MyVoice: Views of our readers 26th May 2024

MyVoice: Views of our readers 23rd July 2024
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MyVoice: Views of our readers 23rd July 2024

Highlights

The electoral violence, during and after the polls that erupted in AP thanks to the biased policing of ECI, is going to pose a big challenge to new government.

Did poll body fail to act timely, fairly?

The electoral violence, during and after the polls that erupted in AP thanks to the biased policing of ECI, is going to pose a big challenge to new government.

First of all, many police officers were replaced by the EC, with new police officers in traditionally strongholds of YSRCP like

Palnadu and Rayalaseema, where violence broke out. Secondly, the

YSRCP leaders were house- arrested and

Kutami candidates were given free hand.

This resulted in intimidation of SC, ST and BC, Minority voters and large-scale rigging of votes, in several polling stations. The police observer reportedly did not act as eyes and ears of ECI.

Further, the weak enforcement of law has enabled the violent mobs and rigging squads to rule the roost.

Thanks to the elections, the factionalism which was dormant all these decades, is likely to raise its ugly head again in faction-prone villages of AP. Thus, it is going to be a challenge to new government.

–PH Hema Sagar,

Secunderabad

***

The Ongoing general elections in India, being held in seven phases starting from April 19th has been peaceful, including the volatile Jammu and Kashmir. The only exception has been Andhra Pradesh, which witnessed violence towards the evening of May 13, in places like Palnadu, Anantapur and Tirupati. The violence which took three days to quell resulted in transfer of police officers, and, imprisonment of some politicians, after the Election Commission took cognizance of the situation there. Poll-related violence like booth capturing and ballot stuffing have been addressed with the introduction of EVMs, and more effective use of armed forces. Areas which witness poll-related violence, by rule are liable to witness post-poll violence, especially on the day of declaration of results. Andhra Pradesh is one state which has to be monitored by the ECI to prevent such eventuality.

–Dr George Jacob, Kochi

***

When the fact remains that parties indulging in violence deserve no sympathy at all, ECI's directive to parties coming late in the day and at times keeping silent over the complaints has not only emboldened parties but also precipitated the matter. Even belated action by ECI proving ineffective on many counts exposes poll panel not able to measure up to the standards of his predecessors, especially the daring and bold late T N Seshan for bringing many a bad-mouthed and fiery politician to the knees by quick and exemplary action. However, what we witnessed in AP in elections is growing restlessness among politicians indicating lack of electoral integrity and a persistent climate of distrust that sets to undermine the legitimacy of the political system fueling in extreme cases, outbreak of harrowing scenario which in fact is a direct assault on democracy. In our constitutional scheme, when ECI, the watch dog of elections, is enjoined to act and address effectively the core problems of the campaign, his inability and failure to tackle the chaotic situation on several occasions inviting criticism from opposition and several other quarters that he is biased towards ruling party cannot be faulted.

– K R Srinivasan, Secunderabad

A chess legend forgotten by Telugu people

He would have been the Bobby Fischer or Garry Kasparaov of India, had dame luck smiled on him .He would have claimed his niche among the top hundred Chess players much earlier in 1955 than Viswanadhan Anand in 1969 and been honoured with a civilian award. But destiny willed otherwise in the case of Darbha Venkayyya, a giant at the game of Chess .Unfortunately, it was not an electronic age of Humpys, Harikrishnas and Ravis to grab national attention and garner international acclaim.

Yet...Darbha Venkayya was the first national Chess champion from Andhra Pradesh whose incredible skills and mighty genius mesmerised even the renowned Chess players of Russia some six decades ago.

Darbha Venkayya was born at Tuni in 1916 In a middle class orthodox Brahmin family .A precocious child, he used to learn the subtleties of games and sports and surprise the elders in the family. . Since his childhood, he had a passion for the game of Chess and very early in his youth learnt the intricacies of the game to the amazement of even those well-versed in it. He settled down in Kakinada and worked as Science Teacher at MSN Charities High School for 35 years.

Those were the days, when there were hardly any tournaments. When the first All India National Chess Championships were held at Eluru in 1955, Dabha Venkayya participated in it and won the first National Championship to the amazement of all Chess players all over the nation and held aloft the banner of Telugu pride. Along with him R B Saprey from Maharashtra who also was the winner of the first place shared the prize money Rs 500. Darbha Venkayya was rewarded Rs 250. However, Dame Luck hardy smiled on him and adverse domestic circumstances stared him in the face.

Though he was selected for participation.in the Chess Tournament in Russia, dearth of financial resources and lack of support from the School management and the government of the day blocked his golden chances of participation in the Chess Competitions in Russia. A dejected Venkayya had to stay back at Kakinada.

A golden opportunity of the rarest kind was missed.

