30th July 2010
Are FTI’s views synonymous with mine?
This question has come up in the past and I've addressed it both internally on FTI and on various blogs, but I thought I'd publish a recent clarification that I provided on the internal FTI forum – so that those interested can fully understand that FTI is not Sanjeev, nor vice versa!
Let me assert quite vigorously that it would be a total travesty of what I'm been advocating – (a) citizen leadership and (b) freedom – for FTI's views to be, at any stage, be seen as being synonymous with mine! This is a team of leaders we are talking about, not a bunch of followers.
Remember that I'm just one of the members of the team (and, indeed, only an Honorary member) and do vigorously try to persuade and explain but have never and will never impose anything on anyone. Why else do we vote as equal members on FTI, for instance? Nothing on FTI is decided by me. Only through equal voting by all members, and I've myself modified my views on occasion after a vigorous FTI debate.
Much as I'd like everyone on FTI to agree with the views I propound in BFN or DOF, no one on FTI is even remotely expected to "follow" these views. They must form their own opinion. All I ask is that they do so after extensive reading, analysis and thinking, and avoid any rush to opinion. That means they must be open to challenging their own views, as well. This preference for independent and critical thinking is detailed in two extensive chapters in DOF. To me, this, above all, forms the foundation of liberalism.
I always suggest that we should trust in no one but ourselves and refuse to follow anyone (including me!) just because he or she has written a book or article or has a few certificates acquired from here or there including 'Nobel' and other prizes – just trinkets. Think for yourself!
Critical thinking is therefore the foundational principle of FTI. Get to understand things and then lead, as a citizen. That is the only way for people to become genuine leaders. And we all know that there is simply no place on FTI for any follower. Only independent, self-respecting citizens are allowed: those who will leave no stone unturned in their quest to find the best solutions for themselves and India. We are here to contest and debate with each other: never to be sycophants or stooges of anyone – living or dead.
To me, FTI should (and does) reflect the best of the Indian mind, a liberated Indian mind that is able to think for itself.
As Vivekananda said: "Liberty in thought and action is the only condition of life, growth and well-being: Where it does not exist, the man, the race, and the nation must go down."
So let's be free! Be not bound by any chains!