings bearing his message of peace and non-aggression. He promoted the energetic practice of the socio-moral virtues of honesty, truthfulness, compassion, benevolence, non-violence, considerate behavior towards all, non-extravagance, non-acquisitiveness, and non-injury to animals. He encouraged religious freedom and mutual respect for each other’s creed. He went on periodic tours preaching the Dhamma to the rural people. He undertook works of public utility, such as founding of hospitals for men and animals, supplying of medicine, planting of roadside trees and groves, digging of wells, and construction of watering sheds and rest houses. He expressly forbade cruelty to animals.
Buddha - a social reformer
Sometimes the Buddha is said to be a social reformer. Among other things, He condemned the caste system, recognized the equality of people, spoke on the need to improve socio-economic conditions, recognized the importance of a more equitable distribution of wealth among the rich and the poor, raised the status of women, recommended the incorporation of humanism in government and administration, and taught that a society should not be run by greed but with consideration and compassion for the people. Despite all these, His contribution to mankind is much greater because He took off at a point which no other social reformer before or ever since had done, that is, by going to the deepest roots of human ill which are found in the human mind. It is only in the human mind that true reform can be effected. Reforms imposed by force upon the external world have a very short life because they have no roots. But those reforms which spring as a result of the transformation of man’s inner consciousness remain rooted. While their branches spread outwards, they draw their nourishment from an unfailing source — the subconscious imperatives of the life-stream itself. So reforms come about when men’s minds have prepared the way for them, and they live as long as men revitalize them out of their own love of truth, justice and their fellow men.
The doctrine preached by the Buddha is not one based on ‘Political Philosophy’. Nor is it a doctrine that encourages men to worldly pleasures. It sets out a way to attain Nibbana. In other words, its ultimate aim is to put an end to craving (Tanha) that keeps them in bondage to this world. A stanza from the Dhammapada best summarizes this statement: ‘The path that leads to worldly gain is one, and the path that leads to Nibbana (by leading a religious life)is another
Theories on Governance
The Ten Royal Qualities
First, let it be explained as to why the term ‘royal’ has been used to denote these qualities. There are two reasons for it. First and foremost it is to emphasise the exalted nature, or the greatness of the qualities. Secondly, it is because these qualities are most relevant and necessary for the exercise of leadership.
Before we get on to the ten qualities, let us get a simple definition of what a leader is, of what leadership means. If a person by his ideas, his perceptions, his decisions, have an impact or bearing or an influence on others lives, on the welfare of other beings then such a person is a leader. A leader also will have to determine his objectives and realise those objectives. However, the essence of leadership, is to show the way. From that standpoint we find that there is leadership in a home, in welfare institutions ,in educational institutions, professional institutions in business, in industry and commerce, in Temples, Hermitages, other places of worship, in a village, in a town, in a city or in a country. So there is leadership to be found in all these institutions and at various levels. Wherever there is a grouping of beings, there is always a requirement for leadership.
Proximate and Root causes
Now in the process of learning through numerous educational institutions, professional institutions and through on-the-job training process we come to acquire certain perceptions and certain skills about leadership and the attainment of objectives. Such learning has its relevance, but it also has its limitation. Being learned is a necessary condition for the fulfilment of objectives for a leader. However, learning is only a proximate cause for the realisation of those objectives. Often we find, in spite of much learning, much training and much effort that results don’t match our anticipation. Sometimes the results end up in disaster. This is because whilst great effort and concentration has gone towards the fulfilment of those necessary proximate causes, insufficient attention has been paid to the fulfilment of certain essential root causes. < ?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />
Learning is a necessary cause, a necessary condition. However, there are certain other essential conditions at root level which must be established, developed and made much of, for the realisation of wholesome aspirations, of wholesome objectives. A leader must acquire, develop and make much of such root conditions. These ten royal qualities of leadership, go to make up, those root conditions. It is the foundation on which he builds up his path. If the foundation is weak, needless to say the results, will not be in accordance with one’s anticipations. If however, the foundation is strong, the root causes are well established, those necessary proximate causes also will fall into place with effortless ease and most of all the results of one’s effort will be in accordance with one’s anticipations. Through that process one can be content that not only has one achieved one’s own objectives but it has also been for one’s own welfare and most of all for the welfare of others too, because welfare of others must always be foremost in the mind of a leader.