Later, when the esteemed Minister Dr Bezawada Gopala Reddy came to know of the sorry plight of penury and inability of Venkayya to travel to Russia for participation in the Tournament, he took the management to task. However, an undaunted Venkayya was not shattered. He used to correspond with his Russian counterparts and share his vast knowledge and insights with them which surprised even the renowned Chess champions of the day in Russia. He used to write to the

School educational authorities and plead for in inclusion of Chess in the school syllabus .It was his considered opinion that ‘’the game of Chess is useful for sharpening the intellectual faculties and tapping the energies of the brain.’’

Darbha Venkayya strove relentlessly for popularising the game of Chess in Andhra Pradesh He played a key role in founding a Chess Association at Eluru in 1953..Kommanduri Jagannadhacharyulu, an advocate, acted as the first secretary while such freedom fighters as VGK Murty and Bulusu Satyanarayana actively associated themselves in the promotion and patronage of the Association.

Venkayya dedicated his life to the game of Chess heart and soul and even declined the head mastership of the school. No wonder, an international Master like Lanka Ravi hailed this mighty Chess veteran as ‘’ one endowed with a unique talent unsurpassed even by the reigning Chess champions .and identified himself with the game. ’ This great Chess wizard passed away on 21, May 1986. His was a sad life of golden opportunities missed and greater international fame denied. ,

– SM Kompella, Kakinada

AP lost out on devpt during last ten years

According to States' Reorganisation Act (SRA) 2014, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh States were separately formed and Hyderabad is made as a joint capital and it will cease to exist as common capital from June 2, 2024.

TS Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy has directed officials to take over all properties in Hyderabad which have been under the possession of Andhra Pradesh and plans to make the Formation Day a big hit. The first CM of AP Chandrababu Naidu had conducted his administration from Amaravati only and had not utilised Hyderabad as capital as per SRA. Amaravati was chosen to be the capital and a huge spade work was also done with the help of local farmers. The bifurcation of AP was called as residual State. With the result, TS becomes the rich one with huge revenue while AP stands further poor in the present YSRCP regime. It is not at all a correct notion to agree with BRS legislator Harish Rao who spoke that Congress and BJP are conspiring to make Hyderabad to continue as joint capital.

AP could not be developed industry-wise and infrastructure-wise and also projects like Polavaram are not completed in ten years’ time due to funds crunch and low flow of resources from the Centre. The present incumbent YSRCP government fully concentrated on welfarism and heavily neglected on development in all fields.

The combined AP was the epitome and a beacon to other States once upon a time. Still people of residual AP are against division and developed grudge on Congress. Had not YS Rajasekhara Reddy lost his life unfortunately in a plane crash, he would never have allowed the ruling Congress at the Centre to concede the demand for separation. Digging the past is not wise.

Now, AP needs a good administrator with a foresight and with a clear cut vision on creating financial resources and to develop the State with competitive spirit. What voters have already decided is not known until June 4.

–N Ramalakshmi, Secunderabad

THE MONSOON FROWNS…!

No child now plays in the mud.

None wonders at the thunder's thud!

No goosebumps on a boy hit by the shower

No chill quiver over a girl's beauty's bower.

The Monsoon frowns over the city downs

No more the old mirth the cool breeze owns.

Mom zooms her scooty through the dirty puddles

A howling gale wishes us and between us it huddles!

Mother now curses the silver crystals of the golden rain

As the rushing and ravaging toofan and so in vain!

Don't know why she packed me up in this rain coat

While I, thrilled and chilled like a quill, wanna float!

Is Dad also getting drenched by this watery blessing

No...Not sure ! Must be driving home sneezing and cursing the rain now!

But oftentimes I know he stops his car at the city's muddy outlets...

And relates his childhood somersaults of yore to the leaping froglets!

I see the folks on streets snubbing the glistening streams.

They bury their souls deep into their digital graves

Enjoying the just posted Instagram pics of the waves.

The real is happily superseded by the virtual dreams!

The Monsoon frowns over the city downs...

No more the old mirth the cool breeze owns!

– Venu Mareedu, Khammam.

Exploring India's vibrancy on foot

When I dare to ask my wife to go out on morning walks daily for health benefits, she would retort saying that she walks miles in the house every day! It may be true because it is a part of her domestic chores. Of course walking long distances for a political purpose is something our politicians love to undertake with lots of funfair! During the Covid pandemic, thousands of people walked to their destinations, weathering many challenges.

Remember the long journey of 1,232 km by four poor labour boys bicycling their way to home far away in Bihar. But walking for a cause for 70 days across 6 States is really something laudable and extraordinary.

Gita Balakrishnan, 53, has achieved that extraordinary feat for a personal reason.

An architect by profession, Gita wanted to see different types of designs of buildings, temples, bridges and other private and public structures. In her own words, 'it was a long journey for Arcause' (a cause for architects). Through these, she wanted to see our culture, history, social and religious bondings in colourful life patterns.

Before kicking off her long and lonely journey on foot on 13th February 2022 from the Victoria Memorial in Kolkata, Gita had done lots of home work and meticulously planned her entire programme . On the second day she was overpowered with excitement on reaching the historical place of Antpur in West Bengal. It was here that way back in 1886 Swami Vivekananda and some other disciples of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa took an oath to pledge their lives to the service of humankind.

