Thoughts on economics and liberty

Use Sun Tzu to change India. Let each drop of energy matter.

There is a huge difference between FTI's strategy and that of Lok Satta or Jago Party or Professionals Party of India (PPI).

I received an email from PPI today. It says,

PPI wants you to make simple contributions, such as, propagating our cause, reaching out to all your friends with our web address and most importantly, identifying suitable candidates in your area

I beg your pardon, PPI!

You want people to propagate YOUR cause! Why do they care? What's in it for them? Who are you to WANT them to do something!! Maybe you should request them?

Second, you want them to identify candidates for you! Why have you become a political party without doing your homework? Why are you approaching the people WITHOUT CANDIDATES? Isn't that something a political party should do first, and then go to the people?

The problem with these small-time "political parties" is that the people of India SIMPLY DO NOT WANT THEM. They have rejected them OUTRIGHT in EACH election – and yet these outfits don't get the message. Tone deaf.

Their leadership, their strategy, their effort, their intention becomes questionable. In many cases (like Lok Satta) these outfits don't have even a SINGLE LEADER beyond the main one. Just one leader in hand and off they go beating their drum.

Two lessons these groups could learn from Sun Tzu.


Never give battle in a piffling manner. You must win, or NOT enter the battle. If not strong enough, then Flee!

By discovering the enemy’s dispositions and remaining invisible ourselves, we can keep our forces concentrated, while the enemy’s must be divided. We can form a single united body, while the enemy must split up into fractions. Sun Tzu


As Sun Tzu said, "the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterwards looks for victory."

FTI's strategy is ENTIRELY consistent with world-best strategy:

a) Concentrate the leaders and build solid brain power and capability to offer India.

b) Align all energy and capacity so a loud roar of harmony arises as these leaders sing from the same page.

Having collected an army and concentrated his forces, he must blend and harmonize the different elements thereof before pitching his camp. Sun Tzu

c) Build profile, when ready, through "policy harassment" of the parties in power. Weaken them from their "edges". Show the people the great folly of their current leaders. Show the people how their leaders have feet of clay. But do not engage directly in elections YET.

d) Wait for the people TO CLAMOUR for FTI leaders to contest elections. 

ONLY THEN form a political formation and ONLY then contest – AFTER the battle has been won. 

And there is yet another point from Sun Tzu worth noting.

"What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease. Hence his victories bring him neither reputation for wisdom nor credit for courage."

The way of reform in India is through INTENSIVE COLLABORATION and total humility. Each person on FTI must consider himself or herself to be an arm of the PEOPLE OF INDIA. Just an arm and hand. No more than that.

Let FTI's work be seen by the people as THEIR work. No credit is called for by ANY FTI member, nor needed. For the "success" FTI seeks is of India – not of its individual leaders. And the less the people know about individuals and the more they focus on their own life, the greater the success of FTI.

Let all the credit go to the people of India for doing the right thing.


in closing this post let me publish Vice Admiral (retd.) Venkat Bharathan's comment today on my Facebook wall today:

The freedom team india is a great concept and a good vision. Making people aware, moving it towards pragmatic partcipation, gathering volunteers, choosing,training potential leaders and supporting them are perhaps the logical next steps. This is a movement that cannot be conceived to be only an idea but a process that spreads through osmosis of thought, spirit, evangelical zeal, realistic approach, sanguine sense. It should be intellectual for the cerebral, practical and appealing to the common citizen, motivating to the less privileged and thought provoking to the officialese.

at 65 I am privileged to be given a chance to be associated with the young and middle aged HI IQ, committed group, who want to simply make a difference. It is obvious to me that this is a time agnostic cause that at best can set targets, objectives and wait patiently for the tipping point catalyst to make India a happy place for all its people. JAIHIND


All men can see the tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved. Sun Tzu

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4 thoughts on “Use Sun Tzu to change India. Let each drop of energy matter.
  1. KK

    Dear Sanjiv
    Best wishes to you in Melbourne (I have lived there for 5 years !)
    I am writing on behalf of PPI and noted your above comments. I am not in a position to say who is right and who is wrong. Is FTI better than PPI or Lok Satta is not for us to judge. The people of India will do that either by electing PPI or LS candidates. (FTI is not a registered party as I understand).
    What bothers me is that you have taken up an issue with PPI or LS strategy (however wrong they might be in your opinion) to bring about political change which you claim you are trying to achieve in your personal introduction.
    Today aren't our bigger battles out there viz. educating people to vote and participate in politics, rejecting the current political parties and their ideologies instead of running down PPI and LS who are on the same path.
    We at PPI publicly support LS and FTI and their approach. We do not see you as competition (maybe you see us as one).
    So let us join hands (without having to drop our identity) to fight the battle out there.
    Best wishes

  2. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Dear KK

    I’m pretty forthright in speaking the truth, so you’ll pardon my saying so, but the people of India have ALREADY spoken. They DON’T want half-baked efforts. Either we provide them with a fully functional alternative government of HIGH calibre, or we admit that we are wasting our time.

    FTI is not a political party and I have repeatedly said (including to your President with whom I’ve had email communication) that PPI members should continue doing what they are doing but also become members of FTI which is purely an aggregating group with clear intent to work out an AGREED platform for reform. PPI’s response has been less than lukewarm, I’m afraid.

    I don’t see ANY possibility of PPI succeeding the way it is going (nor Lok Satta nor Jago Party nor Bharatiya Uday Mission nor Samudai Bharati, nor any other microscopic group – and there are 100s of them today). I may well be wrong (who is 100% right?) in my assessment, but at the moment I’m clear about the fact that the people of India DON’T want small groups or independents like Meera Sanyal. They have repeatedly shown that by BOOTING out all these little groups.

    They are sick to the teeth with Congress and BJP and want a MAJOR opposition group that will contest all seats and provide an alternative government. But we keep providing them with tidbits of no consequence.

    We are all free to waste our time but India is right to reject those who care more for their pitiable two-bit “groups” than for India.


  3. sachin kundu

    I feel that formation of political parties takes place so that there can be ego satisfaction in calling oneself president of "makes no difference" party. If there was no ego involved I see no reason why all supposedly liberal parties could not come under one umbrella group and pool resources together.

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