FTI Inquiries Questions Suggestions

Dear Visitor

This blog aims to address your inquiries and questions, and is also a place for you to provide suggestions for improvement of FTI.

Discussions on Shantanu's blog :

At the formation of FTI, many questions and answers were discussed on Shantanu's blog (here). The complete discussion as at 19 April 2009 is now available for download as a Word document here: [download id="20"]


In addition, we have attempted to answer questions at the FTI FAQ.

All this is clearly work in progress, and many of these answers can change as better answers are found. However, this is a beginning.

In any event, if the material referred to above doesn't address your questions, please do not hesitate to ask questions or otherwise provide comment.

Please do note that FTI blogs are moderated (very lightly, though: ie. only for decency and appropriateness, not for ideas).

With regards

Freedom Team

12 thoughts on “FTI Inquiries Questions Suggestions

  1. I received this question which I thought best to answer publicly.

    You guys say that you want to prepare 3 candidates for each LS seat (1500 in total). And the website explains the logic behind that too.
    But my question is:
    1. Who will decide who will be given the ticket out of those three?
    2. Will not those 2 who are denied the ticket will revolt and work against the one who has been selected as the candidate? This will be a bad scenario!


    I’ll try to give my answer. Other FTI members can give their own interpretations.

    Basically the problem is hypothetical, as of today. There aren’t 1500 members on FTI yet, and given the history of the last 60 odd years, there have never been 1500 liberals interested in contesting elections in India. So first let us get these 1500 outstanding leaders.

    A leader is one whose objective is to achieve an end. His or her prominence is NOT a consideration for a leader. If we find anyone in these 1500 who has his ego or self-aggrandisation as a priority, we would rather not have that person, or if we find such a person, we would like to wish a speedy goodbye!

    How would these people get nominated? It would be up to the Team to work out a method which everyone agrees to and which is in the best interests of India. In any event one person would be nominated/selected per constituency. A second one would have to lodge nomination papers as well (given the risk of the nomination papers being rejected for minor technical reasons). The third would be ready to lodge should any of the first two be assassinated or something untoward happen (a remote probability but something still worth keeping in mind).

    After the Lok Sabha elections, the remaining members would start preparing for the next assembly elections and be nominated for these elections. At that stage we would need another 10,000 leaders on FTI. But more on that later!


  2. Dear Sanjeev,
    I don’t think the problem is hypothetical. Indeed, it depends on which hypothesis we want build FTI.

    If our hypothesis of hoping that one day or another we will have those genuine 1500 leaders who would contest election , we need to accept this as an achievable target, if we have doubts in that, then better change our ambitions right now and act accordingly.

    So, the better approach to get through this is to accept we will have those 1500 leaders, hence the questions to be asked and worked down is how these people will be given all the chances, help and support from FTI to win elections and above all sustain in a complex and deprived political arena such as India.

    We cannot just think that solutions will emerge once we have those 1500 gems free of all human defects at any circumstances. We need to discuss these issues from the very beginning but keeping in mind that all conclusions will be questioned and reviewed as long as FTI will survive which will bring you to the conclusion that discussing and finding problems will not trigger with that magic number of 1500 but with a consensus we create among members at a given time and our ability to review them once questioned at any moment.

    Best Regards,

  3. Dear Magesh

    You have a good point. We need to think ahead of time about potential options. There are indeed many potential ways for the Team (when it assembles and agrees to the blueprint) to nominate members. I have some initial thoughts here but far more clarity will be needed as the approprite time comes. And in any event this will have to be a team activity and process. Many other ideas will need to be considered.

    Step 1: Each FTI member (once assembled they would become member of some political party/federation) could opt for three constitutencies of which one would be allocated to them based on a range of factors such as availability, suitability, etc. Criteria for such allocation would need to be worked out in detail.

    Step 2: Given that at least three years of ground work would be required between assembly and electoral launch, there would be plenty of time for these three members (nominated to a particular constituency) to work on their constituency at the ground level and spread the message of freedom. This would include developing a cadre of supporters for the (relevant) FTI-associated party, as well as operating a blog dealing with local issues.

    Step 3: During these three years, surveys could be commissioned by FTI to determine which member has the best chance of getting votes in that seat. Contributions to FTI-associated party’s overall development would also be a factor, as also the ability to raise funds. The three members could also nominate an order of preference amongst themselves. The cadre of supporters would need to also have input into the selection. Essentially, it would be a transparent exercise without the possibility of conflict.

    Step 4: At the appropriate time (at least 1 years before potential elections) one FTI member would be nominated; the second would be declared as standby, and the third member will always be ready to move up the chain if necessary. These three would function as a team and work with their cadres towards the success of the main FTI supported candidate, with the broader support of FTI-associated party/parties. It is crucial for all three to work together closely at all times.