On the 25th day of her mission, Gita was touched by the welcome she received at Dudhi Tehsil of Uttar Pradesh. When about 200 people mobbed her out of curiosity at a tea stall, it made screamers in many local newspapers. Later on her way she happened to see two churches, one in the ruins for want of funds and the other a well maintained big congregation under a young Muslim caretaker! Her meeting of government school teachers, Anganwadi workers, and college students etched fond memories in her mind.

Out of 70 days of her journey, Gita walked almost 30 days through Madhya Pradesh, from her 29th day to 59th day! Everything here touched her, be it the huge power plants, the enthralling hospitality of ordinary people, local architects and students, the temples in Khajuraho, tourist attractions. After spending a couple of days walking through Haryana, Gita entered the National Capital on her 69th day. She began her last lap at 6.45 am from Raj Ghat and finished the long and meandering adventurous journey at the Red Fort. A momentous and red letter day in her life, marking a magnum opus feat. After this achievement, Gita felt empty within herself and sat alone weeping for no reason. She could notice some perceivable transformation in herself. It was not only a physical journey but also a journey into herself. She rediscovered herself.

M Somasekhar Prasad, Hyderabad

A nail-biting finish

At the end of the 6th phase of the election, we can say one thing with certainty. It is uncertain, of the two main contesting blocs, - the NDA and the INDIA -, who is going to form the next government. We cannot help being on tenterhooks for the next 9 days waiting for the results. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speeches which left a lot to be desired do not seem to have achieved the desired effect. Modi’s ki guarantees have not found much traction among the voters.

Blaming the Congress for the country’s ills instead of listing his government’s achievements in the past 10 years do not seem to have gone down well with the voters. Much of what Modi has said was dismissed as either communal rhetoric or bluster. The plethora of interviews given to news channels by Modi do not seem to have helped sway the voters.

The INDIA bloc has done a lot of catching up with the NDA. The cohesive power of shared commitment to saving the Constitution and democracy has enabled the INDIA bloc to mount a strong united fight against the BJP and avoid a split in the secular vote in most parts of the country. It seems to have been benefitted from the disillusionment with the Modi government for its failure to tackle unemployment, price rise and economic distress.

BJP is the major beneficiary of the electoral bonds to claim that it is corruption-free. The agniveers scheme has not found favour with the country’s youth. The agniveers are not rated as eligible bridegrooms. This time social justice seems to have had greater appeal than Hindutva. Who stands to gain or lose from the relatively lower turnout is not known. The very fact that the possibility of a change of government is not ruled out clearly indicates that whether Narendra Modi is able to equal the record of Jawaharlal Nehru Nehru in being elected to a third term in a row hinges on getting a few more seats or falling short of a few seats for a simple majority.

–G David Milton, Maruthancode, TN

EC actions court controversy

The Apex Court appeared to have wriggled itself out of the intrigue concerning the demand for booth-wise voter turnout data, by postponing the hearing. The writ petition by an NGO was apparently filed at the behest of some political parties aopposed to the ruling partners of NDA. The SC did the right thing in this regard, otherwise as pointed out there is every possibility of mischievous people trying to take advantage. This also could lead to speculations, heated arguments and skirmishes if not clashes among rivals.

The ECI on its part should not give room for complaint by providing half-baked information once the polling concludes after each phase.

In AP on May 13, 2024 (3rd phase) in some polling booths the EC allowed voting beyond midnight giving scope for suspicion and mistrust. Henceforth, the ECI should make arrangements for the release of polling station wise data of voter turnout by deploying adequate staff for the purpose and this would dispel the thoughts of all doubting Thomases. Additionally, the task of counting staff on the day of counting also would be made easy as there would be no scope for any manipulations.

– Govardhana Myneedu, Vijayawada

What’s behind poor voter turnout in Hyd?

The Telangana State participated in the election on 13th May in which above 65% voter turnout was recorded while the Hyderabad city registered below 50%. There may be around 30% of voters who had gone to either other districts or Andhra Pradesh to exercise their franchise. The turnout is discouraging and disappointing and all the persistent efforts for maximum polling proved futile.

If not interested in or dissatisfied with the contestants, the voter should have revealed or registered his resentment by voting NOTA. But a wrong message has gone into the society that city people do not have social awareness and responsibility enjoying various facilities when compared to those of rural people. A provision should be made in the constitution according permission to the Indian nationalities to exercise their franchise from anywhere in India. Even the schemes and policies allocated for the people should be linked with voting.

The publicity and propaganda by the Election Commission of India in print, electronic and social media fell on deaf ears. If it is apathy, it can’t be ignored and if it’s antipathy, a suitable antidote should be discovered. Or should voting be made mandatory? It should be pondered over.

–Sri Sri Kumar, Hyderabad

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