What is common between Greece and India? – and the Dutch?
The disease of plenty in something, and absence in another.
The Dutch disease refers to the problems faced by one sector of the economy as another sector (resource sector in this case) receives an unexpected boost. The entire investment of the economy is then sucked into that sector, leaving little behind for other areas such as manufacturing. (or at least that is the simplistic version of the theory!)
In the case of Greece and India a similar effect applies. Both these nations are super-rich in their history, in their past. Therefore a disproportionate amount of resources are applied to studying and preserving the past, at the expense of today and the future. The fascination with the past comes at the expense of today.
Just like I suggested a few days ago that we should burn all books (figuratively), I suggest we should destroy all ancient monuments (figuratively!). Only then can we lead truly independent and productive lives. What WE do in our lives – in the future – matters. What is gone is gone. Sunk cost. History. Irrelevant in determining our future.
A friend on Facebook asked why the British museum retains artefacts from other nations and why they haven't returned these to the nations they got these artefacts from. Here are my comments (very minor edits) during the conversation:
Let's not forget that in many instances the cultures that these artefacts were taken from did not value their own history or culture sufficiently to bother about such things. The science of archaeology and anthropology was advanced in England.
True, the time has perhaps come to return many of these back to their respective countries – at cost, of course – not free! – provided these countries have stable governments and can secure and respect these valuables.
In many third world nations like India, these artefacts will likely be stolen and/or melted/ sold in the black market. Gangs of corrupt scoundrels run many of these nations – no point returning anything to them till they learn to govern themselves.
Without the fascination of the British for learning new things many parts of the world would have remained ignorant of their own history and culture. Let's give credit where it is due!
India's greatest historian, Romila Thaper wrote in 1973: "[T]he discovery of the Indian past was initiated under the auspices of the new rulers, the British." Comprehensive histories of India were first written by the British. The modern habit of preserving ancient monuments in India (of which it does a very poor job) was established through the work of British administrators. Before them everything was allowed to decay.
Once a nation is capable of handing its antiquity respectfully, the artefacts can be returned.
But nothing is free in life! There are two bases of acquisition of property: trade or force. The property rights in the artefacts moved to England upon acquisition (either through trade or force). Even if these artefacts were acquired through force, the property rights have passed on. Possession = ownership, particularly across nations. There is no concept of theft across nations. No history applies. Nations are sovereign. They are accountable to none. Definitely not after 200 years.
Remember that England has also incurred the cost of maintenance and care of the artefacts. So now there can be either a market-based negotiation, with a discount if Greece maintains good relations. And Greece (or whoever) should thank English archaeologists and scientists for preserving these artefacts in good condition, knowing that many of them could have been destroyed by local looters who have no respect for the history of their nation.
Alternatively Greece can attack England and recover the artefacts.
There is no arbitration possible between nations. History moves on. No reversion to the past is feasible.
I'm not quite familiar with the details of how each specific artefact was acquired and the precise goals of the Museum in relation to each artefact. Info on that should be available with the British Museum on request (a quick search on the internet may be a good starting point). Thereafter if you are serious about this you'd have to investigate with a legalistic mindset. There are surely international law rulings on this issue (e.g. at the Hague website). I suspect this is not a matter of simply sending an email to the British Museum or writing on Facebook that they are a bunch of thieves and should therefore give back the originals and keep an imitation. Nothing is so simple in life!
It would be useful to find an expert in museums and archaeology. A good textbook on this subject may help. Many free textbooks are available online now (try google books) that may point out the issues involved.
Look forward to an analytical article/study that summarises the problem, investigates it scientifically, and offers a viable solution. I'm sure India would be very interested as well!
Greece forgot its own teaching but England became great because the critical thinking of the ancient Greek philosophers was systematically implemented in England. It therefore became the world leader in ALL major fields of knowledge. Hence it earned its right to investigate and document the history of (the by then) primitive peoples like Greece and India.
Greece still remains a primitive nation (like India does). Barely any movement forward. Till today I don't know the name of a SINGLE great Greek in the past 2200 years. No great thinker, scientist, political leader has emerged from the ancient leader of civilisation.
And today Greece is in the doldrums because of fuzzy social liberal thinking. (and India is a mess beyond description.)
The point being – why care for the trappings of the Greek past? Let the British keep the stones and pebbles. Let Greece recover its thought leadership. Have at least one truly great thinker in the next 100 years. Mankind advances through thought, not through pebbles and rocks that are hewn into beautiful trinkets by talented but common craftsmen. Art is easy. Thinking is hard.