    Step 5: After the election, those who did not win, and those remaining, would be nominated for state assembly elections. No one’s leadership potential would be wasted. The best leaders would always have the chance to get nominated and to rise to positions of influence.

    Sanjeev Sabhlok

  4. dear sir
    i want to you to know, your current scenirio and understand it better ,

    “”plenty of time for these three members (nominated to a particular constituency) to work on their constituency at the ground level and spread the (“”message of freedom””). This would include developing a cadre of supporters for the (relevant) FTI-associated party”””

    please explain your “”message of freedom'” that you want to spread ??

    “””During these three years, surveys could be commissioned by FTI to determine which member has the best chance of getting votes in that seat.”””

    how do you that ???

    it seems that same plans are being used by the “big guys”

    what i feel is required know is to generate patriotism among people , thats it forget about election , mps , mlas,

    one suggestion i want to give you is “we cant change a man’s character, as it may take more than 100 years and we are not monks ” – winston chruchill

  5. Dear Shrikanth

    Thanks for your thoughts. May I encourage you to wait for a few more months to allow FTI to put out its policies more clearly so you can then see what the message of freedom looks like? One thing FTI doesn’t aim to become is a patriotism generating organisation. It would be hard to argue that India is suffering today from shortage of patriotism anyway. It is suffering from lack of freedom and good governance. FTI is a group the members of which are focused purely on becoming people’s representatives and transforming India’s governance. FTI needs good leaders to join this effort. That could be thought of as a patriotic duty by all good citizens.


  6. Hi Sanjeev,
    I admire your spirit and effort to pull our country out of the morass it is in. I am in the Punjab Civil services and have 5 more years to go. I would like to help.

    Dr. Ranjit Powar

  7. Thanks Ranjit

    You could verify through a lawyer whether your membership of FTI is compatible with Conduct Rules (in principle I see no conflict). FTI Trust Deed is available at: http://fti.sabhlokcity.com/trust-deed.

    If Conduct Rules prevent your joining FTI, please do so after retirement. In the meanwhile please read a lot, and contribute in other ways through comments on draft policies, etc.


  8. Received this comment through email re: FTI and I thought it would be useful to respond publicly:


    "I am copying this mail to Mr Sanjeev Sabhlok ( founder  of the movement )"  then these comments:
    have gone thru the website. normally, such efforts in the past have suffered because of following reasons amongst others:
    1. lack of winnability, leads to splitting of the group
    2. even if some momentum is built up, people from within start fragmenting, due to vested interests, ego clashes, even financial mishandling
    3. lack of funds
    4. grassroots presence is negligible. even with a 2 year effort like parivartan in kanpur, we cannot say that we have grassroots support to make a candidate win.
    5. a similar effort by shiv khera has already fallen apart despite all india efforts being made
    6. normally the so called intelligentsia gets involved. they are neither grassroot based, nor are they politically astute. also they will always have varying view points and will argue and clash

    however, if these guys have taken care of these issues, then good luck to them. I would be interested to watch them. will pass on to some others also.


    I wish to thank the author of these comments for these issues are pretty typical, and invariably faced by any group that seeks to reform India. FTI is FULLY aware of these issues and has addressed them in this way:

    a) This is not a one man effort. There is no 'founder', only a proposer. Anyone can propose anything. A mere proposal doesn't mean anything. Therr are millions of proposals. The one that people want is THEIR proposal. That is the one that counts. THEREFORE EVERYONE WHO JOINS FTI IS A FOUNDER. There is no single leader. Everyone on FTI is a leader.

    b) The organisation has a board of two persons: Secretary and Treasurer. The Board is committed to complying with the decisions taken by the General Body (NOT Governing Body). Everyone on the team is a member of the General Body and has an equal vote. No one has any voice in FTI beyond that of any other person.

    c) No document produced by FTI is declared final until at least 1500 members assemble, who are ready to contest elections within the next three years. This condition is just one of the many conditions that must be met before members consider a political effort. Leaders first. Funds and supporters next. There is no intention to win just one or two seats. Either 300 minimum or nothing. FTI members have no intention of wasting their time and money just for the pleasure of having contested elections. Each FTI member will contest ONLY TO WIN. No other goal.

    The strategy of FTI is slow but sure, like the story of the tortoise and hare. Most efforts including Shiv Khera's, Lok Satta, Jago, etc. etc. etc. (the list is endless, since India has 2000 parties), have largely been driven by emotion and not strategy. A lot of energy spent with ZERO results. Frustration ensues and motivation is lost. That is not FTI. FTI is strategic and very clear: it is not doing this solo task for itself. It will do so ONLY if the people of India desperately want to improve things. We are not here to be heros. We are here to represent YOU. If you don't want change, then why would we waste our time with you?

