Chanced upon JP's talk at TEDx last year.
How many members of the audience DID anything after this talk?
To the middle class this was just one more nice "event" to attend. A show for the evening. Like any other dance/film show. A way to spend the evening, then go home, have a drink and dinner, and forget that JP ever existed.
How many members of the audience heeded JP's call (not as forthright as I'd have liked it to be) to join politics?
FTI recently had an outreach even in Pune. How many of the audience members cared to join FTI after that event? So far none.
The middle class – which generates political leaders across the world – is impotent in India. It simply doesn't ACT.
After a clarification from a senior leader of the Maharashtra branch of LS, I'm pleased to support Surendra Srivastava's candidacy to the Legislative Council. (Basically, the Maharashtra branch "will not entertain or support any coalition with communist parties").
Surendra Srivastava is standing as the Lok Satta MLC candidate for Mumbai Graduate constituency. Please add him on Facebook and ask your family, friends & colleagues to do so, too.
About Surendra Srivastava
“You cannot love democracy and hate politics. Democracy demands an aware citizenry willing to act when required.” – Surendra Srivastava.Surendra Srivastava is National General Secretary and Maharashtra State President for Lok Satta Party. He can be reached via email,Facebook, or phone (91-22-23772279).Early life and education:Born in 1958 in Delhi, Surendra Srivastava is the son of an army soldier. Brought up in a culture of patriotism, his first participation in political affairs was at the age of 16 when he participated in the anti-emergency movement of Loknayak Jayaprakash Narayan.
Like many hard working Indians, Surendra too started early (at the age of 17) from humble backgrounds as an office boy. He worked his way through the ranks to become the President in 1999 of the Great Eastern Shipping Company Limited; India’s largest private sector publically listed shipping company.He graduated in Commerce (1979, University of Mumbai) and in Law (1984, University of Mumbai). He resigned as a President of the Great Eastern Shipping Company Limited in 2005 to dedicate himself to the mission and objectives of Lok Satta and to bring the best and the brightest back into politics.He founded the Maharashtra Chapter of Lok Satta Aandolan in 2004 and launched the Lok Satta Party in Maharashtra in 2009. He is currently the National General Secretary as well as President (Maharashtra) of Lok Satta Party.Personal life:Surendra is married to Ruchira Srivastava in 1987. The couple has a daughter who is currently studying at University of Purdue. Ruchira, a double post graduate, currently manages the Membership/Volunteer Management of Mumbai Unit of Lok SattaAssociation with Lok SattaLok Satta Aandolan (or Lok Satta Movement)• Joined Lok Satta Aandolan as a volunteer in 2001
• Founded Maharashtra Chapter of Lok Satta Aandolan in 2004Lok Satta Party• In charge of all State Chapters except Andhra Pradesh – Since 2006
• Launched Lok Satta Party in Maharashtra – 2009
• President of Lok Satta Party, Maharashtra 2009 – current
• Was appointed as the National General Secretary of Lok Satta Party on October 9th 2011 at Ongole, Andhra Pradesh during the 5th Anniversary Celebrations of Lok Satta.
I'm very surprised (and distressed) by this news item on Lok Satta website:
Mr. Varma said that the Lok Satta Party has decided to support CPI(M) candidates in Tirupati and Anantapur as the CPI(M) has decided to back the Lok Satta Party in Ongole by dropping plans to contest from it in the by-elections to the State Assembly on June 12.
The decision was taken by the Lok Satta Party's State Working Committee here today, said Mr. Varma.
As a result of the electoral adjustments, the CPI (M) will support the Lok Satta Party in Ongole, Pattipadu, Rayadurgam and Yemmiganur Assembly constituencies.
The Lok Satta Party in turn will support CPM candidates in Tirupati, Anantapur, Payakaraopet, Udayagiri and Polavaram Assembly constituencies and Nellore Lok Satta constituency.
What's going on? Why?
What is all this if not politics? What about principles?
Could someone please explain.
This may well mark the end of Lok Satta as a party that stands for SOMETHING, unless some explanation is offered immediately.
If LS is not going to stand unambiguously for LIBERTY, then I'll need to have a re-think about this whole issue.