Brief outline of ten royal qualities and thereafter how they get developed. There are ten such qualities.
Dana means gifting. This means that you gift necessary requisites for the sustenance of human life. Not only to human life but sometimes to other types of beings too. Then we also have occasions when one devotes ones time and energy to certain wholesome deeds. That is also a mode of gifting. Then there is the gift of truth, where one assists others to realise the true nature of things. That is the highest of all gifts.
Parithyaga means sacrifice. Here one sacrifices one’s wealth, one’s comforts, one’s time, one’s energies, one’s pleasures for the welfare of other beings. It is totally sacrificed for the welfare of others.
Economic Teachings of the Buddha
Certain modern schools of thought like Marxism regard the economic domain as the primary determinant of social existence and dismiss everything else as mere superstructure, a secondary overlay resting on the material substratum.
Contrary to this view, the Buddha recognizes that there are many interdependent spheres of human activity. These cannot be subjected to any simplistic reduction, but must be seen as interrelated and mutually efficacious. The Buddha took note of the importance of economics in human life and he held that for people to be capable of personal and spiritual progress, the economic foundation has to be secure.
In many sutta’s the Buddha has pointed out that poverty can lead to the decline of moral values - to stealing, lying, murder, etc., and eventually to complete social chaos. He teaches not only that economics largely determines man’s moral condition, but also that the government has a responsibility to correct any extreme economic injustice. He advises the king to look after the economic well being of his subjects. He says that the king has to give seed to the farmers for their crops and feed for their cattle, capital to the merchants and businessman to conduct their business, and jobs to the civil servants, etc.
Buddhism promotes economic wellbeing in society by its stress on the virtue of generosity. The Buddha teaches all his disciples, whether monks or laymen, to practice giving, to be generous and bountiful. The wealthy in particular have an obligation to give to the poor, to help and assist the poor.
The things that can be given have been minutely classified as follows:
The basic requirements are:
Utensils, lights, seats etc.
The Buddha especially praises, the giving of food
The Buddha especially praises, the giving of food. He says that if people knew the benefits of giving food, they would not sit down to a single meal without sharing it with someone if there is an opportunity for them to do so. He says one who gives food gives the following five things and in return receives these five as its karmic result.
He gives :
Specific advice to laymen
The Buddha gave the following advice to a group of lay people as conducive to their happiness here and now.
(a) Energy and diligence
You have to be energetic and diligent in performing your job whether it is farming, a trade, business or a profession.
You have to protect your wealth.
(c) Good friendship
Associate with true friends, with wise and virtuous people who will help you and protect you, and guide you in Dhamma.
(d) Balanced livelihood
You should not be too bountiful, spending more than your means allow, and you should not be niggardly, clinging to your wealth. Avoid these extremes and spend in proportion to your income.
Buddha gave Advice For Long Term Benefit
Then he gave them advice for their long term benefit: as (a) faith and confidence in spiritual values, (b) generosity, (c) moral discipline and (d) wisdom.
The Buddha laid down four standards of right livelihood to which a lay follower should conform.
He should require it in ways which do not harm others.
Prosperity and Happiness The Buddhist View
Many people, including Buddhists, believe that Buddhism spurns the acquisition of material comforts and pleasure and is concerned only with spiritual development. The attainment of Nibbana is, indeed, the goal. However,
The Buddha was very much alive to the fact that economic stability is essential for man’s welfare and happiness.
In the Anguttaranikaya (A.II. (69-70) the Buddha mentions that there are four kinds of happiness derived from wealth. They are:
1) Atthisukha - The happiness of ownership.
2) Anavajjasukha - The happiness derived from wealth which is earned by means of right livelihood, i.e. not dealing in the sale of harmful weapons, not dealing in the slaughter of animals and sale of flesh, not dealing in the sale of liquor, not dealing in the sale of human beings (e.g. slavery and prostitution) and not dealing in the sale of poisons.
