Friday, May 05, 2006

Lok Paritran

Lok Paritran is a new political party floated by a bunch of IIT graduates; it has fielded seven candidates in the upcoming elections for the State Legislative Assembly in Tamil Nadu. I don't think the candidates have any chance of winning enough votes to get their deposits back; and I believe the mainstream media have come to a similar conclusion. It's not surprising, therefore, that there has not been much coverage of the party or its candidates in the media.

However, IITs are a 'strange attractor' when it comes to the blogosphere. Several people have taken the trouble to check out the party's website to figure out for themselves if it is any good/different. The bloggers' are not at all impressed!

First, we have Badri, who caught this piece of jem from LP's website:

Reality is a continuum. Knowledge system, in shortest, is fragmentation imposed upon the continuum of reality. Fragmentation is always a necessity for understanding of the unknown. Every fragment in the knowledge system becomes a construct or an entity that is defined in the knowledge system. This very fact shows that different knowledge systems can be build on the same reality based on different possibilities and patterns of fragmentation.

Made you go 'Huh?', didn't it?

Next, we have Dhoomketu who analyzes LP's e-mail flyer and election manifesto, and comes to some harsh conclusions.

Finally (and this one is in Tamil), RosaVasanth has a hard-hitting post in which he pulls no punches whatsoever. In particular, he is (rightly) upset and irritated by the mere suggestion that educated people -- and, in particular, those with engineering and management education -- with very little record of public life/service are such a superior breed that they will bring salvation to this country through their participation in politics.

Oh, before I end this post, I must confess that I haven't been able to access LP's website. It keeps giving me an error message to my (Firefox) browser on my (Linux) machine!


  1. Anonymous said...

    I have gone through Lok Pavithran website and manifesto. They are very vague about many stuff. Finally I figured out that they are a group of Libertarians. I may be wrong but thatz the feeling I got. After that I have been e-campaigning against them with friends and relatives :-)

  2. Anonymous said...

    I agree with RosaVasanth. The problem with Indian politicians is not that they are not educated. The problem is not that they dont have university degrees. (It is true that quite a few never went to college. But that is not the problem).

    The problem with our politicians is that they dont give a damn about the common man, the poor. The problem is that none of them care to remember Gandhi’s simple suggestion ‘to recall the face of the poorest man before taking decisions’.

    Instead they worry only about lobbying groups. The richer these groups are, the better. The larger community backing they have, the better.

    This is not to argue against LP. I think we shd atill vote for them if we believe they will be honest and things like that; not because they studied in IIT.

  3. Abi said...

    Krish, Ramnath: Thanks for your comments.

    Krish: I haven't been able to look at the website (It keeps dying on my linux/firefox combination. Their site is pathetic!), so I am not able to comment on their economic ideology.

    Ramnath: I too think that RosaVasanth is right. As for politicians (with or without education), isn't it also true that lobbies and lobbying are here to stay? We can only hope for 'umbrella' type parties that address the needs and demands of a fairly large number of 'lobbies'. If mainstream parties fail to do that, coalitions are the result, and that's what we have been experiencing over the last ten years or so.