There is an excess of looking backward in India. Possibly in Greece too. Would it not be more useful for Greece to look forward and create a great nation TODAY!
If the Dutch disease is a disease created by resources, the Greek (and Indian) disease is of looking backward.
The Foundation for Economic Freedom (FEE) was founded in 1946 by Leonard E. Read in the USA. Its work still continues, and you can subscribe to its journal, Freeman, and periodic updates through email (click here for options).
I found an excellent book on their website, called The Freedom Philosophy which is only available as PDF. I've now converted it into Word (click here) and will periodically update this Word version and publish extracts from it. This Word version does not contain three articles since these are not freely publishable – but you'll can read them from the PDF version.
Here's the first article, by Leonard Read. Though published in 1961, it has great relevance even today, not only in US but in India. I'd particularly commend this to FTI members.
The Essence of Americanism, by Leonard E. Read
Delivered as a speech in 1961.
Our political leaders have been of such low standard (on average) after independence that we have forgotten what good leadership means. We have therefore formed extremely low expectations from our current crop of "leaders". Today, anyone who can deliver a train that runs in time, or build a road without potholes is considered a "great" leader. Known more for corruption and authoritarianism than for ethical standards, these people are NOT great leaders. Let's be clear about that.
My list of leaders, below, a Roll of honour, is intended to provoke thought – it is not intended to be complete list nor something everyone will agree with. But if you feel I've left out someone who should definitely have been included here, please send in your comments. If I agree with your recommendation, I'll include that name in the main list.
Note also that I'm covering most fields of human endeavour (except sports, the arts, and the purely religious), for I believe that leadership is not just political. What I'm interested in preparing a list that shows the heights that Indians have achieved – something for us to aim for. More importantly, if you have it in you to lead India to freedom, then join the Freedom Team of India.
THE ROLL OF HONOUR
Politics and governance
Raja Ram Mohun Roy – for bringing the ideas of modern education and liberty to India, and raising the prospect of independent India
Gopal Krishna Gokhle – for being the voice of reason and liberalism at the commencement of the independence movement
Bal Gangadhar Tilak – for his leadership in making idea of swaraj popular (although he did, unwittingly, mix religion and politics)
Lala Lajpat Rai – for leadership during the independence movement
M.K. Gandhi – for being a liberal who fought through unique methods for India's independence (although, again, he unwittingly mixed religion with politics)
Jawaharlal Nehru – for being a supporter of science, democracy, and the non-denominational state, and for his work in the independence movement (although his policies post-independence are highly questionable)
Subhas Chandra Bose – for having the courage to conjure up a major armed force (not just one or two terrorist acts) for independence.
C. Rajagopalachari – for his work in the independence movement and for having the courage to oppose Nehruvian socialism (not Nehru!) after independence through the Swatantra party
M. Visvesvaraya - for outstanding public service and setting unimpeachable standards of integrity and diligence
B.R. Ambedkar – for his bringing a (classical) liberal approach to the Indian constitution
Vallabhbhai Patel – for his deep understanding of the principles of governance
Minoo Masani – for supporting Rajaji organise the fight against Nehruvian socialism
Aryabhata – for his mathematical and astronomical treatises when the world knew little or nothing about such things
S. Chandrasekhar – for his work on astrophysics and black holes
C.V. Raman – for his discovery of molecular scattering of light and discovery of the Raman effect
M.S. Swaminathan - for his work on taking the green revolution to the grassroots in India
Hargobind Khorana – for his work on the cell (protein formation)
See my list of economists here.
M.N. Srinivas – for his work in sociology in relation to the Indian society
Charvaka – a philosopher par excellence with many modern liberal insights
The Buddha - a broadly liberal philosopher
Chanakya – a political philosopher many of whose insights are relevant event today
Swami Vivekananda – a philosopher of Hinduism but with a keen focus on liberty
Rabindranath Tagore – a liberal philosopher
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan – a well-rounded philosopher par excellence
J.R.D. Tata - for expanding the Tata business house in an ethical manner, and for supporting the political party that opposed Nehruvian socialism
(Many other "famous" business leaders of India are (or were) extremely shallow people without the slightest self-respect. They run after the droppings of corrupt political leaders and support political parties that have led to the severe mis-governance of India. Their (often self-proclaimed) "values" are highly suspect, for they know not the most fundamental values of citizenship. I do not consider most of these as role models.)
IF YOU WANT TO LEAD INDIA TO FREEDOM, PLEASE JOIN OR SUPPORT THE FREEDOM TEAM OF INDIA.
