Time has come not only to look for political alternative but also to find alternative politics, said Aruna Roy, chief guest at the 33rd convocation of IRMA (Institute of Rural Management, Anand) on Wednesday.
Founder of the Mazdoor Shakti Sangathan, she even exhorted students graduating from IRMA to be the change in the political system.
Roy further stated that it was time to have participatory politics and people had the right to be part of the policy, debate and discuss ramifications. She also expressed concern over political parties neglecting requirements of the poor in the manifesto.
“We have to think of cleansing political parties. But do we have a real choice even today? And, what does it take to build a real alternative? We are looking for political alternatives. That is change one party for another, not willing to look at alternative politics for a different public ethos where contradiction between means and ends will be questioned,” pointed out Roy.
“Short-term goals cannot destroy the basis of the party’s existence, its values, where success will depend as much on honesty in the battle for vote as the promises we make to deliver,” she further stated.
Roy gave away diploma certificate to 119 students of post-graduate diploma in rural management and six students of the fellow programme in rural management. IRMA chairman Deep Joshi and director Jeemol Unni shared the dais with the chief guest.
The biggest challenge for the people was to define participatory politics and participatory democracy, claimed Roy. “People’s politics is very important. India needs to have a political establishment that fights by going into government, becoming prime minister and ministers and the other strain is the bureaucratic establishment,” she said. Roy also emphasised the importance of asking politicians uncomfortable questions. She said the national election was the one that ignored the poor.
“The trickle from a pot whose holes cannot prevent the leaks of corruption, the clogging of holes by misgovernance and the remaining few blocked by the grit of the arbitrary use of power will take decades, may be more to reach the poor. Marginalisation of the poor and indifference to them are not only short-sighted but dangerous in a country so contrasted by the gap between the rich and the poor,” explained Roy.
“By exercising franchise, people commit themselves to being responsible citizens. We agree to monitor the trajectory of the vote and our sovereignty handed over to representatives for five years to ensure that they act both constitutionally and with justice,” she added.