He is the Samajwadi Party nominee

Public perception that elections cannot be fought without money and muscle power is strong and efforts to bring about a systemic change through active participation is rare indeed. It is here that D.S. Doraiswamy, who has been an activist all his life, comes as a whiff of fresh air. A staunch Gandhian who believes in truth and non-violence, Mr. Doraiswamy has entered the fray to make a difference in society and will contest from Chamarajanagar Assembly constituency.

Son of a freedom fighter D.J. Shankarappa, Mr. Doraiswamy intends to prove that elections can indeed be fought without money and muscle power and what is more, he is raising issues that others would only scoff at in private of protection of environment and wildlife conservation.

Though he intended to enter the fray as an Independent, the Samajwadi Party offered him a ticket and Mr. Doraiswamy has accepted it as it will help fund the security deposit of Rs. 10,000 that is mandatory to contest the polls. But for it, Mr. Doraiswamy who is also known as Punajanur Doraiswamy or Parisarawadi (environmentalist) Mr. Doraiswamy, will get no other funding from the party and hence will embark on a door-to-door campaign to cover his constituency.

“If required, I will approach the public and seek donations for the elections in which I intend to raise issues germane to society”, said Mr. Doraswamy who was vociferous in raising his voice against the sand and granite mafia that is active in Chamarajanagar.

An agriculturist by profession, Mr. Doraiswamy has several acres of land in Punajnur and it was here that he became popular as a social worker for raising his voice against the Special Task Force engaged in operation against forest brigand Veerappan. Many of the Lambani community members and tribal people were taken away for interrogation by the police and Mr. Doraiswamy approached the human rights commission to secure their release.

If he is raising issues that no other mainstream political party candidates are referring in the run-up to the elections, Mr. Doraiswamy’s post-poll plans – in case he is elected – are more idealistic. As he explained: “Forest land has been encroached upon and wildlife habitat has been fragmented. I will strive to get the forest land cleared of encroachment and distribute them to the forest dwellers while efforts will be made to ensure that wildlife corridor and habitat are not disturbed”.

Drinking water

“Drinking water is a major issue confronting the people of Chamarajanagar and I will take steps to replenish and rejuvenate the water bodies that are part and parcel of our ecosystem. Environment and conservation are primary issues. The rest are of secondary importance”, according to Mr. Doraiswamy whose long-standing record of social work has endeared him to many people.

Not withstanding his commitment to environmental issues, Mr. Doraiswamy is also realistic as he quipped: “People do respect me for my social work but whether they will also vote for me remains to be seen”.

  • If elected, he says he would work for protection of environment and wildlife conservation

  • ‘I will take steps to replenish and rejuvenate the water bodies that are part and parcel of our ecosystem’