For those who do not subscribe to Shantanu's blog (which I thoroughly recommend), I'm reproducing his 16 December 2010 interview in the League of India - directly copying the material on his blog – so as to radiate it just a little bit further. Let me also take this opportunity to invite you once again to join the Freedom Team - if you've not already done so.
An earnest “endeavour of heart”
*** Interview Begins ***
1. When and why did you decide to cut down on your life of a global business professional and immerse yourself into ideas aimed at improving political systems and governance in India? At the same time, talking in management terms, does this earnest endeavour-of-heart include an intrinsic exit plan too?
The change happened in the early months of 2008. There were several triggers…
The first was probably the shameful perversion of democracy on the floor of the house on 22nd July. In response to my post on this subject, Sanjeev Sabhlok challenged everyone to either rise and do something about it or shut up.
That shook me to the core….it hurt..but it probably hurt even more because it was true…
The second trigger were the blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad…Ironically, I had been to both these cities just a few days before…But strangely it did not feel like I had cheated death.
Other events and things happening around me, helped make the decision…I watched with awe and fascination as the Obama campaign changed the paradigm of fund-raising in the US by reaching out at the grassroots…and I began to read about interesting experiments that were happening around “crowd-funding”.
The process was more complex and not quite as straight-forward as what I have outlined above. And of course NONE of this would have been possible without the whole-hearted support and commitment from my wife and family. Without her support, this would have been impossible to do. The whole story is here, for those of your readers who wish to read more about the background to this transformation.
As for an exit plan, there is no exit plan here.
The only exit is a better India – far better than what we have today – a better country with a healthy, prosperous populace that has its basic necessities covered and provides equal opportunities to progress to all its citizens. An India, where in the words of Rabindranath Tagore, “the mind is without fear and the head is held high...”
2. How far is the political activist in you from becoming an active politician, one who fights elections i.e.? Or, do you believe that it is not necessary for the former to evolve in to the latter?
I believe the transition from being an “activist” into electoral politics is not a sharp, linear process (after all candidates fighting at elections are activists too).
I believe standing (up) for an election should be a carefully thought-through move and the culmination of a process that necessarily includes developing at least a basic understanding of the issues that plague us, developing an ideological paradigm to frame the issues and having some thoughts on how to confront the major challenges that face our nation.
I wish I could give you a time-frame for the transition but I am unable to.
3. A lot of, what seems to be, your angst and earnestness comes out clearly in your blog Satyameva Jayate. Tell us a little about it, especially about its origin and the place it holds in your overall road-map of life from here on?
The story of the blog’s origin is here but very briefly it was a reaction to the feelings and emotions I felt following the attack on Indian Parliament in 2001 and several acts of terrorism since then.
I became convinced that we were fighting an enemy so deadly and so ruthless that our whole value system and the fundamental principles of humanity were at stake. My early posts led some to the conclusion that I was a “Hindu fascist” – or more charitably, a “neo-conservative”. I am actually neither. I would like to think of myself as a liberal who is prepared to fight to defend his ideals, his beliefs and his principles.
The blog remains my main method of communication. It is my preferred medium for having a dialogue with my readers and expressing my opinion…I have learnt from it enormously…It has been a very rich, intellectually rewarding and deeply satisfying experience. It has also taught me a lot of things – such as patience and being careful with words. You can read more on my lessons from blogging here.
The blog continues to evolve but I believe it will remain an important part of my activities in the years to come.
4. Apart from exchanging thoughts via Satyameva Jayate, what are the various ways in which someone can become an active part of your battle against status-quo– both on and offline?
The best way to engage online and become more active is to participate in the Skype conference calls, Live Chats and various events that I host and coordinate periodically.
A lot of events and meetings happen offline too (such as recent meetings in Thiruvananthapuram and Chennai in early December). Almost all of them find a mention on the Facebook page – under the eventstab (Those of you reading this in Bengaluru, please join us for a discussion on North-East India tomorrow, 21st Dec).
Separately, I am working on an offline initiative that should help us get more active on the ground and increase our sphere of activities. Please stay tuned.
5. In your lecture series, you have said that “the root cause of all problems in India is its dysfunctional middle class”. Can you please elaborate on that?
I think Kanchan Gupta put it best. In his article on “Three Myths and an Election”, he wrote about a middle class that is: “least bothered about corruption in high places, the relentless loot of public money, the sagging physical infrastructure …the repeated terrorist attacks…”
I labelled it as “dysfunctional”. I could not think of a more apt description.
