29th May 2010
This is YOUR cause, else we are out of here!
Received this comment through email re: FTI and I thought it would be useful to respond publicly (also responded at http://freedomteam.in/content/fti-questions-suggestions)
"I am copying this mail to Mr Sanjeev Sabhlok ( founder of the movement)" then these comments:
have gone thru the website. normally, such efforts in the past have suffered because of following reasons amongst others:
1. lack of winnability, leads to splitting of the group
2. even if some momentum is built up, people from within start fragmenting, due to vested interests, ego clashes, even financial mishandling
3. lack of funds
4. grassroots presence is negligible. even with a 2 year effort like parivartan in kanpur, we cannot say that we have grassroots support to make a candidate win.
5. a similar effort by shiv khera has already fallen apart despite all india efforts being made6. normally the so called intelligentsia gets involved. they are neither grassroot based, nor are they politically astute. also they will always have varying view points and will argue and clashhowever, if these guys have taken care of these issues, then good luck to them. I would be interested to watch them. will pass on to some others also.
I wish to thank the author of these comments for these issues are pretty typical, and invariably faced by any group that seeks to reform India. FTI is FULLY aware of these issues and has addressed them in this way:
a) This is not a one man effort. There is no 'founder', only a proposer. Anyone can propose anything. A mere proposal doesn't mean anything. Therr are millions of proposals. The one that people want is THEIR proposal. That is the one that counts. THEREFORE EVERYONE WHO JOINS FTI IS A FOUNDER. There is no single leader. Everyone on FTI is a leader.
b) The organisation has a board of two persons: Secretary and Treasurer. The Board is committed to complying with the decisions taken by the General Body (NOT Governing Body). Everyone on the team is a member of the General Body and has an equal vote. No one has any voice in FTI beyond that of any other person.
c) No document produced by FTI is declared final until at least 1500 members assemble, who are ready to contest elections within the next three years. This condition is just one of the many conditions that must be met before members consider a political effort. Leaders first. Funds and supporters next. There is no intention to win just one or two seats. Either 300 minimum or nothing. FTI members have no intention of wasting their time and money just for the pleasure of having contested elections. Each FTI member will contest ONLY TO WIN. No other goal.
The strategy of FTI is slow but sure, like the story of the tortoise and hare. Most efforts including Shiv Khera's, Lok Satta, Jago, etc. etc. etc. (the list is endless, since India has 2000 parties), have largely been driven by emotion and not strategy. A lot of energy spent with ZERO results. Frustration ensues and motivation is lost. That is not FTI.
FTI is strategic and very clear: it is not doing this solo task for itself. It will do so ONLY if the people of India desperately want to improve things. We are not here to be heros. We are here to represent YOU. If you don't want change, then why would we waste our time with you?
Unless FTI is FULLY SUPPORTED by YOU, and by most people of India, its members WON'T step into the electoral arena. We won't fail because it is not us but YOU who are the failure. You the citizen have failed to find good representatives and elect them. You have failed to do anything when the country was eroding and falling into deep corruption all around you. You were the one who complained but did not raise your finger to change things.
We are NOT here to beg you for votes. Unless you are DESPERATE for change we are out of here.
We are taking on the role of citizenship and offering you change. But we are not jokers, martyrs, or heros. We aren't interested in becoming failures for you to laugh at. We are not here seeking your mercy, or your votes. Unless you are DESPERATE TO VOTE FOR CHANGE, we won't even step forward to the hustings.
You the citizen are a disastrous failure. Rise and become a citizen first, if you have any spine and self-respect. Stop running after corrupt politicians and putting garlands around their neck.
If you are not serious, then we are out of here! Goodbye!
FTI invites all Indians to partner AS EQUAL CITIZENS with FTI either as a team members or Freedom Partners (http://partners.freedomteam.in/). Your ACTIVE support is CRUCIAL. Else we are not wasting our time on trying to reform India. We don't need your good luck. YOU NEED GOOD LUCK to survive in India! Are you going to make your luck or take the corruption and decadence for granted? The ball is in YOUR hands, not ours.
ADDENDUM 1 JUNE 2010 – AN EMAIL EXCHANGE FOLLOWING FROM THIS POST:
On Sat, May 29, 2010 at 6:51 AM, M wrote:
Have you seen this post?- http://bit.ly/b0ukdz
Personally, I am not favourably impressed by it. But perhaps I have misunderstood- so I would like to know what you all think about what Mr. Sabhlok has written.
On Mon, May 31, 2010 at 7:51 PM, A wrote:
Is it the content ?
On Tue, Jun 1, 2010 at 3:05 AM, Ashok Sagar wrote:
Sorry for the late reply, but I have been otherwise engaged. The FTI is a group of concerned citizens who want to contest and win elections to form a government that would bring reform to all areas of governance. This can happen only when the electorate is prepared for change. Of course the electorate has to be cultivated and appraised of alternatives to the current scenario.
If you look at the current crop of politicians, almost all of them are career politicians and want power for power's sake. Not for improving the lot of the common man, although they would of course pay lip service to that.
The FTI intends to contest elections only when the majority of the electorate is prepared for change and ready to vote for that. I think that is what Sanjeev means when he says that 'This is your cause, else we are out of here'. he might come across as frustrated or short-tempered, but it is not the tone but the message that should be focused upon.
I am ccing this to Sanjeev as well. in case he has anything to add.
Visit my blog!
I also contribute at http://india-tweets.blogspot.com
My reply 1 June:
In order to understand what I say people must realise I'm a full time person with limited means and very limited time who is aiming for the stars for India. My message is found in BFN (http://bfn.sabhlokcity.com/).
The point in this particular post (being a quickly written email) as Ashok has pointed out is this: that after more than 12 years in this business of trying to change India's corrupt and dismal governance I find that Indians are easy to blame others but never themselves.
The reality is plain and simple: our educated classes come out as clerks, not citizens. They do not take responsibility for their country. So I am very harsh at times, in highlighting this fact and suggesting that if they don't take responsibility, no one else will. This cause to reform India's governance must be yours. Not mine. So don't give me your 'good wishes'! I don't need them. You who live in India (and I don't) are either directly suffering the consequences of mismanagement or indirectly. You need good wishes to survive. For instance, India's road death rate is 10 times higher (per vehicle) than in the West. Pollution is 10 times higher. You don't even know whether the water you drink is clean. And so on.
But that is all semantics. The point is this. What will it take to covert 1 billion clerks into 1 billion citizens? That is my question. Happy to hear your answer.
(BTW, I'm happy to take all comments on my blog, and I'll post this entire exchange, without mentioning names, on the blog post, as an addendum).
ADDENDUM 1 June 2010
Here's what another FTI member has just written about my blog post:
"I really liked your blunt approach towards the apathy shown by the so called educated classes. You are right that the ball is in their court to ask for change and then we step forward as alternative; then and only then we can succeed. Though we will have to shake the wider population through our message that status-quo is not acceptable."
ADDENDUM 1 June 2010
From a Facebook conversation with H:
The point, H, is this: you and I are all aiming for similar things – at least that is what I presume. What's the likelihood of our achieving these things working alone? Zero. So why bother?
There is no strategic alternative but to work together and to agree to a common platform (agenda), then to work diligently to influence and change the system. If you think there is, please let me know how it will work."