    Unless FTI is FULLY SUPPORTED by YOU, and by most people of India, its members WON'T step into the electoral arena. We won't fail because it is not us but YOU who are the failure. You the citizen have failed to find good representatives and elect them. You have failed to do anything when the country was eroding and falling into deep corruption all around you. You were the one who complained but did not raise your finger to change things. We are NOT here to beg you for votes. Unless you are DESPERATE for change we are out of here.

    We are taking on the role of citizenship and offering you change. But we are not jokers, martyrs, or heros. We aren't interested in becoming failures for you to laugh at. We are not here seeking your mercy, or your votes. Unless you are DESPERATE TO VOTE FOR CHANGE, we won't even step forward to the hustings.

    You the citizen are a disastrous failure. Rise and become a citizen first, if you have any spine and self-respect. Stop running after corrupt politicians and putting garlands around their neck.

    If you are not serious, then we are out of here! Goodbye!

    FTI invites all Indians to partner AS EQUAL CITIZENS with FTI either as a team members or Freedom Partners (http://partners.freedomteam.in/). Your ACTIVE support is CRUCIAL. Else we are not wasting our time on trying to reform India. We don't need your good luck. YOU NEED GOOD LUCK to survive in India! Are you going to make your luck or take the corruption and decadence for granted? The ball is in YOUR hands, not ours.


    Sanjeev SAbhlok




  9. Hi Sanjeev,
                     You are right in the points explained above.But there is a very primary question.How can we change the mindset of the rural voter who has no access to internet,blogs,forums and hence is unaware of missions like FTI? the rural voter votes by virtue of ignorant mindset and short term promises by the politicians.he has no interest in changing the system but securing his basic needs from political parties.I think if we need to make FTI a mass success,we first need to work at the rural grassroot level.It can be in the form of street plays,campaigns,networks in rural areas,etc.so that the rural voter becomes aware.regarding the urban voter,we need a different approacheg.the young urban voter is active in blogs,forums,social networking sites but the middle aged voter has no interest in these things and has lately accepted the corrupt ways of our country,s governance.To enlighten them,we can hold city wise seminars for the working and business class.Secondly,kindly tell me how can i contribute by being based at amritsar.i have just recently joined FTI.I want some directions.
    Dr Guriqbal

  10. Dear Dr Guriqbal,

    The issue raised by you is an argument put by almost 99% of the population that there is only one way and that is bottom-up i.e.  through the hearts of the people who vote and such people reside in rural as well as urban areas. There is no other option I agree … the question then is not how to go into the hearts of people but WHEN to….you would know that public memory is short and to create a long lasting impression you have to be really a selfless Gandhi continuously working at the grassroots…and that is too much to expect from a political leader in today's era when the people who you have to figght to bring about a CHANGE are YOUR OWN PEOPLE.  Gandhi had a charged environment  (anti-British sentiments) to support his moves but the current population do not have one. All the factors like roti-kapda-makaan-gareebi-berojgaari-corruption-unnati etc. have almost become the bottomline buzzwords with every political party and leaders.  If, to begin with, if you agree with the rationale of our ambition that either we contest to win and win 300+ to be in power & bring CHANGE or else leave India to current situation, then we just need to figure out how do we differentiate ourselves and when to go big-bang.  Currently we are working around a politico-economic philosophy (classical liberalism), reaching out to get a team of 1500 level 4+ leaders, develop a strong equalitarian organisation and then when the leaders assemble go all out for 3 years to develop constituency by working on the ground, spreading message of freedom, take people's issues and problems and work on solutions. You see there…the only missing link is why would people vote for us…only IF THE WANT CHANGE…and there lies the key. The problems will remain and the solutions in people's eyes are also well known, and the incremental efforts of various political parties will continue…once we are organised with sufficient leaders, we will build the organisation, collect funds from people/stakeholders and go allout sufficiently in time before a targetted election.

  11. Dear Dr Guriqbal

    Let's discuss further on the FTI Forum, since these are matters of detail, in terms of actually doing something on the ground. Even delivering a single seminar or street play, etc. can be a major piece of work, given resource constraints. These efforts are definitely needed, for the task of spreading the message and educating the people must go hand in hand with finding more leaders. We need to do this systematically, and ensure that we can replicate the same thing across the country.

    Anyway, let's discuss further on the forum. Please raise the same issue there. More people will respond and we can actually do something concrete. Your energies will join with those of others who are on FTI. Together we can leverage each other's skills and make a difference.




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