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Discussions on “New Age Political Movements in India”

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The meeting was held at 4th floor, Auditorium, St Josephs College of Commerce, 163, Brigade Road, Bangalore, on Monday February 15, 2010 between 5:30 – 7:30PM. It was attended by myself and pathy.

 The discussions were between (1) Mr. Shantanu Bhagwat of FTI and (2) BBMP elections Contestant Dr. Shankar Prasad.  They were moderated by Mr. Vaidyanathan Srinath. 

An engineer by training, Shantanu Bhagwat is a one-time diplomat turned venture investor and now advisor, to start-ups. These days he divides his time between UK and India, working with early stage companies and on ideas to improve political systems and governance in India. In a career spanning two decades, Mr. Bhagwat has worked across geographies and industries, including several years in Japan and in the UK. Presently a Partner at a venture capital firm, Mr. Bhagwat has also worked at Monitor Co. in London. Prior to that, he spent several years as a fast-track career diplomat with the Indian Foreign Service, working in New Delhi and Tokyo. A graduate in Computer Engineering, Shantanu holds an MBA from London Business School where he was a Chevening Scholar. He is a Charter Member of TiE   - a global non-profit network of entrepreneurs and professionals and a past member of Mensa International. He also sits on the Advisory Board of Asia-Silicon Valley Connection and the UK India Business Angel Network.

The debate was stated by Mr. Shantanu who tried to visualize India in 2050 when it is likely to be among the most populous countries of this world. This exercise probably will help us to plan for the future 

  1. Large Talent pool
  2. Shining Democracy
  3. Nation on the move
  4. Chaos
  5. Largest Economy in the world
  6. Etc 

His FTI is about identifying leaders and nurturing frontline leaders for a better India in 2050. FTI is not a political party but a platform for coalition politics of the willing. There is no hierarchical structure. 

  1. Philosophy of sharing
  2. Intrinsic belief
  3. keep it simple
  4. liberalization
  5. Focus on What is important
  6. Individual freedom
  7. Equality in opportunity
    1. Freedom
    2. Law and order
    3. Security
    4. Justice
    5. Infrastructure 

Various important steps would be 

  1. Broad Philosophy
  2. Find leaders
  3. Agree on detailed Policies
  4. Contest Elections

Summarizing Mr. Shantanu declared that he is on the look out of 1500 leaders in all for enlisting them to contest various elections.

Dr. Shankar Prasad is currently an executive Vice President of the Lok Satta Party. This party was founded by Jayaprakash Narayan (October 11, 1902 - October 8, 1979), widely known as JP. He was an Indian Independence activist and political leader, remembered especially for leading the opposition to Indira Gandhi in the 1970s and for giving a call for peaceful Total Revolution. 

The Lok Satta party has announced its debut in the state with the BBMP elections, where its candidates are contesting in a number of wards. The party's candidates are self-made citizens of the city with excellent professional records, a strong reputation for proven public service, and with good, clear ideas for the future of the city of Bangalore. The party is a national party. It has currently a good hold in Andhra Pradesh.  Indian political scene with Parliamentary democracy consists of 

  1. MPs                                 504
  2. MLAs                               5000
  3. Elected Members         20000
  4. Taluk Panchayat           200000
  5. Gram Panchayat           24000
  6. Elected Members         3000000

Changing political scenario 

  1. Freedom fighters 1950
    1. Service Oriented
  2. Zamindars
  3. Motivation
    1. Power
    2. Service
    3. Money  

This changing scenario is a vicious circle. The Lok Satta is willing to steer clear of this to promote natural politics. First world economy cannot survive with third world politics. Remedial measures are

1.      Removal of corruption from its roots.

2.      Tolerant and compassionate society

3.      Inclusive growth

4.      Bring back the service motto

5.      leadership development

 These new age policies are waiting to be ushered in. The attendance was meager. Most of it consisted of young Jagte raho volunteers and some young and enthusiastic activists too.


s_yajaman's picture

Correction on JP and comments

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This JP is a retired/ex-bureaucrat and should not be confused with JP Narayan.  The Lok Satta JP is very much alive and kicking.  

I love these discussions about India in 2050.  Most of us won't be around to verify it :).  I hope I won't be :).  It is equally likely that

a. We will be a highly overpopulated country with about 1.7-1.8 billion people.  

b. Forest cover would have come down to 5-6% of land area.  Tigers and likely elephants would have gone extinct for about 25 years.

c. Water riots will be routine thanks to decades of mismanagement of our ground water and other water resources.

d. Brown outs will be routine even in big cities

e. Climate change would have hit us badly and erratic monsoons will be the order of the day.  This will hit our food supply very hard.

f. I won't get into Peak Oil and a massive energy crisis that would have hit us decades before.





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