An SMS conversation.
July 22, 2007, 2 pm at VHSC School, PMG.
1. My SMS to Biren, Divya and Baiju Sir :
Am I seeing democracy in action? I'm in ward sabha of kunnukuzhi ward on behalf of my principal. More than 90% here are women.2. Reply from Baiju Sir :
Its not for nothing that India is hailed as the biggest democracy.3. Reply from Biren :
Let us not glorify it seeing it as a surprise. In Kerala at least, we know democracy is in action at ground level. It is only that we never participate in it. So its a time to pity on us.4. My reply to Baiju Sir, Copy to Biren :
I'm hunting in the terrains of my memory to recollect even one meeting that i have seen in which women outnumbered men.5. Reply to Biren :
Ya true. I pity you. And you can pity me.6. Reply from Biren to 4 :
Almost all saksharatha classes were like that.7. Reply from Biren to 5 :
May be its time u are out of that US. Keep it up. I have to go a long way to be out of that. So let me pity myself.8. From Biren :
BTW, who is the councilor there? Kunnukuzhi Manoharan?9. Reply to Biren :
Ya. This is some experience da. And I know, this too won't contribute to any action from my part.
And it didn't. My headache defeated my excitement, and I left the place at 4pm after the meeting, but before the group discussions.
For those not familiar with the process of decision making under janakeeyasootranam :- Ward sabha in corporations and grama sabha in panchayaths are the most basic units of democracy. Its a place where direct democracy is supposed to be exercised. All the residents of that ward can attend the meeting and put forward their requirements from the government for the next year. This would include things like road to their place, electricity, water, employment opportunity etc. These requirements have to be made into informal project proposals. The councilor will take all these projects to the corporation where joint projects would me made out of it.
Naga, I know these kind of gatherings will be a routine for you. Thats why I didn't SMS you.