3) Ananasukha - the happiness derived from not being in debt.
4) Bhogasukha - the happiness of sharing one’s wealth. This kind of happiness is an extremely important concept in Buddhism.
Although the Buddha saw that economic stability was important for man’s happiness, he also saw the harmful side of wealth. Rather, he saw that man’s natural desires and propensities are such that wealth provides ample scope for these propensities to surface and indulge themselves. Yet, it appears, desires can never be fully satisfied for it is stated in the Ratthapalasutta (M.II.68) “Uno loko atitto tanhadaso.” The world is never satisfied and is ever a slave to craving. The Dhammapada (vs. 186-187) also points out this insatiability in man. “Na kahapana vassena titthi kamesu vijjati…” Not by a shower of gold coins does contentment arise in sensual pleasures.
The Buddha’s prescriptions for prosperity and happiness
The Buddha’s prescriptions for prosperity and happiness have been always laced with liberal doses of ethics.The following pages try to make this connection.
On another occasion the Buddha said, ” Grass is to be sought for by those in need of grass. Firewood is to be sought for by those in need of firewood. A cart to be sought for by those in need of a cart. A servant by him who is in need of a servant. But, Headman, in no manner whatsoever do I declare that gold and silver be accepted or sought for. “(S.IV 326) The meaning is very clear from these statements. Wealth is to be sought not as an end in itself but as a means to an end, for attaining various objectives and fulfilling duties.
The Andhasutta (A.I. 128-129) presents an apt analogy where we can locate the ethically ideal position. The Buddha says there are three types of persons to be found in the world: The totally blind, the one who can see with one eye, and, the one who can see with both eyes. The man who is totally blind is the one who can neither acquire wealth nor discern right from wrong. The one who can see with one eye is the man who can acquire wealth but cannot discern right from wrong. The one who has perfect sight in both eyes is the ideal individual. He can acquire wreath and also discern what is right from wrong. The Buddhist view is that the ideal man is the man who is wealthy and virtuous.
In another analogy (S.I.. 93ff) the Buddha classified people into the following categories:
Tama (dark) to Tama (dark)
Tama (dark) to Joti (light)
Joti (light) to tama (dark)
Joti (light) to Joti (light)
The tama person is poor and may or may not possess good qualities such as faith and generosity. The Joti person is rich and may or may not possess good qualities such as faith and generosity. The Tama person who does not possess good qualities who is mean and devoid of faith will go from darkness to darkness. The Tama person who has faith and is of a generous disposition will go from darkness to light. The joti person who is devoid of faith and generosity will go from light to darkness. The Joti person who has good qualities will go from light to light.
Sometimes wealth causes certain people to be miserly. The Buddha has remarked that riches “that are not rightly utilized run to waste, not to enjoyment” and compares such a person to a lake of pure water lying in an inaccessible savage region. (S.I. 89-90).
People from various walks of life and of varying temperaments came to the Buddha to ask him all kinds of advice. The people of Veludvara and Dhigajanu Vyaggapajja of Kakkarapatta, for instance (on separate occasions) visited the Buddha and requested him to teach them those things which would conduce to their happiness in this life as well as the next.
Dhiajanu Vyaggapajja (like the people of veludvara) confessed to enjoying life thoroughly. “Lord” he said “we householders like supporting wives and children. We love to use the finest muslins from < ?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />
With great compassion did the Buddha give Vyaggapajja (as he did the people of veludvara on another occasion) a comprehensive prescription for the attainment of prosperity and happiness without ever deprecating the life of sensuous enjoyment Laymen like to lead. It is in this sutta that the Buddha advocated four conditions which if fulfilled would give one prosperity and happiness. They are:
Acquiring Material Wealth
1. Utthanasampada - achievement in alertness. The Buddha has described this quality as skill and perseverance and applying an inquiring mind into ways and means whereby one is able to arrange and carry out one’s work successfully.
2. Arakkhasampada - achievement in carefulness,
3. Kalyanamittata - having the companionship of good friends who have the qualities of faith, virtue, generosity and wisdom.
