8th August 2010
FTI current phase: Assemble, but do not leave your job
This question comes up again and again, so I think it is worthwhile posting a recent interaction on this subject.
After the very successful event at IIT Delhi on 2 August, this comment was made by one of the FTI organisers: "Challenge: convincing people that FTI strategy can actually work, given that we do not have much to show on the ground (in terms of political activity), most of us are part-time with no definite personal contesting plan".
Amazing things happen when good people come together. This outreach event is one such amazing thing. Small but effective. A great start.
Let this approach be our selling point – that we are not a demanding platform. We are organising, but within our means. One thing I don't want us to do – until EVERYTHING is sorted out – is to leave our jobs or reduce our income from work. Let's be realistic. This effort will take some time to gain strength. And no one's family interests should suffer in the interregnum.
If someone says why aren't you on the ground, our response is: We are not interested in any half-baked activity. Every action must contribute to the goal. No wasted effort or energy.
As Pericles said, "The great impediment to action is, in our opinion, not discussion, but the want of that knowledge which is gained by discussions preparatory to action".
FTI is in the assembling and discussion stage prior to action. Let us do this properly and not rush to action on the 'ground'. It is too early for political activity on the ground. We need a strong leadership team to come together first and agree to a policy platform. Only then can education campaign be launched.
In the meanwhile, of course, supporters (Freedom Partners) can, and should assemble. Support is needed from all sides. That is a given. Let Freedom Partners (those who won't personally contest elections) spread the message of freedom.
The combination of these two steps will result in a movement for reform that is ready to take the next steps on the ground – and then, finally, once fully ready, aim to contest elections. No point in rushing things.
ADDENDUM. Things get done by assembling
There are a number of good people in India who are either disheartened, or can't find a way forward, or can't agree with others. FTI connects them and allows teh magicl of social capital to build. Examples: letter to independents, outreach events in Indore/Delhi. A lot of things get done without too much effort. The main thing is to assemble.