Before reading these, please also read FTI's formal Basic Principles document that was published on 20 January 2010.
It is important that the Team shares similar core beliefs. For instance, what does freedom mean? What is our vision for India? Outlined below are some of our beliefs. We begin with our proposed vision for India.
A proposed vision for India:
|An India where everyone is guaranteed equal opportunity and equal dignity, and has the freedom to pursue his or her own happiness under an accountable and participative government.|
An India where everyone:
"Everyone" will really mean everyone, every citizen. All citizens will truly be able to seek justice under the laws of the land. The right to life and liberty (including property) will be guaranteed to each citizen.
- is guaranteed equal opportunity and equal dignity:
FTI will strive towards a government which does not use caste, sex, physical handicap, economic status, or any other categorisation to discriminate between citizens. This also means not pandering to any particular group. Atrocities by anyone or any group will not be tolerated.
- and has the freedom to pursue his or her own happiness:
The dreams, aspirations and goals of each individual are different and it is their fundamental right to define these themselves, subject to being accountable for their actions. The truly representative and just government FTI seeks will provide an environment for each individual to achieve his or her aspirations through talent and hard work. This also means not interfering gratuitously or paternalistically. The government will restrict itself to the defence of the realm, to the maintenance of law and order, and the provision of some commons.
- under an accountable:
Freedom is exactly balanced by accountability. A government must be fully answerable to all citizens. Corruption is rampant in India because our governance system lacks virtually any accountability. Recruitment to government service, pay and promotion will be based on merit and accountability. Market based processes in government will be used to ensure that citizens can influence the level of provision of services and the appropriate payment for this service, through their demand.
- and participative government.
We believe that each citizen is inherently honest, upright and will care for the less privileged members of its society if the government does its designated job and then gets out of the way.
Paternalism by government functionaries demeans citizens and unravels the social contract under which the government is a servant, the citizen the master. The level of participation in government needs to be increased at all levels. Current systems of citizens participation are clearly not working; participation in government needs to be increased at all levels, including local. The government's responsibility is to create a framework of just laws and ensure that such laws are implemented fairly and uniformly. The citizen should influence all decisions to the extent possible.
- A further exploration of these ideas
Maximizing equal freedom subject to accountability
All of us aspire to live our life in our own way, based on our values and beliefs. We desire to be free of needless impositions and barriers imposed on our liberty. We therefore come together as a nation to ensure that our life and liberty are well-defended. The goal of a society must be to maximise our equal individual freedoms subject to accountability. This means we must be free to do anything we want subject to our being accountable. Freedom includes all freedoms of action, including the freedom of expression. This also includes the defence of our property rights, which is necessarily a part of us. The system of freedom is a system for justice. A free society must ensure our ability to seek redress of injury or injustice. Free (but accountable) markets are another part of the system of freedom.
Equal freedom means equal opportunity. Not only must our individual dignity be equally protected, the criminal and civil laws must apply uniformly to every citizen. Equality of opportunity also means that there cannot be any discrimination, either 'positive' or 'negative' without reference to merit.
Delivering equal freedom and justice Delivering equal freedom and justice needs strong institutions of governance and justice. To provide good governance without corruption, the Freedom Team will take an evidence-based approach to policy. We aim to adopt world-best practices and policies while remaining open to continuous review and improvement.
Examples of policy implications
Freedom of thought and action with accountability
Strong, enabling government
- Vigilant protection of our external borders
- Effective and efficient law and order within our borders
- A uniform and efficient justice system
- Infrastructure for sustainable economic growth
Equality of opportunity
- Elimination of poverty
- Universal primary and secondary education, delivered through private channels
- Provision of basic health care and health insurance
- Abolition of reservations and favors to religious groups
ADDITIONAL (ARCHIVAL) NOTES ON BELIEFS – FOR FURTHER CONSOLIDATION AS THE TEAM EVOLVES
1. The reason we have come together.
While our families and personal interests remain the centre of our existence, we come together on this Team to ultimately contest elections with the aim of forming government to take India to greatness. We aim to deliver (and encourage) quality leadership at all levels of government. Most importantly, we aim to restore values in society. In doing so we also aim to be mindful of the interests of all other peoples on this planet, and indeed, of the interests of plant and animal life.
2. Protecting our freedoms.
We believe in the foundation of individual dignity and maximisation of individual freedoms: each of us must be free to choose, subject to being accountable. These freedoms include, among other things, the freedom to express our opinions without injuring others, a guarantee of the enforcement of our contracts, and the protection of our property. It also includes a mutually negotiated morality with increasing standards over time. Responsibilities and accountability are inseparable ingredients of these freedoms. More so, for those who are in public services and are directly responsible for promoting these freedoms.
3. The institutions of justice, equality of opportunity, and free markets.
To ensure individual freedoms and dignity, institutions of justice and equal opportunity are needed. Everyone must be equal before the law. Second, our individual prospects for self-determination must be reasonably equalised through access to high quality education for all citizens to age 18, and direct elimination of poverty contingent on people having put in an effort to succeed. Third, markets must remain as free as possible, and our labour rewarded through mutually agreed voluntary bargains struck in the marketplace. In this manner the creative energies of the people will be unleashed.
4. The institution of government.
Providing and supporting these institutions requires a minimal but significant role for government with efficient and effective delivery of government services. This includes a vibrant local government. In particular, a government must ensure the rule of law, and create a strong framework for equality of opportunity. We believe in adopting evidence-based world best-practice policies and remaining open to continuous improvement.
What we expect to achieve.
We expect to see many wonderful outcomes for India (and for the world) at the end of our efforts. We expect that:
- India will become a model human society, not only the world's most honest but also the most prosperous; and
- Indians would lead the world in innovation and wisdom, our minds having being freed from needless constraints.India will become the land: