Monday, January 26, 2009

FTI Press Release and website launch


26 January 2009

On the important occasion of the Republic Day, the Freedom Team of India has released its new website ( and an eight page brochure.

The Team, established in 2008, aims to provide a forum for policy, strategy, and leadership development. It aims to find at least 1500 outstanding leaders in India to contest elections in the coming years under the banner of freedom and world-best policy.

The forty leaders and observers currently on the Team used this occasion to call upon all potential leaders across India to come together to achieve real freedom for India. Doing so will involve launching a systematic assault on bad governance through the democratic channel of elections.

As a Team member said, “It is perhaps high time that our educated classes finally woke up from their deep slumber of sixty years. If America can re-invent itself even after 230 years, then surely India, a much younger country – but with the wisdom of eight thousand years of civilisation – can do much better. We have the capacity and power to change India so that no one has to ever sleep hungry, or feel discriminated or disenfranchised. We want an India where, in the words of Tagore, ‘the mind is without fear and the head is held high’”.

The Team’s approach differs from that of others in three distinct ways. One, the Team is focused purely on equal freedom as a philosophical stance. Thus, no half-way compromises with freedom are acceptable, such as reservations and caste-based preferences of any sort, or subsidies for religious occasions or religious organisations. This clarity of philosophy does not allow any bad policies. For instance, the Team does not accept socialism, casteism, or mixing religion with politics, unlike most existing political formations in India.

Second, everyone on this Team is an equal. We do not have official roles like President or Secretary. Members work as a team (each with independent opinions, which are welcome) and take the lead on projects where they can contribute most.

Finally, FTI members will (mostly) not contest elections until they are fully prepared and organised for it, with sufficient time devoted to the communication of the Team’s message to the people. The Team will, in this way, guarantee high quality candidates under the banner of freedom at the hustings in the coming years.

If you can’t join us at the moment, then please support us by passing this media release around.


Vinod_Sharma said...

An excellent idea whose time has come. Let us hope they are able to deliver. I have only one basic doubt. No team, however big or small, can function without a leader. They have departed from this elementary principle. Will it lead to success or will it degenerate into another social network that is not capable of delivering any concrete result? I mean how you can you not have a leader in your organisation and yet hope to produce leaders to lead the country?

Sagarone said...

Vinod, at the moment, we have 40 observers and active members. We have refrained from taking any major policy decisions till we reach some sort of critical mass. This is an evolving organization. All our policies are subject to discussion and I am sure that in the future, some of our members will raise the same issue and it will be debated and resolved.

Usha Pisharody said...

Kudos for the initiative. At least that step towards a more positive state of affairs has been taken!

I do hope that there will be young leaders who will finally take heart, and be bold enough to seize the moment and opportunity to work for the upliftment of the nation!

Al the best in the venture!!!

Sanjeev said...

Dear Mr Vinod Sharma

You raise a good question. I thought I’ll try to address it this way:

Except for one occasion (1921) when Gandhi was the President of Indian Congress Congress he wasn't interested in nor bothered about these ceremonious roles. Yet, the Congress was almost entirely guided by his views for another 25 years. Similarly, when India became independent, he moved back into private citizenship for the most part, but remained a critical voice in India because of his moral leadership.

Thus Gandhi is perhaps the only level 5 leader India has produced in the field of politics. I think his example tells us a few things which we can seek to imbibe (please note that I am not justifying everything Gandhi did or said, or making him sound like a god)
a) Sincerity (do what you ask others to do)
b) Humility (never impose; be willing to listen)
c) Moral and philosophical leadership (elaborate on the bigger goals for each citizen and the world; aim not for a petty position for oneself, even the position of Prime Minister of India)

Are FTI members there yet? I’m not sure; at least I am not. Level 4 leadership is perhaps good to aim for. Out of that may arise level 5 leadership. That will mean contributing as we can, without any expectations from anyone else, or any expectation of success. As Newt Gingrich calls it in his book, 'Real Change', it is all about 'cheerful persistence' as citizen leaders. Just doing the right thing, and remaining open to better ideas.

The team will hopefully strive to set itself ambitious goals for each member in terms of leadership. It can be compared with saying that if we learn karate, we must ultimately aim to become 9 Dan masters, or as in Richard Bach’s ‘Jonathan Livingston Seagull’ - enter a realm of consciousness where we see the world from a 'higher' perspective - say, of 50,000 years - but deal with all the necessary detail today, to make that outcome, 50,000 years later, happen.

Our individual failures to develop our leadership skills and work as a united team can cost millions of lives in the future (here I am talking of a concept, not referring to anyone of us in particular). On the other hand, with good leadership (the 'servant leadership' concept comes to mind), we can deliver the world to India today and in the future.

I am not suggesting that FTI will never need 'office bearers' - in some contexts these may be relevant. When it really starts organising, some such things may be useful for as a public face. All I’m noting is that these are the least important part of our objectives and goals. It is such leaders – who are citizen-leaders and team players – that we need. If you are one of them, or aim to be one of them, please join us. Do note that we are looking for policy clarity as well: It will be important that the conditions at: are met.

Sanjeev Sabhlok

Anrosh said...

The large mass of indians feel that it is chacha Nehru and not kans mama. this is a confusion in the minds of millions of indians. this issue has to be resolved.

it is like telling the americans who are used to eating white bread that it is bad and whole wheat bread is good - it is a big effort on the part of the food industry. but why am i using this analogy ?

we have to reeducate that the hand did not help the country. But the hand has twisted and turned and contored. i like the concept and no matter how much we fall when we learn to fly, one day the country will fly. those who think that "kuch hone wala nahi" and the doubting thomases will join in. is better to write history together than reading one.

Sagarone said...

Thanks for your comment Anrosh. The reason a large mass of Indians feel that he is chacha Nehru and not Kans mama is because of the indoctrination they have been subjected to while children. Generations of pliable minds have been subjected to this personality cult while at school. The education system has been taken full advantage of in perpetuating the rule of the first family. And yes, it is better to try to write history together than reading one!