The middle class needs to be at the forefront of this process of change and reform…and I can see some signs of that happening around me. I am optimistic and I remain hopeful.
6. Assuming that the rich have got no stake in changing the status quo and agreeing that it is unreasonable to expect empty stomachs to start a revolution, don’t you think that expecting the middle class to shoulder ALL is akin to making a general quota student sit for an examination not just for his own self, but also on behalf of the one who gets his seat on account of reservation and the one who wrests his seat via capitation money?
The analogy is compelling but not accurate. This is not an examination.
What we are attempting could make the difference between a country that survives, prospers & becomes a model for heterogeneous societies around the world and a country that is breaking apart, in the throes of a civil war, with woeful infrastructure and extremely restive population.
I am afraid that we really have no choice. As my friend Surendra Shrivastava of Loksatta mentioned in an email some days back: “We are not born politicians like many, we are in politics not by choice but because of compulsion”
7. How do you see the make-up and the present state of the Indian democratic landscape – both from the perspective of governance and the various political players?
It is depressing, to be honest – both from the perspective of governance as well as the various entities.
The Congress is a party run by a single family, that is increasingly devoid of any ideology and moving from one populist measure to the next. The “Left” are on their way to becoming a footnote in India’s political system. And the BJP – although strongly differentiated on policies with the Congress – is unfortunately a confused organization that appears to be unwilling to focus and cannot make up its mind on priorities. It does not help that its leadership appears increasingly bereft of any moral superiority. That said, this is the group that appears to be most amenable to change. The “Left” will find it hard to jettison their ideology – it is their raison d-etre after all and the Congress (I) will find it next to impossible to become a more “normal” party of several leaders, rather than just one unchallenged head.
About governance, the less said the better…Everything you see around you – everything that is broken, leaking or does not work – is the result of poor governance – a large part of which is due to ineffectual leadership and bad choices (in terms of polices).
8. Which aspects of the present political system, in your opinion, require urgent revision? How can that be brought about by people like you and me?
Let me briefly enumerate the aspects that need urgent revision and are do-able provided there is sufficient political will:
- Stricter monitoring of election expenses and make false declaration a cause for debarring from contesting for 6 years
- Mandatory disclosure of source(s) of income of candidates standing for elections
- Allowing citizens to vote anywhere in the country (not just permanent place of residence) – with appropriate identification
- Mandatory disclosure of audited accounts of political parties and expenses
- Constitutional amendment to remove clause demanding adherence to socialism
People like you and me can help create pressure for these changes – by talking about this, discussing these points and writing to their local newspapers, demanding these moves. There are a few other things that people like you and me can do:
- Demand accountability from our candidates (by evaluating them against the promises made in their election manifestos)
- Vote en-bloc for credible and transparent candidates
- Create pressure groups for campaign financing reforms and to reveal source(s) of income of candidates
- Push for the “Right to Recall”
9. Do you believe that rabid rise of language-induced regionalism (or sub-nationalism) in various Indian states stands endangers the very idea of India? In any scenario, in your opinion, how should we address the issue?
Yes it does. This worries me deeply although I sometimes feel I am in a minority who worry about the “Idea of India”.
I think this notion of identity – what it means to be an Indian – is a question we have never answered satisfactorily. And this is something that we grapple with even today, 60+ years after independence. This is the reason why the havoc caused by rains in TamilNadu does not find any mention in New Delhi just as the news about blockade of Manipur is hidden somewhere in the last pages of a “national” newspaper in Mumbai.
How does one address this issue?
The main thrust has to be on creating a sense of national identity – and promoting shared history through a national curriculum in history and the social sciences. There are a couple of other things that we should consider: Rigorous implementation of the three language formula and promotion and encouragement (including subsidies) to educational exchanges. This topic is far too complex to be dealt with in a few paragraphs though. I hope to have a online discussion on this soon.
10. Finally, all the four pillars of Indian democracy seem to be facing credibility crisis owing to corruption scandals of varied nature. How can a ‘non-aligned’ (to any ‘pillar’ or security net) Indian citizen ever believe that he can not only survive the – often fatal – ‘chakraavyuh’ laid by the poisonous concoction of state & non-state actors, but also bring about a change?
The road we are on is not for the faint-hearted. This is going to be a long battle.
