IMPHAL, January 19: A symposium on Free and Fair Election for a meaningful democracy organised by the Senior Citizens for Society (SCS) Manipur in association with the people’s campaign for a resurgent Manipur was today held at Manipur Press Club, Majorkhul at 11.30 am.
RV Mingthing, Prof L Sadananda, Prof IS Khaidem retired VC of Manipur University, Dr Ch Jamini Devi, former chairperson of Manipur Woman Commission were the presidium members of the inaugural function.
94 year old, Thokchom Pakchao Singh, the oldest member of the Senior Citizens for Society who sponsored the symposium also shared the dais.
As a mark of honour, the presidium members were presented rosettes at the start of the programme.
The concept note of the symposium was presented by Prof L Sadananda in which he mentioned that the discussion for free and fair election is timely as the Lok Sabha polls are just round the door.
The programme aims to develop the consciousness of the electors of the state, as democracy in India has somewhat become meaningless, he said.
Politics has become an exclusive zone for the elite and there is no room for the common people, he continued.
Addressing the function, Dr Jamini narrated her experience of attending an international conference held in Nepal sometime in 2011 during which she had voiced for more woman representation in electorate political system.
RV Mingthing advocated for unity in the state.
He said that there is no reason for disunity adding that senior citizen has the responsibility to teach the younger generation about the oneness of the people of the state.
He further elaborated that the people of the state are of the same stock and family.
The symposium started with Prof IS Khaidem as the moderator.
During the function, B Deben Sharma, coordinator of People’s Campaign for a Resurgent Manipur delivered on ‘crisis in the present electoral practices in India’ while the president of All Manipur Bar Association Khaidem Mani Singh talked on ‘ensuring free and fair election in Manipur’.
The editor of the Imphal Times, Ringku Khumukcham spoke on the ‘role of media in ensuring free and fair election’ and lastly Leena Dabine, a representative of Campaign for Electoral Reform in India (CERI) lectured on the ‘need for a better electoral system in India.
At the end of lectures by the resource persons, Bimol Akoijam, associate professor of JNU, New Delhi made his critical observation of the symposium as well as his experiences of the electoral politics in India.