11th January 2020
Summary of my key political trips to India
This is a note to myself. Will add links, photos, etc. in the coming days if I find time.
1999-2000: Met JP in Hyderabad to discuss political action. Met Parth Shah (at his first CCS home+office, Barun Mitra (at his original Liberty Institute) + Madhu Kishwar (at her house) a few others like Subodh. Meeting
January 2004: The IPI liberal workshop + seminar (see IPI website) + national launch of Sharad Joshi’s Swatantra Bharat Party on 26 January 2004 (all photos/ videos with Rakesh Wadhwa)
[Gap period: writing BFN, engaging with Anil Sharma’s London efforts, personal visit to India in 2007 + write-up in TOI on reforms + meeting with retired officers in Palam Vihar – a total waste of time; met Ram Atri on this trip – he came over with a cameraman and recorded something; no idea where that video has gone]
February 2010: The first FTI conference, held in Mumbai. Interactions with Somnath Bharti in Delhi. Spoke at small event CCS Delhi about FTI. Met Meera Sanyal, SV Raju. Event organised by Liberty Institute in Delhi to explain FTI to the people.
February 2012: The third FTI conference, held in Mumbai again. Visited SV Raju’s office in Mumbai. Met Arvind Kejriwal via Somath in Ghaziabad. Met Justice Tewatia via Ram Atri. Spoke at a slightly larger event in CCS regarding FTI. That was my last trip to CCS since NO political leader has ever come out of any think tank.
December 2012: The six week trip to Ramdev’s Patanjali in Dec 2012/Jan 2013. Included the Nirbhaya havan at Patanajali + speech at Jantar Mantar Delhi speech with Ramdev.
July 2014: 5-day liberal parties conference in Delhi (at Ishwar Dayal’s place) (parties invited included Nav Bharat Party, Swatantra Bharat Party, the Rajendra Palugudu effort, note – JP’s Lok Satta did not send any delegate) that decided that SBP will go ahead, and go it alone. Trip to Om Poorna Swatantra’s Pilani ashram + extensive trip across Haryana and Rajashthan with Ram Atri to meet farmers + farmer leaders including the “cow guru”. I think I also visited Varuy Arya’s Jodhpur place during this period (to check).
July 2016: SBP’s National Conference in Karol Bagh Delhi that decided to launch the party at the grassroots. First trip to Bhadohi and Mirzapur with Anil (plus Alok and Ram Atri) + trip to Jaipur where Sanjay Garg held a meeting with activists. + Trip to Pune in which I met Sanjay Sonawani and also spoke at an event. + Trip to Bangalore for a press conference + trip to Hyderabad for a press conference.
July 28, 2016 (Thursday) Jaipur – meeting with local SBP team
August 1, 2016 (Monday) SBP national conference (post lunch session), Karol Bagh, Delhi
August 2, 2016 (Tuesday) Mirzapur/ Badohi/ Allahabad – local SBP team meetings
August 3, 2016 (Wednesday) Mirzapur/ Badohi/ Allahabad – local SBP team meetings
August 6, 2016 (Saturday) Pune – local SBP team meetings and public talk
August 8, 2016 (Monday) Bangalore (post lunch SBP and other meetings)
August 9, 2016 (Tuesday) Hyderabad (Press conference and SBP meetings)
June 2017: Interlaken Horasis and London trip + SBP national conference at India International Centre Delhi – made a number of video recordings (on party’s youtube channel).
October 2018: Private trip to Kerala + Trip to Pune where I met Mahesh Gajendragadkar, Amar Habib etc. and spoke at event + Second trip to Bhadohi that got good coverage in the local newspapers). Trip to Jaipur for detailed discussions regarding IT systems with Abraham.
January-February 2019: Private trip to Kerala + third trip to Bhadohi (mainly to coaching centres and villages + Allahabad + inauguration of SBP centre + speech at a Gyanpur event) and Kanpur (met young leaders) to Guwahati (Met Pankaj, visited low cost private schools, met Samujjal Bhattacharjee). Visited Haryana etc. extensively with Ram Atri. Met Om Poorna Swatantra twice, one at an event in Bijwasan and again at an event in Haryana where he gave me a shawl. Spoke with farmers at a number of places. Ram Atri had organised a talk at Gurgaon as well.
November-December 2019: Private trip + SBP’s National Conference at India International Centre Delhi on 23/24 November + to Jaipur where met Sanjay + Abraham.