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Category Archive: Freedom Team

My message to FTI: Waiting for ONE person in India who believes in liberty

I just sent out this email to the Freedom Team of India.

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I've had the level-5 leader hypothesis for a long time, and it probably still makes sense. But the defining character of a successful political leader (perhaps even a business leader) is BELIEF.
 
Without TOTAL belief that you are right, you can't move people. 
 
Modi has a total belief in Hindutva and so he can move people. Arvind Kejriwal has total belief in his brand of socialism, so he can move people. Rahul Gandhi has no belief so he fails to move anyone; even himself.
 
India doesn't have a single leader on the ground who totally and WITHOUT ANY DOUBTS believes in liberty. The problem with liberty, of course, is that it is rather complex. Unlike simplistic ideas like Hindutva or socialism, it requires deep understanding of why liberty is needed, and why it TOTALLY superior to all other "goods". 
 
I've written a blog post today on this topic. I invite your attention to this post.
 
The vast majority of people I've come across are 2nd tier 'leaders'. They are a tail, that wags for anyone and everyone, and changes direction with the wind.
 
The day ANYONE in India forms a clear and 100 per cent belief in liberty, we'll start making huge progress on the ground. That day, (some) FTI members will stop doing "strategic" stuff and trying to piggy-back other groups comprising 2nd tier 'leaders'. That day, these FTI members will become TRUE LEADERS. That day, their FB posts and tweets will show they BELIEVE that their idea is RIGHT.
 
I firmly believe that SKC agenda is RIGHT. While I'm happy to take input from others for improvement, its direction and content is right. 
 
And ALL others are  WRONG. That too, is a very important point to note.
 
Unless each FTI member forms this 100 per cent belief – and is explain ALL details of the SKC agenda to the people of India – Indian liberals will remain onlookers to the CONTINUED DESTRUCTION of India by the socialists.
 
All those who fully and totally and comprehensively believe in the liberty (and the detailed system outlined in the SKC agenda) should remain with FTI. 
 
ALL OTHERS SHOULD LEAVE .
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Varun Arya’s excellent presentation at a seminar on Globalisation and Governance, IMS Unison University

Good friend and outstanding leader Varun Arya was keynote speaker at a seminar on Globalisation and Governance, IMS Unison University on 24 May 2014.

I requested him for the slides which I found to be excellent. I have requested his permission to share these widely.

DOWNLOAD HERE 

I particularly liked the following three slides (I've annotated with arrows to draw attention to key issues):


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Freedom Team of India no longer approves Lok Satta Party for its members

The Freedom Team of India has, after consideration of the actions taken by Lok Satta Party towards the end of its campaign in the 2014 General elections – of blindly singing praise of BJP and Modi – has decided to delist Lok Satta Party. This means FTI members joining LSP will now be automatically disqualified from FTI membership, and any existing FTI member of LSP will need to resign from LSP.

In early 2013, FTI had specifically disapproved socialist AAP for our members, leading ultimately to the termination of membership for three FTI members. (Our basic requirements do not possibly allow any FTI member to join Congress or BJP, or other such corrupt socialist party – just in case you are wondering why these "mainstream" parties are not mentioned).

The resolution passed by FTI in May 2014 reads:

FTI resolves that its members can join one of the following parties if they wish to pursue politics in advance of the 500 members assembling:
 
Tier 1 Party (totally committed to FTI's Sone Ki Chidiya reform agenda): Swarna Bharat Party
 

Tier 2 Parties: (Broadly liberal but where FTI members should influence towards SKC agenda) Swatantra Bharat Party and Navbharat Party
 
Tier 3 Parties: (Some liberal ideas, but not consistent and not to be directly supported. FTI members should either be able to change these parties towards SKC agenda and total integrity, or resign from these parties at the earliest): Bharat Uday Mission and Jago Party
 
Joining any party not listed above will lead to the automatic termination of FTI membership."

 

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Complete rejection of the JP model of politics. All Lok Satta Party leaders should consider alternatives

Lok Satta is effectively dead, becoming a branch of BJP. JP has not only directly supported BJP without ANY common minimum programme (completely contrary to his declared policy), he has pulled out all LSP MP candidates except in Malkajgiri.

"pulling out of the candidates from all MP seats except Malkajgiri constituency from where he was contesting the elections".

He has effectively joined BJPI invite LSP senior leaders to let JP go his own way. Resign from LSP and work towards the liberal party India needs. It is time for them to demonstrate that they stand for some principles.

Let's meet in July and work towards a liberal party.

I will NOT be inviting JP (or LSP) to this meeting now. It is over. JP is not a liberal and does not support liberty in India.

On FTI, as well, I'll amend my draft resolution that demoted LSP to the third tier of acceptable parties, to now seek the total removal of LSP as an approved party from FTI.

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Let Ramdev fall by his own sword, for betraying his own demands against supporters of black money

An extract from an email earlier toady
 
I speak for myself and have adequately explained the situation. I have no problem in changing my mind if Ramdev explains the entire situation in a cogent manner. Current explanation doesn't make sense.
 
Swabhiman is the key. The commitment to never compromise on basics, no matter what. Ramdev told me repeatedly that he has nothing but the chadar he wears and is absolutely ready to abandon everything and leave but that he will not compromise on principles. That is why I associated with him. It was a delight to find another person committed to principles. I assumed that his stand against black money and corruption is genuine. 
 
