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Friday, January 10, 2014

Welcome Speech- Changing dimensions of party politics in India 10-01-2014 (Biju P R)

Respected Principal,
Dr, G Gopakumar sir,
Dr. Shaji Varkey sir,
Dignitaries ‘on and off’ the Dias, 

Resource persons, delegates, participants, teaching and non-teaching staff, Students, media, well-wishers

Immense pleasure to welcome all of you to this daylong deliberation on the most compelling question for the day; Changing dimensions of party politics in India.

Organized with financial aid from the Government of Kerala, this seminar seeks to take stock of the trends and tendencies resurfacing in India’s party system over the six decades.

We know that for last six decades, the nature of our party politics has undergone tremendous and profound changes.

Beginning from a one party dominant system, called INC; now, single issue party system like Aam Aadmi party, India’s political parties have undergone metamorphosis in every aspects of its texture.

There are fundamental changes in the nature of party system and political parties in India. Their leadership, ideological profile, supports base, mode of campaigning, and party manifesto; every thing seemed changing. 

Yesterday, Mathrubhumi daily dated 09-01-2014 reported that 87 percentage of party funding between 2004- 2012 comes from Corporate India. This means there is no ethical consideration on who should fund a political party in the electoral arena.

Besides this, we have been noticing that there is mushrooming growth in the number of political parties for the last couple of years confirm Websites of elections commission.

The INC has, earned Rs 1,492.35 crore between 2007-2011, as per an RTI revelation by NGOs Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and Karnataka Election Watch (KEW) says Times of India dated Aug 12, 2012. This means political parties seem as if a propertied class with huge asset basis.

A study by a US-based India scholar John Echeverri-Gent, University of Virginia reveals that the richest of our lawmakers are roughly 75 times more likely to get re-elected compared with the poorest among them.
With these changes, now every nook and corner of India, we know that people began to be skeptical of political parties. People accuses that political parties are away from their fundamental objectives. People feel that political parties are corporatized. Parties have been globalised. Parties lost their ideologies. Parties lost their leadership qualities. Parties lost their mass basis. Parties are under pressure from moneycracy. Parties have been refeudalised. The anxieties of people go endless.

In fact, I am particularly pleased to avail this opportunity to welcome some of the distinguished guests in their craft to this famous College in North Malabar. They will discuss the issues highlighted in the seminar. Answer the anxieties raised over our party politics.

Let me enlarge a warm welcome to our principal, a spiritual guide. On behalf of Dept, of Political Science, I extend a heart felt welcome to you ma’am to this august gathering.

In particular, Prof. Dr, G Gopakumar our chief guest of the day, my teacher, one of the finest of the brains available in South India on this topic. It is very difficult to speak out over 100 page long bio-data of Prof. Gopakumar. Fulbright scholar, visiting fellow at various Universities abroad. NAAC team member. Media figure. He has 13 books. Over 100 hundred articles. He has contributing articles in Sage Publications, 2011, Oxford University, 2009, Routledge 2008.

Area of interest is Comparative Politics, International Relations and State Politics in India

It is our great honour to receive a scholar in the eminence of Prof. Dr, G Gopakumar to inaugurate our seminar.

On behalf of Dept. of Political Science, I extend highly spirited greetings to you sir to this august gathering.

Dr. Shaji Varkey, my teacher, currently Head of the Department of Political Science, University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram. He did his M.A. and Ph.D. from University of Kerala. He was the Director of V.K. Krishna Menon Centre for International Relations, University of Kerala during 2009-2012. His major publications are in the field of international relations, development and environment.

He was a visiting scholar at Claremont Graduate University, USA in 2007. He has several international collaboratory projects to his credit. Presently, he is working on a project on Spaces of Political Protests in Kerala, sponsored by Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi.

On behalf of Department of Political Science, I extend you sir a very warm welcome to this august gathering.

We are immensely pleased to invite Civic Chandran, Thinker, Writer, Social Critic, and Political Analyst to our venue. On behalf of Department of Political Science, I extend a very warm welcome to you this august gathering.

N subrahmanian, social activist, critique, teacher, a campaigner in the Koodamkulam anti nuclear reactor movement, On behalf of Department of Political Science, I extend you sir a very warm welcome to this august gathering.

Scholars do not have borders. We have scholars from Haryana, Pondicherry, Central University Kasaragod, Kerala University, etc., Good to meet you friends and a warm welcome to our seminar.

Having said that, please allow me on behalf of Dept. of Pol. Science and of course, on my own behalf to officially pronounce a warm welcome to all of you honourable dignitaries, resource persons, participants, your presence here is held in a very high esteem

Cordial and jovial welcome is extended to all the distinguished guests, teaching staff, non-teaching staff, media, students and well-wishers. Your presence here is a token of solidarity and unity that embraces all of us together, to discuss and share knowledge and experiences in this conference. Without your presence, this seminar will be meaningless.

Please, pardon me if I drop out any name from being mentioned.

With this, I would like to end my speech, and I hope that this seminar will never end here and the debate will continue. This time we got some finest of brains in the craft and some good full papers. Hope we will get a good publisher for the seminar themes as we have been doing for the previous seminars.

Thanking you all once more.

Biju P R

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