Karnataka: Cloistered nuns to vote. Goa MLAs for BJP

May 2, 2013 by  
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The last time these nuns went out together was to register for Aadhar cards, a year ago.

Cloistered nuns to voteKarnataka, May 01, 2013: Even the confines of their convent cannot restrict these nuns to exercise their franchise in the Karnataka assembly polls on May 5.

The 17 nuns of the Cloistered Carmelite Convent hardly meet any one outside the convent, behind grilled and curtain windows in their convent but they are determined to step out on the election day to vote.

Elections are one of those rare occasions when these nuns see the outside world.

“We are citizens like anyone else, we vote,” says the Mother Superior of the convent.

The nuns’ zeal to participate in the democratic process is in sharp contrast with the middle-class apathy to voting.

Unlike thousands of residents of the city, all the 17 inmates of the Cloistered Carmelite Convent have got their voter’s identity card.

Having voted in the past, the nuns are aware of the intricacies of electronic voting machines.

“Does it still have two buttons against each party, or only one?” a nun curiously asked behind grilled windows.

However, the nuns are not really aware of the contestants in the fray in the Shivajinagar assembly constituency where they have been registered as voters.

“We will vote for a party that promises peace, safety and freedom to practice one’s own religion. We have not made any collective decision. Each one of us is free to elect any candidate of her choice,” the Mother Superior adds.

The only politician who visited the convent asking for votes in the past has been H T Sangliana, the current vice chairperson of National Commission for Minorities and former parliamentarian.

The last time these nuns went out together was to register for Aadhar cards, a year ago.

The youngest of the convent’s nuns is 20 years old, and the oldest is 89. They prepare their own food, stitch their own clothes and are financially independent.

“We prepare communion wafer, the sacramental bread sold to various churches for 1.20 rupees each. We make no profit and are just able to meet our meager expenditure with the help of Good Samaritan friends and the bank deposit,” a nun explains.

Goa Catholic MLAs Campaign for BJP

“The Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) has roped in the party’s Christian legislators from Goa to keep its campaign trail in Mangalore City South assembly constituency in high spirits.

The legislators, Michael Lobo, Glen Souza Ticolo, Nilesh Cabral, and Juinho D’Souza, are working overtime to spread their charm among the Catholic Christian voters in Mangalore.

“The taboo of BJP being communal party has been addressed effectively in Goa and it is time that the electorate in Karnataka addressed this bogey as well,” said Nilesh Cabral, legislator from Curchorem in Goa.

Admitting that every section of society has apprehension vis-a-vis a national political party, Cabral said that such apprehensions are fawned by ‘different’ elements present in society.

“There has been no communal incident in Goa ever since BJP came to power there,” he said.

Forthright in his opinion that Congress unsuccessfully raised bogey of BJP being a communal outfit back home in Goa, Michael Lobo, Calangute MLA, said, “The minorities should join the BJP to ascertain if the party is communal or not.”

He said that seven out of 21 MLAs in the 40-member Goan assembly are minorities and “it is the resolve of the minorities whom Congress tried to polarize against us that sent the corrupt Congress on their way.”

Asked if the attacks on churches that took place under the BJP regime in the state would go against the party, Lobo, who with his colleagues met Bishop Aloysius Paul D’Souza of Mangalore said, “The BJP is not directly involved in it. Besides, the state government has taken strict action against elements that were responsible for the incident.”

He said that even the priests found the government’s action satisfactory.””

– times of india

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