Ramdev himself told me clearly that BJP is corrupt. We had a very clear agreement that under NO circumstances I would, or we would, associate with BJP directly. Any such agreement would be incompatible with integrity. Sure, get rid of Congress, but also get rid of BJP.
 
If, we still felt after launching our party that we couldn't form government in 2014 we COULD consider seat sharing with BJP but on a common agenda and principles.
 
Yet, despite this, he switched without telling me, or without consulting me, directly to BJP. In doing so he did TWO things that are really problematic:
 
1. He supported a corrupt party.
2. He went back on his word to me.
 
I objected to this and have repeatedly asked that he return to the position of integrity he originally stood for.
 
But now the case the situation is far more problematic. He had DIRECT proof in this case of BJP's black money (which was seized by authorities). EVEN then he did not condemn the candidate /dissociate with BJP. The worst is that he then lied that such a discussion (recorded on TV) even took place.
 
So he has done FOUR things which are really unethical:
1. He supported a corrupt party.
2. He went back on his word to me.
3. He has turned a blind eye to DIRECT PROOF of BJP corruption.
4. He lied that there was a discussion re: BJP's black money. 
 
For such people he used to have a strong word: Gaddar. Betrayers of India. Looters of India. I have merely cited his own terms back to him. He also demanded death penalty for the corrupt. I have spared a demand for death penalty for the concerned BJP candidate.
 
I am merely following what HE said that he stood for, because I have stood for that the whole of my life and have no intention of compromising. 
 
I hope Indian scriptures haven't been teaching Ramdev immorality. Those who compromise integrity can't claim to have any self-respect, swabhiman. There is NO difference between those who loot the country, whether from Congress or BJP or any other party/group.
 
Question is: What punishment would he himself have wanted for someone who does these things:
a) supports a corrupt party and candidate
b) lies REPEATEDLY.
 
Let him announce (and accept) the punishment he himself would have demanded for such person. Let him meet his own standards.
 
After he has undergone his own self-inflicted punishment and penance, let him vow publicly to never support the corrupt again.
 
There is no direct relationship between BST and SKC Federation, which is a creation of the Freedom Team of India.  
 
The standards of FTI apply to SKCF, not the (low) standards of BST. We have a Code of Conduct and commit to total integrity. And self-respect. That's what we should aim for.
 
Please do not run after ANY person who supports the corrupt or repeatedly tells lies – even when caught red-handed in public. Stand on your own feet and have SELF-RESPECT. 
 
We are now the only few people left in India who have consistently DEMANDED total reforms and total integrity. Some people think that by compromising morals and supporting BJP they'll get rid of Congress and solve India's problems. They are on a slippery path and will never, in this way, help India.
 
In fact, Ramdev has created a huge mess today in India where not a single (major) good party is on offer. He squandered the opportunity of creating a party that stood for good governance and integrity. He is unlikely to get any such opportunity again in his lifetime.
 
I am, however, dedicated to creating such a party (and movement). Let's move on from the unpleasant saga of Ramdev.
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14 qualities of an outstanding leader – by Marvin Bower of McKinsey

I've extracted the following from this article:

1.       Trustworthiness:  Anyone seeking to be a leader should always tell the truth, if for no other reason than it is simpler.

2.       Fairness: This means not using authority carelessly. The requirement should not be unnecessary, too difficult, or impossible in the time given.

3.       Unassuming behaviour: Leaders can never be hypocritically humble. They are simply unassuming in their behavior. Casualness and informality contribute to a leadership culture.

4.       Leaders listen: Paying close attention, but also asking brief, nonleading questions. They learn much of importance this way.

5.       A leader is open-minded: Self-assurance can be a plus, but excessive self-assurance leads to egotism and even arrogance; it certainly closes minds.  Ensuring that people are free to speak their minds in a full, free exchange of thought.

6.       Sensitivity to people: A leader can’t motivate or persuade constituents or others effectively without having some sense of what’s on their minds.  He pays attention to everyone he deals with every day. Leaders are polite, considerate, understanding, and careful that what they say to someone is not dispiriting.

7.       Sensitivity to situations:  Conduct a searching, sensitive, and intuitive investigation of situations.

8.       Initiative, initiative, initiative:  Initiative is one of the most important attributes of any leader. The important thing is to keep alert for opportunities. “Nothing in this world happens except at the initiative of a single person.”

9.       Good judgment:  Judgment is the ability to combine hard data, questionable data, and intuitive guesses to arrive at a conclusion that events prove to be correct. Judgment includes the capacity to appraise the potentialities of co-workers and opponents. Following fads reflects bad judgment.  The leader seeks out people with good judgment among his network.

10.   Broad-mindedness:  Tolerant of varied views  and inclined to condone minor departures from conventional behaviour. Adaptable, and flexible. Undisturbed by little things, willing to overlook small errors, and easy to talk with.

11.   Flexibility and adaptability:  Ready to consider change and willing to make changes when most agree they are needed.

12.   The capacity to make sound and timely decisions:  A sound decision by a leader depends largely on his or her ability to think and to seek advice from others. Allowing time to digest issues almost always brings new options from which to choose.

13.   The capacity to motivate:  The capacity to move people to action, to communicate persuasively, to strengthen the confidence of followers.

14.   A sense of urgency: The leader invariably set the pace. People like to work where “things happen.” 

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