14th September 2010
Is FTI drifting towards an elitist “High Command”?
This question (in some form or shape) keeps being raised every few months. It has come up again, and while I clarify (indeed any FTI member can see how totally democratic FTI processes are – to the point of being exceptionally slow at times (democracy takes time)) – it appears that there can never be enough clarification!
Below are extracts from a conversation with an FTI member today:
I want to ask you a very simple question which is best answered in Yes or No. You may think that the question is frivolous, that the question has been answered before or that now is not the time for this question. I think the question is of fundamental importance, at least to me.
Q. Do you, personally, agree that supporters of FTI's future political avtaar, i.e members of the future political party should have the right to nominate and elect it's leaders, and candidates for various elections, on the principle of one member one vote (and not just the power to endorse or not endorse a leader or candidate in a non-binding way)?
Yes or No answer would be helpful in settling my doubts.
As for me, my answer is a definite Yes, otherwise I do not see much difference between His or Her Majesty's Government, the Indian National Congress, the BJP, the BSP, the UPSC and FTI, all of these being bodies who have promised, or continue to promise that they will provide high calibre leaders to the people of India. People know better from previous experience.
My view is that FTI members will decide how the political avataar operates. Therefore it doesn't matter what I think.
Having said that I'm quite happy for future supporters of FTI (e.g. FPI members – if such an entity comes into existence) to choose which of the FTI members to nominate as candidates. It doesn't make sense for FTI members to nominate themselves. There must be some indicator of their popularity with the voters. I'm assuming that this process (and a range of other quality checks) will be imposed by FTI members at the time of creation of the political avataar (if any).
Thanks for your response. I see that as a Yes, and in so far as we agree on this important issue, at least on a personal level, I am most reassured.
On one thing I'm clear: if we are here for ourselves we are wasting our time. We are here to work for a common cause along with other like-minded people. My goal for FTI is not to create an institution for me or for you but for freedom in India. That means that the team will, at all times, have to decide keeping in mind what is good for India. You and I are (relatively speaking) irrelevant: just one among a crowd.
I definitely did not ever intend nor will intend to create a 'high command' atmosphere on FTI.