4. Samajivikata - maintaining a balanced livelihood. This last condition requires one not to be unduly elated or dejected in the face of gain or loss but to have a good idea of one’s income and expenditure and live within one’s means. A man is advised not to waste his wealth like shaking a fig tree to get one fruit, thereby causing all the fruits on the tree, ripe and unripe, to fall on the ground and go waste. Nor is one advised to hoard wealth without enjoying it and die of starvation.
This advice with regard to acquiring material wealth is followed up with four conditions for one’s spiritual welfare which would ensure one a happy birth in the next life also. They are: Having the qualities of faith, (saddha) virtue, (sila) charity (dana) and wisdom (panna)
Balance Between Material and Spiritual Progress
A careful look at the two sets of four conditions clearly show that the principle underlying them is that one should maintain a balance between material and spiritual progress. Directing one’s attention to one’s spiritual welfare along with one’s daily activities having to do with acquiring wealth acts as a break to ever-increasing greed. The purpose of restraining greed or sense desires is to develop contentment with less wants. Amassing wealth for its own sake is condemned by the Buddha. When wealth is not shared and is used only to satisfy one’s own selfish aims, it leads to resentment in society. When this sutta is carefully considered the connection between ethics and happiness becomes apparent.
Further in the sutta, wealth is likened to a tank of water with four outlets through which the water is liable to flow out and go waste. These outlets are what dissipates wealth, viz., debauchery, addiction to liquor, gambling and keeping company with evil doers. The four inlets which keep replenishing the supply of water in the tank are the practicing of the opposites of what has been mentioned above such as abstaining from debauchery, etc.
According to the Alavakasutta (Sn. p.33) wealth is acquired by energetic striving, amassed by strength of arm and sweat of brow.
The Buddha has also observed that in acquiring wealth one should not be deterred by cold, heat, flies, mosquitoes, wind, sun, creeping things, dying of hunger and thirst but that one should be prepared to endure all these difficulties. (M.I. 85) In short, being idle and shirking hardships is not the best way to succeed in gaining prosperity.
Earning wealth through selling intoxicating liquor, harmful weapons, drugs and poisons or animals to be killed are all condemned. They fall into the category of wrong livelihood (A.III 206.) One’s livelihood must be earned through lawful means, non - violently (S.IV 336). In fact, the Buddha has stated that the wealth of those who amass it without intimidating others, like a roving bee who gathers honey without damaging flowers, well increase in the same way as does an anthill. (D.III 188)
In the Dhananjanisutta (M.II. 188) ven’ble Sariputta states that no one can escape the dreadful results of unlawful and non - righteous methods of livelihood by giving the reason that one is engaged in them to perform his duties and fulfill obligations. The Dhammikasutta of the Sutta nipata states “Let him dutifully maintain his parents and practice an honourable trade. The householder who observes this strenuously goes to the gods by name Sayampabhas.”
Online edition of India’s National Newspaper
Tuesday, Apr 15, 2008
Shivajinagar has the lowest number of voters
Bangalore: Shivajinagar Assembly constituency has the lowest number of voters among the 21 constituencies of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike electoral district.
The size of this constituency has been enhanced following delimitation as three more wards of the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike are included to this in addition to the existing three wards.
Sampangiramanagar (ward 77), Vasanthnagar (78) and Shivajinagar (79) wards were part of this constituency prior to the delimitation exercise.
Bharathinagar (80), Ulsoor (81) and Jayamahal (92) wards, which were spread in the erstwhile Jayamahal and Bharathinagar constituencies, were included during delimitation process.
This constituency comprises areas such as Kumara Park East, Jayamahal Extension, Bharathinagar, Shivajinagar and parts of Ulsoor.
Vidhana Soudha is part of this constituency.
This assembly constituency was reserved for Scheduled Castes prior to the process of delimitation.
Now it is a general constituency and has the highest sex ratio among the 21 constituencies of the BBMP electoral district.
Six wards of the BBMP, Neelasandra (ward no 69), Shanthinagar (70), Austin Town (71), Domlur (72), Jogupalya (75) and Richmond Town (ward no 76) are part of this constituency.