  4. Anonymous said...

    I once commented on how I like your blogs because they are so non partisan and unbiased. But over a period of time I have seen a trend in all your blogs and I think what I have discovered a bias, against IITs, IITians and all their activities. I will try and depict what I have felt and experienced.
    You have taken great pains to explain how opposition to reservation is wrong and based all your arguments on the premise that a backward person once getting into IIT has to face the same curricula and hence the question of merit being dilued doesnt arise. Now, I don't have facts but I am very sure that any insider at IIT will tell you how poorly the non general category students fare in academics over here. I have seen most of the non general category fail courses and make life miserable for themselves by totally submitting to the fact that they simply can't compete. I suppose, it also went unnoticed from your view that after spending 4 years in IIT most of them get jobs only in government companies which have reservations or go to IIMs which have reservations. So, what has the reservation policy achieved even in its limited scope. Nothing. And what are we hearing now. Reservation from top to bottom even in private jobs. Why not give a free paycheck to all reserved families instead!!!
    My second grudge is about you flaying the JEE and comparing it to GRE. While I agree with all what you have stated in your article and sympathize with those people of the same level of brilliance who are left out I am baffled that you feel that JEE is not able to select meritorious students. Your emphasis is on the wrong footing. JEE might not be able to pick up all the bright kids and it might pick up some kids who are not that bright, arent both these percentages very very low than the set of people it aims to pick up. Havent the students picked up by JEE made their mark in the world as no other place in India. So while your suggestions of improving it are certainly welcome and should even be implemented I strongly disagree with the conclusion that JEE is not a judge of merit.
    There is also a mention in one of your blogs on how a strong IIT lobby does not want the sight of more IITs. I don't know how good BHU is in comparision to research and faculty at IITs but I am very sure that some of the colleges figuring in that list ( colleges in consideration for being labelled IITs) are abysmal in every aspect, be it research or quality of teaching. Also isnt it a fact that BHU is one of India's oldest university and you have an engineering college attached to it perhaps longer than most other IITs. So, if it had been that good I guesss it would have a brand name of its own. Would it not? Why don't we suggest to the government that IIT like funding and patronising be provided to BHU as well. Why this obsession to get converted to IITs?
    Now, today's issue. Lok Paritran is bad and it would lose. And how can engineers believe they are better off than politicians. Well according to me the second assertion doesn't even deserve a discussion. While some politicians may be very good and some somewhat good do I have to remind you all how politics is run by criminals and corruption is all too evident on all those video tapes which are shot secretly. May I also point out that the so called old generation is a set of cynical people who don't have any desire to change the politicsl system. They want to milk us all as much as they can.
    So while Lok Paritrana might have a "pathetic website" and it might also be a rightist organization, none of its candidates has offered free rice or colored TVs. Can we appreciate this, or is this too an issue?. And yes all of them might lose perhaps will lose, so what should we do.? Should we sit down and give up every hope and ask them to give up hope too and remain cynics for ever, abusing and disliking our politicians and virtually smirking at some people who want to give change a headstart. And by the way all of Lok Paritran's campaign might have not figured on main stream media, I have read articles and interviews about them in Hindu and on IBN. The candidates certainly look reasonable not only because of their degrees but also because of what they said during the interviews.
    I hope this comment will force you to ask yourself if you have internalised (I am plagiarising here hehe) a certain degree of biasedness against everything IIT.
    I hope you will at least read my views. I am a regular reader of your blogs and I think I have a right to comment.

  5. Anonymous said...

    Dont vote for Lok Paritran.

    They may actually perform a study of various OBC components - as required by the mandal commission.

    This may even result in elimination of creamy layer or worse still reclassification of some wealthy and powerful OBC communities.

  6. Anonymous said...

    This is regarding the Lok paritran

    I pity those guys....

    They are SOOOOOO IGNORANT of ground realities....

    Point One
    Paritrarararar... what is that.... Give me the meaning

    Even BJP calls itself "Bharathiya janata katchi"
    Ba.Ja.Ka in tamil is not Bee.Jay.Pee in tamil nadu

    They do not even care to give their party a local name. (let them have this name for the other states).. how do they think that the people here will vote for them....

    Point two

    What are their aims....
    What is their foreign policy... Are They planning to get back POK or support Cuba or fight with US against Iran etc
    What is the economic policy... Are They going to fill the govt vacancies...are they going to privatise the transport. electricity depts etc

    Point three

    What is The party structure ....

    If you want to serve people, contest in LOCAL BODY ELECTIONS FIRST

  7. Anonymous said...

    I appriciate the efforts taken by these guys, in chennai i had seen group of four five ( in motor bikes)did a good job of canvasing.. but in Tamil Nadu the should be very friendly like Kazhagam or Katchi.. hope you will understand the necssity of this.
    Gud Luck to all..

  8. Anonymous said...

    I appriciate the efforts taken by these guys, in chennai i had seen group of four five ( in motor bikes)did a good job of canvasing.. but in Tamil Nadu the should be very friendly like Kazhagam or Katchi.. hope you will understand the necssity of this.
    Gud Luck to all..

