Lovers' party to combat political ills!
HOW can you combat hatred? Through love, obviously. That is the simple motto of Biswanath Ramachandra Champa Swapnaji Taslima Voltaire. His party, the Lovers' Green-Globalist God-free-Humanist Party of India, has given a clarion call to all lovers to fight communalism and obscurantism in every form and strengthen humanism and rationalism through electoral party politics.
"This alone can bring about change in society. Partyless democracy propounded by M.N. Roy and JP is impractical. All lovers should join hands to break the caste system in society and politics. Humanists and rationalists can no longer shy away from power politics," says the 58-year-old retired Professor of political science.
Ramachandra, a resident of
Orissa's capital Bhubaneswar, had formed the Anti-caste Marriage
One-child Family Organization of India (AMOFOI) in 1980, which has so
far solemnised 1723 inter-caste, inter-religious marriages. "We
promote love marriages because they can end the evil of casteism
practised through endogamous marriages arranged by parents," says
Ramachandra's wife, who had joined hands with him to float the AMOFOI
after their inter-caste love marriage. All the AMOFOI marriages have
been performed in a simple manner, with the couples exchanging garlands
in the presence of party members. The men and women who have married
under the aegis of the AMOFOI have become members of the lovers' party
without paying a membership fee, which is Rs 5 for the unmarried and
Rs10 for the married.
The party, which came into existence on the 113th birthday of B.R. Ambedkar on April 14, 2003, will give election tickets only to those who have married, or plan to marry, only for love. The members have to fill a form and solemnly affirm their commitment to a casteless-priestless-creedless socio-political order based on God-free humanism and green-globalism.
Those who love and get married are courageous, Ramachandra explains. Love has power. That power is needed to bring about changes in a society afflicted with all types of ills owing to lack of equality, lack of respect for fellow human beings and a feudal outlook.
Ramachandra himself was a Brahmin. But he dropped his surname in 1966 and prefixed his father's name Biswanath to his name. Later in 1995, he added the name of his mother, his wife and his ideological gurus to his name. A person who joins the AMOFOI has to change her/his name in such a way that nobody can figure out to which religion or caste s/he belongs. "Members of my family and I have also changed our names," Ramchandra says.
But how are they going to survive without funds?
"We will," John Om Prakash, Vice-President of the lovers' party, sounds confident. "Our goal is clear. Ours is a party that will field candidates with a good character, good family life and good public image. They will preach love. So the people who are tired of goondaraj and criminalisation of politics will get a chance to elect good candidates. If they don't, they have only themselves to blame. We are giving them an option."
One of the objectives spelt out in the constitution of the party is that voting rights should be given to those who have completed 14 years. Explains J. P. Russell Ravana, General secretary of the new party: At 14, boys and girls are very rational and free from blind beliefs. They are quite aware and cannot be fooled by the dirty tricks of our political leaders. So the minimum age of voting should be 14. It would revolutionise the role of the electorate. Besides, if my grandmother, who is illiterate and ignorant, can participate in the democratic process why can't a 14-year-old, who is educated and aware?"
Some revolutionary aims of the party are working towards a world government, elimination of national armies, integration of national economies into a global economy with a single global currency 'Globo' on the model of 'Euro'.
Respecting women is high on the agenda. "When a man falls in love with a woman he also respects her. That respect has to last and be there in all fields. It is not force that is the basis of the state and Thomas Hill had said that years ago," asserts Ramachandra, who is quite a constitutional expert. He feels that there are a lot of good things in our Constitution but they are never focussed on or implemented. The Directive Principles are a case in point. Ramachandra was victimised by the government when he opposed Ganesh Puja in his college in Kalahandi. He felt it went against Article 28 of the Constitution, which says no religious instruction should be given in a state-funded educational institution.
Is he not afraid of a backlash? "I am not afraid. I know in politics we might be attacked. But our weapon is love," he says.
What could be the election symbol of such a party. "We've asked for a handshake. If we don't get that we will plead for a kettle or broom as they stand for purity of character and cleanliness, respectively," informs Ramachandra, who always wears a green hat as a symbol of peace, love and green-globalism.