Delhi: Activists Urge Voters to Think Beyond National Security
Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav (2nd from L) at the launch of “My Country, My Issues, My Vote” campaign in Delhi on 18 March 2019.
Swaraj India president Yogendra Yadav (2nd from L) at the launch of “My Country, My Issues, My Vote” campaign in Delhi on 18 March 2019.(Photo Courtesy: Ashutosh/Swaraj India)

Delhi: Activists Urge Voters to Think Beyond National Security

Around two dozen civil society organisations participated in a press conference on 18 March 2019 at Delhi’s Constitutional Club where they launched the ‘Desh Mera, Vote Mera, Mudda Mera’ (My country, My vote, My issues) campaign.

The campaign aims to increase awareness about issues such as unemployment, farm distress, hate crimes and attacks against Dalits, women journalists, human rights activists as well as growing inequality.

Representatives from these civil society groups urged Indians to “vote on issues of the rights of people, especially those from the excluded sections, and not on war rhetoric.”

The campaign is an effort by activists working in the fields of education, human rights violation and farmers’ rights to highlight the failings of the ruling government.

A recent survey by C-Voter conducted between January and February 2019 revealed that national security was the top-most concern among voters following the Pulwama terror attack and air strike in Balakot.

The survey also found out that there has been a massive surge in Prime Minister Modi’s popularity after the Pulwama attack.

The press conference aims to bring back those issues in the public domain which will expose BJP government’s failure on the policy front.

“Just when substantive and inconvenient issues had begun to surface in this election, suddenly the focus has been shifted to issues of national security that allows the current regime to avoid critical scrutiny of its record.”
Yogendra Yadav, President, Swaraj India

Speaking at the press conference, activist Harsh Mander, emphasised on the need “to restore democratic balance” by reaching out to voters ahead of the general elections 2019.

Mander had led the ‘Karwan-e-Mohabbat’ initiative, an attempt to resolve the legal and medical problems of families who lost their near and dear ones in sporadic incidents of lynching in last five years.

“At a time when the whole narrative of elections is being hijacked under the garb of nationalism, it has become imperative that civil society organisations, social movements and groups who share a commitment to our Constitutional values co-ordinate their energies to restore democratic balance”. 
Harsh Mander, Activist

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