There are 17 places where by elections are coming up in Andhra Pradesh.The rural polling percentages are always higher and the GHMC elections in 2009 ( the local body greater hyderabad muncipal elections ) polled a 43 % polling and the candidate with 23% votes won over the others.And As a volunteer I accept the online complaints through kukatpallynow.com website from citizens and try to respond and resolve those issues by working with the ground team. And 99% of the problems and complaints are about water, drainage, traffic, garbage disposal etc. None of these are duties of an MLA, we try to tell them that. but no one comes to vote for a GHMC election.And they complain JP spends most of his time giving impressive speeches in assembly instead of solving the problems of people of kukatpally .I find this surprising because these people are educated internet users and cant differentiate between a legislators duties and that of a corporator or a beurocrat.We try to tell them he is not just giving speeches trying to convince the house about policy changes which are important for everyone. but we have no takers, they want JP to come and fix their overflowing drain for voting him.I don't know what we can do if we fail to convince these educated citizens what will we do in the rural areas. the next time there are elections.
I'm writing this based on your public comments made here. I've written in great haste, so pardon my typos, etc.
“We tried to present to people of this country, the most legitimate and honest political platform and working without any compromise and being a part of solution in every situation and working diligently towards those solutions by using our limited resources and amplifying the effects of these limited resources with well thought out procedures. Working day and night to build a platform for honest politics for the future of India.
If we do not receive even 5 % support from the people, then it raises the question whether the society wants such a platform or not. Whether there is a necessity of a platform like lok satta or not. If they people do not want such a platform, then lok satta will be happy to go home ( and leave policitical arena). If people think that politicians who treat politics as a business are what they want and reject those who treat it as a noble endeavor, then we are happy to move out of politics".
I've always believed that the people must WANT us before we go to them. The reality is that we are not prepared.
We have not prepared systematically. We have not enough leaders. We have leaders who don't yet agree on what they stand for, and how they will implement change. We have disjointed efforts across India, including LS/Jago/ and many other small outfits.
The voter is not impressed. The voter is not prepared to vote for Lok Satta under such circumstances. The voter admires you, trust me, but that's not enough. This is a democracy. We need grassroots reach. And we need THOUSANDS of leaders, thousands of JPs.
Without the market being prepared to accept our "services" we should not offer them to the people. Our services are GUARANTEED to be rejected. Not because they prefer the corrupt rascals who govern India but because we do not have a FINISHED PRODUCT to offer. We are offering a half-baked product, that doesn't work.
Think about the SEVERE shortage of leaders. You will recall that in 2000 I implored you (during my visit to Hyderabad) to join politics. You refused. I tried with five other people. All refused. I left India in disgust.
In 2005, I relinquished my Indian citizenship (now I'm an OCI) after the failed SBP effort (which again, you did not join – don't forget that!). My disgust with India was complete.
The reality is that it is not enough for me to be ready to lead India (I was ready since 1998). It is not enough for you to be ready to lead India (you've been leading since 2006). It is important for 1500 outstanding leaders to be ready to lead India.
Without this first step NOTHING can possibly change. You can't offer half-baked things to people and expect them to jump with joy.
After this first step will come the hard grind of getting agreement on policies so these 1500 leaders speak in the same voice.
Only then will the "product" be ready. It will then need to be "sold" to the people. They'll need to be shown how it will work and why it will succeed.
That will take years of marketing. Just because you have a great product doesn't mean people will think of it that way.
Finally the DEMAND will be ready. Then, and ONLY THEN, should you/LS contest elections. Indeed, you'll not even need to offer to contest. The PEOPLE WILL DRAG YOU TO THE HUSTINGS! They'll push you from behind. If you are not being pushed from behind, DON'T contest elections.
Today you are trying to lead people from the front. They are not interested. Get them interested first. Then they'll push you from behind.
For that to happen they require a CREDIBLE alternative to existing politicians. Be clear that LS is NOT a credible alternative today. The people need to know HOW LS will change things. That's not clearly evident to the people today. Only when everything is clear to them will they vote for LS.
I suggest you consider pausing LS for a while, and re-grouping/consolidating.
In my view, after 14 years of experience FTI must be the FIRST step of the long journey ahead. Let's focus on building the product and on its marketing – ONCE IT IS READY.
The offer should be made ONLY after the product is ready to launch.
I'm really glad you joined politics – albeit after a lot of delay. But THOUSANDS OF JPs need to join politics now. And to prepare. Only then will we succeed.