Gujarat, India (PressExposure) April 01, 2009 -- The announcement by Mallika Sarabhai to contest the Lok Sabha elections of 2009 from Gandhinagar constituency, has been welcomed by a large spectrum of people from within Gujarat and from across the country, and from global Gujaratis.
Her campaign has received endorsement from many grassroots groups, activists and concerned individuals who believe with her that the time has come to bring change in the politics of our country.
Among the letters of support received from eminent personalities, a group led by Justice V R Krishna Iyer, has said, âWe support the candidature of Ms Mallika Sarabhai, distinguished danseuse of international renown, for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections from Gandhinagar, Gujarat. Ms Sarabhai hails from the area, and enjoys considerable reputation among the artistic and cultural fraternity as well as ordinary citizens there. What is more significant, she has waged a spirited and consistent struggle on various frontsâ judicial, social, cultural, politicalâ against the forces of communalism and majoritarian extremism in the State since post-Godhara Gujarat carnage in March 2002.
Pitted against BJP leader L. K. Advani, Ms Sarabhai, we are confident, will, if elected, uphold the secular and democratic principle as enshrined in our Constitution. We believe that persons like Ms Sarabhai should be elected in large numbers to the Lok Sabha as they have much to contribute to Parliament and the country in terms of reinforcing our pluralistic ethos and ameliorating the conditions of the poor and the marginalised who contribute the teeming millions of our nation and represent the asli Bharat (real India).â
The letter is signed: Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer (Former Judge, Supreme Court of India), D. Bandyopadhyay (Former Secretary, Revenue, Government of India), Surendra Mohan (President, Secular Janta Dal), Prof. S. M. Dubey (Former Vice-chancellor, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong), Prof. Anant Kumar (Professor of Sociology, JNU, New Delhi), Prof. Arun Kumar (Professor of Economics, JNU, New Delhi), Vijay Pratap (National Convenor, Socialist Front), Praful Bidwai (Columnist), Anil Nauriya (Advocate, Supreme Court of India), Sumit Chakravartty (Journalist, editor, Mainstream), Suhas Borkar (Independent film-maker and social activist).
While supporting Ms Mallika Sarabhaiâs candidature, Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer has stated, âvalues must matter in politics and public life. Enemy number one of the country today is communalism. He/she who opposes this force is a true patriot in shaping our grand tryst with destiny and our swaraj ordains for generations to come.â
Emphasising upon her reason for contesting the Lok Sabha elections, Ms Sarabhai said her candidacy is an invitation to a new mode of politics. âMy campaign is as much about the process, the means, the culture and aesthetics of politics, as about raising issues that concern us as citizens,â she said
In this, she carries forward a legacy of the revered Sarabhai family of Ahmedabad, whose numerous contributions to the nation have brought in the best ideas and institutions, many of which were established by her father, Dr Vikram Sarabhai.
In the vision and mission statements outlined in her campaign website [http://www.mallikasarabhai.in], she has specified that in addition to the task of reclaiming politics for the people, she will also focus on making Gandhinagar-Ahmedabad take lead in two areas: politics of the ethical and a knowledge corridor for the rest of the country, both of which were Gujaratâs contribution to the world not so long ago. Ms Sarabhai has also called attention to redefining development to mean equitable and social growth and not one that is measured by economic indicators alone.
Responding to the doubts raised by some groups and individuals regarding her experience outside of performing arts, Ms Sarabhai clarified that her experience with grassroots work for womenâs empowerment, sustainable development and public health and motivating youth, was well known among the people who were involved in those areas of work themselves.
Ms Sarabhaiâs candidature brings hope and gives a way forward in imagining an alternative view of politics and development and in putting faith in making it possible. This is evident from the outpouring of encouraging support and contributions, especially young people, from various parts of the world, via social networking platforms like Facebook and blogs on the internet.
Many eminent people have shown support by joining the online group âFriends for Democracy: Mallika Sarabhai for Lok Sabhaâ on Facebook, including acclaimed writer Sir Salman Rushdie, actor Irrfan Khan, author-historian William Darlymple, columnists, journalists, models, actors and the like.