Tag Archives: Presidential Elections

My elections days, 2015: Sivamohan Sumathy


campaigning, exciting, tense, nervous, delirium-invested, holding training sessions on the verendah for the immediate neighbouhood, as nobody but appa had voted in any previous presidential election, strangely agreeing with appa on politics for once, passing on all the wild gossip about the mr family, nightmare riddled pre election nights, sleeplessness, inducing drinking, exhilarating, liberating, cautionary, educating vasuki’s children about the elections ( they are keenly interested), near addiction to fb and quarellling with totally unknown friends on it, while another plethora of unknown persons writing in to befriend me, baila sessions, holding candle lit vigils for assassinated journalists, being connected to the universe on election night through thiru, who was on every tweet, every note, every social bleep, planning, writing, tasking for the future, doubts, setting off crackers, taking to singing, questions, pondering profound political questions on the nature of the state, reforms or revolution, gramsci’s historic bloc, not stopping at paradigm shift as most liberal commentators have done with this over used and abused term, not bothering with muslim bashing in europe over charlie whatever, in fact, just a wee bit short of visionary.

no paradigm shift,
no revolution, it is toward …….

they cut the jak tree down in our backyard,
the day after elections.
the parrots displaced again.

CPI(M)’s ‘July Crisis’ and Challenges for Rebuilding the Left

In an unprecedented move ,  the JNU unit of the SFI (SFI-JNU) has been dissolved by the ‘Delhi State Committee of the Students’ Federation of India’ [SFI is the CPI(M) student wing]. What is interesting about the press statement issued by the ‘Delhi State Committee’ following this momentous decision, is that it is signed by the Acting President and the Acting Secretary. The state secretary Robert Rahman Raman has since resigned in protest against the decision and the state president, according to him happens to be among those expelled. The state secretary in his statement has protested against the SFI Delhi state committee’s decision, ‘taken with just 12 members present and without adequate consultation or effort to retain the unit.’  The matter then, is far bigger than that of an errant SFI unit.

Clearly, leading state functionaries of the organization too are involved in the heresy that has called forth this action by the high priests of the CPI(M). Anyone who knows the command structure of the CPI(M) and how it works, can see immediately that a decision as important and unprecedented as this cannot have been taken by something as inconsequential as the Delhi state committee of the SFI. Indeed, even the Delhi state committee of the CPI(M) could not have taken this decision without the concurrence of the highest leadership – in this case Prakash Karat, the general secretary, himself. Continue reading CPI(M)’s ‘July Crisis’ and Challenges for Rebuilding the Left

Presidential Elections, Minorities and Political Space

The following is the write up of my talk given at the Centre for Society and Religion on January 11th, 2010.  I have articulated some of these concerns in greater depth in my recent article in the January 9th, 2010 issue of the Economic and Political Weekly titled, ‘State Power, State Patronage and Elections in Sri Lanka’.

Presidential Elections, Minorities and Political Space

First, I want to thank the organisers for inviting me to speak here at the Centre for Society and Religion (CSR), an institution that embodies a great tradition of conscious political engagement.  It is an honour to be given this privilege and I hope this series of discussions at CSR on the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections is the beginning of many discussions and debates on important political issues facing the peoples of our country.  Indeed, the space that has opened up in recent weeks in the context of the elections should be expanded by all social institutions and social forums concerned about peace, justice and democracy.  I for one believe that the debates, the social pressures and the mobilisations in the lead up to and after elections are at times even more important than the act of electing a President or other political representatives. Continue reading Presidential Elections, Minorities and Political Space