  9. Abi said...

    Bruno, FunFrolic77: Thanks for your comments. Though they may be making a sincere effort, as a political outfit, they have a long way to go. I also believe some of the mistakes they have made (all that junky stuff on their website, contesting in Tamil Nadu without bothering too much with the local language, etc) are because of their lack of experience. We will wait and watch.

    Cipher: There is a lot that you have covered, and I will answer just one part -- the part about the participation in politics by educated people. It is *not* my case that this is undesirable.

    The point that RosaVasanth has made (and I have echoed in this post) is about the contention that just because these guys are educated (that too, at IITs), we should somehow be grateful. This contention would be certainly laughable, if it were not irritating. RosaVasanth actually goes on to describe all the criminal activities (stock market scams, theft by industries, corruption through mega projects, etc.), that have been perpetrated by people who are educated ("white collar crimes"!). So, it is certainly irresponsible (as some did) to assert that educated people, by just being 'educated', are 'good' or 'virtuous'.

    As for my (alleged) bias against the IITs, etc., I will just let my blog speak for itself. I have only one request: do please read the post on entrance exams again. Is it fair to construe that post as saying "JEE is not a judge of merit" or "JEE is not able to select meritorious students"?

  10. Anonymous said...


    The following is the number of votes LP has polled in each area…

    Mylapore (Santhanagopalan Vasudev) - 9436
    T Nagar (Aravind. S) - 6323
    Thousand Lights (SHRI ISHRAYEL MAHESWAR. A.) - 2459
    Villivakkam (Prema K) - 6473
    Anna nagar(RAJAMANY K) - 11665

    It’s refreshing to find 36 thousand fellow citizens of Chennai who thought Lok paritran was the party to look forward to. This inspite of the hurdles like, low visibility, lack of manpower, very short duration from decision to contest and the election and lack of financial resources.

    Most of the campaigning was done by students, and working professionals who otherwise would not have ventured into an election meeting. My hats off to all of those who worked for this performance. It’s a fantastic achievement in my opinion. My hearty congratulations to every Lok Paritran volunteer. A friend of mine, a DMK party worker in Vadapalani was mighty impressed by this considering almost nobody outside the blogging community and email accessibility circles had any clue about them.

    I don’t know about others but as far as Santhanagopalan is concerned, I heard from reliable sources that he had spent around 1.2 lakhs for this election. This is way below the ceiling fixed by the election commission.

  11. Abi said...

    Anon: Thanks for that update. That Lok Parithran has managed to win back the deposit in several constituencies is indeed impressive (and to me, surprising). Evidently, its candidates struck a chord in a good chunk of the electorate. Good for them!

  12. Anonymous said...

    Shocked to read the facts in a blog titled Lok Paritran Exposed in TN. Visit . I also wooried about the news . So we people are cheated now by IIT ians too! Known devils are better than unknown Angel

  13. Abi said...

    Ramesh: Thanks for that link! It's quite damning.

    I too saw (through Rosa Vasanth's blog) the Deccan Chronicle story about the split. I have blogged about it here.

  14. Anonymous said...

    Lok Paritran sounds more like Lok Sabha Paritran.To me it looks like and original idea to gain popularity and make some good money.
    If we look into the history we find that every year top 20 IAS rankers are IITians.Dont you think they have corrupted the country more than anything else.I just dont know what these Politician IITians are going to do for the country.
    It more looks like IIT entry in politics.Are IIT's now offering some polittical Science courses also?...

  15. Anonymous said...

    I think I am a bit late in adding my comment.

    First, I don't agree with the publicity they get just because they are IIT students. I don't see a reason why someone who has passed a good exam in Maths, Physics and Chemistry is a good political leader. There is no connection. Such apotheosis of IITians should be rejected.

    Second, I have learnt after many experiences in trying to debate with some fanatics of certain religions and sects (in US and Europe) that you take a fool and educate him, what you get is an 'educated-fool' who happens to be far more dangerous than an ordinary fool. Education doesn't make a person better in terms of morals, ethics and social responsibility. Education equips one to be empowered, allows him to take a choice not to be ignorant, that's all. Education shouldn't be equated with better leadership or a better person.

    I don't support Lok Parivartan. I have checked their website. They do not support reservations. I cannot support a party which does not support reservations. I take a stand and I have no qualms about it.