In the words of Shri Chandra Prakash Dwivedi (Director of Chanakya, the serial):
…पर ध्यान रहे,
स्वतंत्रता का यह यज्ञ यौवन का बलिदान मांगेगा, स्वार्थ का बलिदान मांगेगा…
और तो और, जागृत हो रही रण-चंडिका जीवन का बलिदान मांगेगी |
…the “yagya” of independence will demand sacrifices, it will demand the sacrifice of our selfish desires…And the fierce “Ran-Chandi” that is being aroused will demand we sacrifice our lives. (loose translation)
But we need to believe we can win…And I firmly believe, we can.
Jai Hind, Jai Bharat!
*** End ***
One other reasons why FTI is not meant for everyone is that FTI is a philosophy-based organisation. It is founded on the principle of classical liberalism, and not, say, on the idea of communism or socialism. That means a lot. It means a fundamentally different way of looking at the world.
The idea of freedom underpins the Freedom Team. That is crucial point. The word "freedom" is not used in an idle sense. It is used in the sense that is underpinned by centuries of discovery and conceptual evolution.
It is crucial that all FTI members (and potential FTI members) fully understand the foundational principles of classical liberalism.
They must actively seek to read and understand the work of the thinkers of liberty – thinkers such as Locke, Adam Smith and Hayek. Not actively reading up these thinkers would amount to being a communist who refuses to read Marx or refer to Marx. Not having a very sound understanding of the foundational ideas will ultimately lead to severe policy disagreements, and diminish the potential of FTI. By all means customise and tailor these fundamental ideas to India's needs, but without a rigorous understanding of the meaning of freedom, we will lurch across self-contradictory policy positions. We will then be asked to take resort to our "gut feelings" and that will lead us to 1500 different world-views on every topic under the
I've written BFN to elaborate the policy impacts of this ideas. I'm now writing an entire book, DOF, to explain this idea. If I had ever thought that "everything goes" and that my intuitive thought is enough for India then I would not have bothered to do a PhD and thereafter read up hundreds of books and articles to understand the functioning of the world at a level of detail needed to offer a well-considered opinion.
Learning is a lifelong process, and we should not offer India half-baked ideas. Being masters of the philosophy of freedom is our first obligation. We must build on what has been achieved. Surely we have value to add, but we can't be presumptuous enough to claim that we know intuitively whatever there is to be known on this topic.
FTI is above all an intellectual movement for freedom.
It is not a reckless unthinking effort to impose our "views" of the world on others – or even to adjust our views to the demands of the people of India.
We are here as friends, philosophers and guides to India, not merely persons wanting to be its political representatives. A true leader guides the entire nation. We are not aiming to be mere representatives. We offer India a totally new vision for its future: and that can't be articulated by repeating what the people say. We have to raise their vision about India as well.
There is a huge risk that without obtaining personal clarity on fundamentals, many FTI members will leave after years of working on FTI – when they find that classical liberalism is not what they thought it is. For instance, those who want to impose their religious views on others, should not join FTI in the first place. FTI is not for them.
FTI members must use a trained and tutored mind, not an intuitive mind, to drive policy.
We should each be reading at least 20 books on freedom and related topics each year. Without that we'll face the problem that Swatantra Party soon faced: that except for a couple of people, no one knew what it stood for. When Rajaji died the effort collapsed, since he had not built strong theoretical foundations among his party members.
I've provided a starting point for the resources on freedom through a link at the top of this page. Please explore these initial resources, and then go well beyond them. Good libraries are our dearest friend.
Let us FULLY UNDERSTAND the concept of freedom. We owe it to ourselves and to India to offer it the best ideas.
Each month the Freedom Team of India receives a handful of applications for membership. Despite that FTI only has a little over 100 members so far, out of which not everyone is active. This is far less than what is needed to offer India a viable political alternative in 2014.
In addition, there is some turnover. Around two members formally resign their FTI membership each year. This loss, howsoever small, should give pause to FTI to ask: Why do people leave FTI, – particularly those who have participated in the discussions and debates, and contributed to a range of FTI efforts?
In my view there have been essentially three reasons why people have left FTI so far. Without naming anyone, let me summarise the reasons below. This will show that FTI is not for everyone. The standards of citizenship, openness, and collaboration required to be an FTI member are extremely high.
(Disclaimer: Before going further let me make clear that the following cases are generalisations and extrapolations, hence do not aim to precisely represent any real individual. While not entirely fictitious, these three cases should be considered as 'markers' for three potential categories: not a precise summarisation of any particular individual's opinions. )
1) Some are aggressive and impatient, and cannot debate issues
There are a few who want things done their way (for instance on some technical matter) and are shocked by dissenting voices or questions being asked of them. They leave FTI in a huff. Indeed, one of India’s well known IT “activist” (if one can use this word) found the idea of discussion quite difficult to stomach, and left FTI promptly after joining. Such people with potentially good ideas but who don’t have the patience to persuade others on the team, are not suited for FTI.
