When the whole nation is gearing up for yet another Lok Sabha polls in April, a history professor in Kozhikode is busy crafting two sets of calendars to propagate the idea of participative democracy and the right to vote among students.
The words, ‘cast your vote’, ‘cast your right’ stand out on top of the two calendars, one in orange and the other in green.
M C Vasisht of Malabar Christian College, the man behind the venture says, “The idea of crafting a calendar arose while I was discussing the module on general elections in our country with the MA History students of the college. A calendar which describes the vibrant political atmosphere of India since the freedom struggle seemed to be an interesting one and I started working on,” he said.
The module on general elections was introduced in the fourth semester MA History course last year.
For working on the calendar, Professor Vasisht referred mainly to Bipin Chandra’s India’s Freedom Struggle, India after Independence and Ramachandra Guha’s India after Gandhi. “Bipin Chandra’s India after Independence helped me quite a lot in understanding the various political parties that mushroomed at various parts of India after Independence. A brief description of various political parties that still exist and those that have disappeared are depicted on the leaves of the green calendar while that of the Prime Ministers and other political leaders are mentioned in the orange calendar,” said Vasisht.
Forty-nine political parties, right from Indian National Congress founded in 1885 have found place in the calendar along with their electoral symbols. A brief note on Sukumar Sen, the first Chief Election Commissioner of India, and on the Election Commission of India have also been included.
In the orange calendar, 15 general elections since 1951 have been described besides the brief notes on 14 Prime Ministers starting from Jawaharlal Nehru to Manmohan Singh.
An ardent observer of Indian politics, Vasisht admires the participative and representative nature of Indian democracy.
“People should learn to respect the democratic system. Right to vote is the greatest achievement of the Indian democracy and it should be cherished forever. My calendars are my humble contribution towards this end,” he said.
The calendars will be on display at an exhibition which will be held this month in the college.