Hijam Rajen: Champion of Democracy and Electoral Integrity

Early Life and Background: Hijam Rajen, hailing from the Meetei community of Northeast India, was born and raised amidst the vibrant cultural tapestry of his homeland. Despite his roots in the Northeast, Rajen's journey took an unexpected turn when he ventured into the heart of the Hindi belt, ultimately settling in Delhi. This migration not only marked a geographical transition but also catalyzed Rajen's emergence as a fervent advocate for democratic principles and social justice.

Activism and Advocacy: Rajen's foray into social activism was propelled by his deep-seated commitment to justice and equality. He found himself at the forefront of various socio-political movements, fearlessly championing the rights of marginalized communities. From his impassioned involvement in the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) protests, where he tirelessly advocated for the rights of Northeasterners in Delhi, to his pivotal role in the farmers' agitation, Rajen's activism knew no bounds.
Hijam Rajen's leadership in the EVM HATAO SANYUKT MORCHA did not go unnoticed by the Election Commission of India (ECI), the apex body responsible for conducting free and fair elections in the country. While the ECI has historically maintained that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) are tamper-proof and secure, Rajen's relentless advocacy for electoral transparency prompted the commission to take note of public concerns and engage in dialogue with stakeholders.

Acknowledgment of Concerns: Hijam Rajen's efforts brought widespread attention to the perceived vulnerabilities of EVMs and raised important questions about the integrity of India's electoral process. The Election Commission acknowledged the validity of these concerns and demonstrated a willingness to engage in constructive dialogue with activists and civil society organizations.

Consultative Approach: In response to the grassroots movement led by Rajen, the Election Commission adopted a consultative approach, inviting stakeholders to provide input and feedback on electoral processes and technological solutions. This inclusive approach fostered a sense of transparency and accountability, ensuring that the voices of citizens like Rajen were heard and respected.

Technological Reforms: While reiterating its confidence in the security of EVMs, the Election Commission recognized the need for continuous technological innovation and enhancement. Rajen's advocacy prompted the commission to explore potential upgrades to voting systems, including the introduction of Voter-Verified Paper Audit Trails (VVPATs) and other measures aimed at bolstering public trust in the electoral process.

Educational Initiatives: Hijam Rajen's advocacy underscored the importance of raising awareness about electoral procedures and safeguards. In response, the Election Commission launched educational initiatives aimed at informing citizens about the functioning of EVMs, the electoral process, and avenues for redressal of grievances. By empowering voters with knowledge, the commission sought to dispel misconceptions and build confidence in the electoral system.

Commitment to Transparency: Rajen's relentless pursuit of electoral integrity reinforced the Election Commission's commitment to transparency and accountability. The commission pledged to conduct elections with the utmost impartiality and integrity, ensuring that every vote counts and that the democratic rights of citizens are safeguarded.

In summary, Hijam Rajen's leadership in the EVM HATAO SANYUKT MORCHA catalyzed a constructive dialogue on electoral reforms and prompted the Election Commission to reevaluate its approach to technological safeguards and public outreach. While the commission maintained its confidence in EVMs, Rajen's advocacy contributed to a more transparent, inclusive, and responsive electoral process, reinforcing the foundations of Indian democracy.
Collaborative Efforts and Solidarity: Rajen's approach to activism was characterized by inclusivity and collaboration. He forged alliances with advocates, farmers' unions, and workers' organizations, recognizing the transformative potential of collective action. Together, they waged a relentless campaign against electoral malpractice, employing legal expertise, grassroots mobilization, and public outreach to effect systemic change.

Legacy and Impact: As a torchbearer of democratic values, Rajen's contributions reverberate far beyond the confines of his community or geographical origin. His unwavering commitment to electoral integrity and social justice serves as an inspiration to future generations of activists and advocates. In the annals of India's democratic history, Hijam Rajen's name will endure as a symbol of resilience, courage, and unwavering dedication to the ideals of democracy.

Conclusion: In a nation grappling with myriad socio-political challenges, Hijam Rajen stands as a beacon of hope, illuminating the path towards a more just, inclusive, and participatory democracy. His tireless advocacy, indomitable spirit, and transformative leadership embody the essence of grassroots activism, reminding us that the quest for a better tomorrow begins with a steadfast commitment to uphold the principles of democracy and equality.

* Hijam Rajen served in the Central Govt for 22 years and migrated to Delhi in 1987. He is a Delhi-based Meetei Socio-Political Activist and has innovated three pharmaceutical products for the Indian Pharmaceutical industry.
He can be contacted at hr.singha@gmail.com.
This article was webcast on March 22, 2024.

Post a Comment