While Neelasandra was in the Uttarahalli constituency prior to delimitation, parts of Koramangala (67), which were in this constituency prior to delimitation, are now shifted to the neighbouring BTM Layout.
Ashoknagar, Langford Town, Richmond Town, Ulsoor, Cambridge Layout, Domlur, Agaram, Victoria Layout, Viveknagar, localities around M.G. Road and St. Mark’s Road are part of this constituency.
|Tuesday, April 15, 2008|
It’s an EPIC struggle indeed
|If a voter wants to get an electronic photo identity card (EPIC) in Bangalore City, then he or she needs to be blessed with loads of luck…|
This was the impression gained when Deccan Herald did a reality check at three EPIC centres on Monday.
Thousands have been queuing up for EPICs at the many counters in the City every day, while only a few hundreds get them by the end of the day.
Officials of Macro Infotech, which has been awarded the contract to issue EPICs, remained unavailable for any comments on the campaign.
About a thousand people had queued up at 8 am on Monday, though the centre was to open at 9 am.
People stood in two depressingly long queues: one for obtaining counterfoils confirming the existence of voters’ names in the voters’ list, and the other for EPICs.
As against the over 3,000 voters who flocked the centre, hardly 500 cards were issued. Hundreds were seen returning after looking at the serpentine queues.
Tax inspector Srikanth manning a counter, said: “The agency has provided only a single laptop with web camera for taking photographs. At least five cameras are required.”
Only 300 of the 1,500-odd who queued up for EPICs, were successful in obtaining the cards. But people who came in the afternoon were issued counterfoils for use the next day.
Returning empty-handed, BBM student Mohammed Dawood said: “I had a holiday today and came for the ID. But, the waiting was in vain. They want me to come tomorrow which is difficult.”
Those who came to the EPIC centre at Income Tax Regional Training School on Crescent Road were greeted by a small poster which read: “For Voters’ Photo Session, visit Corporation Office (Devanga School), near Ulsoorgate Police Station, Sampangiramanagar, from 14-04-2008 to 17-04-2008.”
Students Priyanka and Ankita were seen rushing out in search of the new venue. A person working at the premises, said that the EPIC drive was conducted at the school on Saturday and Sunday, before being shifted.
Mythili, a resident of Munishwara Layout in Yelahanka constituency, waited for hours on Sunday and till afternoon on Monday, only to be told that her name did not figure in the voters’ list in the computer. “Although my name is in the hardcopy of the voters’ list, it is not there in the computer,” she fumed.
After a five-hour futile wait, Khizar Ahmed of Austin Town, said: “My name has not been included in the voters’ list although I had applied for it in August 2007.”
Chief Electoral Officer M N Vidyashankar said the EPIC drive was affected on Sunday due to power disruption in many areas. “Otherwise, there has been no problem,” he claimed.
On long queues, he said he has directed officials to instal additional systems at all centres.
. . . one morning, some children gathered at their favorite meeting place, in a green meadow, under a large tree, where they met with an elder of their community who asked them the question, “If you could make a wish what would it be?”
The first child spoke, “I wish for the health and well-being of my family and friends, and of everyone in my community; and that we always remember to support and appreciate each other.”
The second child said, “My wish is that I will do all that I can to develop my skills and abilities. That I am creative and energetic and kind.”
A third child spoke, “My wish is that we treat people from elsewhere as we would treat each other, even if they seem different or weird. That we remember to speak up for them when others forget.”
Then the fourth child spoke, “My wish is for the Earth. That we respect all species, and the air and soil and water.”
A fifth child said, “My wish is that we remain always curious about the unknown, that we are trusting of the mysterious and open to the promise of the yet-to-be-revealed.”
The elder asked the children if they believed that wishes can come true.
The children answered, “Yes, we believe that they can.”
Then the elder asked, “How does that happen. How can it be that wishes come true?”
“By keeping on wishing. & Imagining! & Working!” said one.
“Though our intention and passion,” said another.
“By our love,” said another. “By trusting life,”
Then the elder said: “Remember that you are unique, that life has never expressed itself as it now expresses itself through each one of you.
“CHANGE is at the very foundation of things, even those things that appear to be most solid.“