Kunjan Pulayan is like any other agricultural worker in Thrissur/Kerala literally living on the edge. What makes him special is his determination to contest the ensuing elections. He is not fighting to win, but to create awareness about the plight of farmers.
It is so heartening to see a landless farmer taking the electoral plunge for the sake of the farming community. Makes it more important given the fact that every eight contenders in the first round of elections scheduled for April 16 is a crorepati. Democracy is increasingly becoming a money and power game where if you don’t have enough money you can only vote. More and more crorepatis (millionaires) are in the fray, and interestingly more millionaires are also now turning out to be winners.
In the last Assembly elections in Delhi, there were 40 candidates whose assets exceeded Rs 5 crore (or Rs 50 million). Of which, 13 made it. But more significantly, none of the 200 candidates with less than Rs 5 lakh were even a close contender. Elections is all about big money and moolah power.
Democracy is on sale. In Andhra Pradesh, which tops the list of crorepatis in Elections 2009, 64 crorepatis are in fray. Followed by Uttar Pradesh where Congress has fielded 45 crorepatis and BJP has announced 30 crorepatis in its list. Maharashtra follows with 29 crorepatis, and the backward province of Bihar with 23 crorepatis.
Amidst so much of money power you still think some candidate or some political party is sensitive to the crying needs of the poor and marginalised? You think they are concerned about farmer suicides, hunger and malnutrition? You must be stupid, if you think so. Times have changed, and changed rapidly. Just 60 years after Independence, democracy is no longer of the people, by the people and for the people. It is now on sale. The more the money you pump in, the more the chances that you will be voted to power. Kunjan Pulayan knows this. But still, is keen to make an effort. I wish him success.
Green voice from Kerala hinterland