2) Some want to impose their religious views on society
There have been a couple of instances where FTI members with extremely strong views on religious matters have wanted to impose their views on society, and when FTI members were not supportive of that, left FTI.
Consider the matter of Hindutva. I personally hold a dim view about this concept (as often practised) which I blame (equally with fanatic Islam and geopolitical gaming by the British) for precipitating India's partition. I have explained the detailed reasons in my draft manuscript DOF. I've also collected extensive material re: RSS through a quick scan of the academic literature, and published on my blog.
In my (personal) view, the Hindutva concept mixes the state with religion. BJP is therefore unsuitable to govern India because (among other things) it takes recourse to this ideology which is incompatible with freedom. Of course, BJP is not the only political party in India that mixes religion with the state.
But both Hindutva and RSS mean different things to different people. Some FTI members believe that RSS is a social service organisation. However, such members continue on FTI because they are not fanatic about their ideas and are open to a discussion that leads to the truth. Indeed, my views overlap with a moderate approach to the underlying idea of Hindutva, for India does have a fundamental character that is unique amongst all world civilisations. This fundamental character is based on the concept of tolerance and open-mindedness. The idea of Hindutva, however, as commonly used in political discourse, demeans this beautiful civilising idea that first arose in India, and narrows Indian civilisation to a particular view about a particular religion. India's is a vision of the globally peaceful state, a vision of our shared humanity, a vision for liberty, a vision for the truth. Let's not diminish this vision through narrow ideas that impose particular religious views on others.
We have resolved this matter by agreeing that no FTI member will be affiliated with any organisation that partakes of violent activities. This is the only open-minded approach to take. Let the truth prevail. So long as RSS remains non-violent, its members can join FTI. The moment it reverts to its reputation for violence, such FTI members – who are members of RSS (there are none at the moment) – would have broken their commitment and will need to leave.
I continue to hold the right to publicly oppose the Hindutva concept equally as others on FTI continue to hold the right to support it – so long as they don't start imposing religious views (e.g. bans on cow slaughter or bans on proselytisation) on the rest of society (noting that there are differing views on these matters among the great proponents of Hinduism itself) . If that happens, India will get further divided and become further illiberal. India can then never claim to be a place that discovered tolerance. Thus, FTI members can talk against cow slaughter (and should, if they believe it is something to be avoided) and persuade others against it, but they can’t support government policy or legislation on this matter.
If religion is allowed by FTI to intervene in matters of governance or social policy, there will remain little to distinguish a Taliban or Iran dictator from an FTI member. It is fortunate that those FTI members who are religious fanatics and have little understanding of the concept of freedom tend to leave FTI. And indeed they must. Classical liberalism is based entirely on the concept of LIBERTY, of freedom of thought and belief – and liberty cannot be ensured if the state imposes the will of a few (or even of the majority) on the others. Indeed, Vivekanda himself reminded us clearly: "Liberty in thought and action is the only condition of life, growth and well-being: Where it does not exist, the man, the race, and the nation must go down".
3) Some want to impose non-religious views on society
Just as it is inappropriate to impose one’s religious views on the society, it is inappropriate to impose one’s non-religious views. One of FTI's members found it difficult to co-exist with those who hold strong religious beliefs (but are willing to not impose them on society). He effectively wanted everyone to forego their religious beliefs. Classical liberalism does not dispute religious belief. It only disputes the imposition of belief (or non-belief) on others using the instruments of the state. Hence that member left, and so he should have.
FTI members who are inactive
In addition to those who have left FTI there are those who have faded away. Such members receive all FTI communication but rarely participate in any discussion or activity. I have a feeling that some of these members have found themselves to be in one or more of the three categories outlined above, and are unwilling or incapable of debating the issues and resolving the matter collaboratively. Such members need to put more focus on working in teams, and persuading others about their views. That is never easy, but that is precisely why India has suffered so far – because of the inability of its educated people to work together.
It is not just good people that India needs, but those who understand the concept of liberty (with accountability) and are willing to work as members of a team to resolve their differences.
If you can rise to the challenge of being a citizen-leader then please step forward to join FTI.
I also invite those who have left FTI to reflect on why they did so, to then consider the needs of India and the demands of freedom, and to then re-apply to join. I'm sure they will gladly be welcomed back with open arms.