Dear Fellow Citizens of Karnataka,
I am seeking your support for "Values and Ethics in Politics of Karnataka."
I am sure that you have noticed the political tamasha of recent times in Karnataka, and the absolute deterioration of political morality. Power mongering, money, caste and communal frenzy have become the major attributes of electoral democracy. Bangalore itself has become a haven for real estate and mining magnates.
In such a scenario, in the forthcoming Karnataka Assembly elections, it seems that a candidate will be elected only if he spends tens of crores of rupees; if he gives gifts to the electorate; if he stirs up caste and communal passions, dividing all of us. No other qualities and sane reasons are going to be considered. People, who do not understand the challenges of our times and our generation, are going to be elected.
All the money is definitely going to be the money that was ill-gotten, unaccounted, black money. People with money are going to buy the election and every party is going to make the mockery of law and the people's mandate.
The Election Commission has imposed a legal limit of 10 lakh rupees for the election related expense. But, most of the mainstream political party candidates will be spending 10 times more and surely in Bangalore, some candidates will spend 100 times the legal limit. Make no mistake. Only ill-gotten, unaccounted, black money will be spent in these elections, and with the intention of making more. This is not a fair election. In this system, in these times, no honest man can stand for an election and win.
Abraham Lincoln, one of the greatest upholders of Democracy and Equality in the history of mankind, once said, "To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men."
At this juncture, as citizens of India, what then is our responsibility? How shall we respond to this challenge? Just by doing a mere "LIP SERVICE"? Just by being cynical and selfish? Or, by knowing our rights and responsibilities and follow the path of righteousness?
What are we going to do now?
I believe we cannot afford to be silent and indifferent. I believe if we do not take part in the democratic process, that will be a great sin and an act of betrayal towards Bangalore and Karnataka, the land where we were born, where we are earning a living and paying taxes, where our children are growing up and will be spending the rest of their life. Can we afford to let thugs, criminals, anti-social elements, petty people be our representatives?
I do not intend to be silent. I want to make my voice, our voice heard.
Who am I?
My name is Ravi Krishna Reddy. I am 33 years old. I am a native of Bommasandra, a village in Bangalore Urban district. I did my schooling in my village, in a Kannada medium government school. Then, I was educated at UVCE, Bangalore University, where I obtained BE and ME degrees in Computer Science. For the past six years, I have been working as a software Engineer in US.
Though I am away from Bangalore, I have been writing and commenting in Kannada on progressive causes and the challenges we face in India and particularly, in Karnataka. Links to most of my articles and translations can be found at my blog:
Youtube Video Blog
In 2006, I also founded a Kannada weekly magazine in Karnataka, namely, "Vikranta Karnataka." You can find and understand my stands, ideologies, principles, and concern by reading through my writings.
In US, I have actively participated in Bay Area's (Silicon Valley) Kannada community activities. I served as the Secretary (2004), and then the President (2005) of Kannada Koota of Northern California, which is among the largest Kannada organizations in the US.
What am I going to do in the coming election?
I intend to contest from an assembly seat in Bangalore. It will likely be Jayanagar or BTM Layout or any other constituency, with a large concentration of educated people.
My candidacy is an effort to start a new conversation in politics. I believe my life experiences have prepared me to represent the people of Karnataka, be a vocal presence in the Karnataka legislative Assembly and shape public policy, without being influenced by big business or caste and communal consideration. The challenges facing urban Karnataka, and Bangalore in particular, will require both honesty and exposure to the rest of the world.
I intend to raise all the money that is needed for this election from the public, mainly from IT professionals, with whom I can relate more and reach out easily through the modern day technologies. I will be spending only the legal limit of 15 lakhs and if we happen to raise more money, then the additional funds will be spent on strengthening Democracy and value system across Karnataka. All contributions will be posted on the web. Every paisa will be accounted and well spent.
My journey will begin on April 14th, 2008. We will pay our tribute on that day to the architect of Indian constitution, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar at the Ambedkar statue, in front of Vidhana Soudha. After that, I will be engaging in conversation with all the like-minded people who can support the cause. In the same week I will be visiting Electronic City, IT Park, and Silk Board Junction to solicit moral-physical-financial support from my fellow brothers and sisters of the IT industry.
In the last week of April, I intend to go on a "3 Day Hunger Strike" in front of Mahatma Gandhi's statue, in the name of "maulyagraha" (Holding the Values). I will be requesting all the like-minded people who believe in the "Just Democracy" and wish for "Values and Ethics in Politics", to join me in this Hunger Strike.
After that I will be touring my chosen constituency, Bangalore, and perhaps, even some other parts of Karnataka to engage the people and discuss with them about our future.
IT people are selfish and self-centric !?
When I shared my plans with my friends, most of them said, "Don't believe these IT people. They are very self-centered, and indifferent. They will not support you. They will not come out and vote for you. All they care about is their career, money and luxuries in life. If at all they say anything, it is all lip service." Well, being a software engineer myself, I disagree with that characterization most of the times and feel obliged to prove such sentiments baseless. I certainly hope we collectively can demonstrate that we too can be engaged and socially responsible.
In this journey I will be scrutinized, questioned and ridiculed by cynics, and by people who do not know me personally and who do not know my ideology, concerns and principles. It is going to be a very strenuous path, which demands personal sacrifice.
Why me? What will I do if I get elected?
All these years we have been told to choose the lesser of two evils. I strongly believe this has made us to compromise our values and ethics. Moreover, it has also produced a political system with no basic, decent values. Let us not take that path now onwards. Wherever and whenever possible let us do the right thing and only the right thing.
- I would like to request you to choose and support the "right" candidate in your respective constituency, who played by the rules and who will fight for you and for all. I am sure I will provide the same opportunity to the people of the constituency in which I am going to contest. In the coming days I am going to outline the issues that I am going to raise, how I am going to fight this election, and how will I address the issues.
- I will dedicate my life as a representative for the welfare of the people of Karnataka. This "welfare" is not just about financial prosperity but all-round growth-- social, economical, educational and technological. India's role and responsibility in the coming days is going to increase drastically. We need people who understand the challenges and responsibilities that come with power. We need to prepare our people to take that responsibility.
- I will be fighting for the welfare of the people of Karnataka.I will work with the legal system on enforcing the laws, which are always flaunted by rich and powerful.
- I will help to write laws to fix our corruptive system in which rich and powerful can get away even after making criminal acts.
- In the assembly floor I will raise the issues that our people and our generation facing and will ensure those issues see their logical end.
- I will fight for democratic, progressive, liberal values, which uphold the equality and justice for all.
- I will follow Gandhian principles; the path of righteousness.
- I will work with the best thinkers and social workers of the land and will outline and define the course of actions regularly.
- I will abide by the true principles of Democracy as defined by our beloved India's constitution.
- I will extend my support to all those who fight for justice and righteousness in all walks of life.
How you can help and participate?
You are the owners of this campaign.
Please send in your comments and donations to the address below.
Ravi Krishna Reddy
#705, Cross-13, Main-32,
JP Nagar Phase-1,
Mobile: 0 93417 35754
Please mention “For Values in Politics” in the comments section.
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