Tuesday, April 5

Cradle of democracy: When Pondicherry fought for the right to vote in 1789

This was such an interesting article. If there is one thing which people get excited about, it's unfair discrimination. Whether it's on racial grounds or national origin or gender, this is a constant fight. The right to form groups is way gets in the way. That's why clubs and situations like the below happen. Religion kids, is one of the biggest sources of discrimination and that's why I hate it. 
Still a fascinating article on how the good fight for equal rights was fought in a little corner of India. Against the country which will end up doing the greatest for the rights of man. Kannu I'm referring to the Thomas Paine rights of man argument. :) 
Don't forget to book the fat crab today Kannu. 
Love both of you. 

Cradle of democracy: When Pondicherry fought for the right to vote in 1789
(via Instapaper)

As Pondicherry prepares for legislative assembly elections this spring, it brings to mind a neglected anniversary: over 225 years have passed since residents of this former French colony first sought the right to vote.
Pondicherry is full of signs of France's colonial presence, which lasted from 1674 to 1954. Streets named after French officials, monuments to Indians who fought for France in the First World War, and the accents of French tourists who lounge in caf├ęs all show that the heritage lives on.

A monument commemorates Pondicherrians who died in the First World War. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

But no monument acknowledges that Pondicherry was a cradle of Indian democracy, where Indians, facing off against an openly racist empire, first tried to participate in elections.
In the summer of 1789, the power of the French king collapsed and democratically-elected local governments sprouted across the French empire, including in Pondicherry. The white inhabitants of the colony, numbering only a few hundred (less than 2% of its total population), elected their own town government and excluded Indians from the elections. They claimed that the right to vote would be wasted on Indians, whom they described as too obsessed with caste prejudice to understand democracy. The French meant to have democracy all to themselves, while continuing to impose colonial rule on their Indian subjects.
Pondicherrians, however, not only understood the idea of equality, but were eager to put it into practice. Several communities pursued different kinds of political action to pressure the French government to recognise that Indians deserved the rights of citizenship.

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