Are you fed up with the sea of poverty surrounding the islands of plenty in India, and the deeply entrenched corruption of our public life? Have you been working on or contemplating a platform that can offer this generation of Indians a chance to take India to true greatness?
A group ordinary Indians has decided that “enough is enough!” We have decided that we can’t allow things to continue as they are. Our continuing apathy is not going to make things better for India. Burying our heads in the sand as we usually do, and letting the current state of affairs go by unchallenged is not going to get us the India of our dreams: a land which is proudly honest, immensely prosperous, and considered by the world as the land of opportunity.
For India to achieve its true potential, ordinary people like us need to come together and challenge the ideologies and practices of governance that have led us to this state of affairs. We believe and know that solutions are readily available in world best-practice both in the field of policy and public administration. It is time for us to collect these solutions and to offer them to the people of India.
We are calling this effort the ‘Freedom Team of India’. Some of you may well ask – why ‘freedom’, as India is already a free country? Yes, India is free from colonial yoke, but that only amounts to being independent. It is not free to the full extent of the meaning of the word FREEDOM. Freedom means the freedom to act even as we remain accountable for our actions. It means creating a society where everyone can live with self-respect and dignity, and can achieve their true potential. It is mental state where all citizens are equal stakeholders in determining the rules of the society. Freedom cannot exist amidst ignorance, illiteracy, and penury, and so these must be banished. But these are not to be banished through the government operating and running businesses. These are to be banished by our own enterprise as citizens, enabled by a well-governed state.
This effort is called a “Team” because on this group all members are equals; partners in the design and delivery of its activities.
Good leaders won’t emerge from the sky
We have frittered our independence and failed to convert it into an opportunity to achieve freedom. In this, we are all equally culpable through our inaction; by waiting for a ‘leader’ to descend upon us from heaven and save us. We know this is not going to happen. We have to stop criticising and blaming our netas. We have to offer ourselves as leaders. This has to be a movement of the People, each of whom rises to a new role as a genuine citizen of the great country that will be India.
Politics is a field for the attainment of the highest faculties of man. It is a noble profession, to which the best people of a country should aspire. Politics is not the haven for the corrupt and shameless, as it has currently become, through our neglect. To change this image of politics YOU will have to come forward! We are sorry, we can’t offer you a cushy seat as a spectator. You have to enter the ring and fight! We believe that all serious people with commitment should come together to lead India. The time for watching from the sidelines is long past.
All people of integrity, competence, and humility, who wish to contest parliamentary and state elections and to promote the policies of freedom by forming government, are requested to join the Freedom Team of India. Once at least 1500 potential leaders have joined, and have agreed to key documents and plans, a focused roll-out of an awareness campaign will be launched, culminating in offering one candidate per parliamentary constituency (and for each state legislative constituency) to the people of India.
Congruence of ideas
Of course, a common ideology or congruence of ideas is very important. We want clear headed people who are world-class experts in their area, or at least know what the world’s best-practice in their area is all about. We want a clear commitment to freedom (with accountability). If you still have any faith in the failed ideology of socialism, for instance, this is not the platform you are looking for.
Our core beliefs
It is important that our core beliefs match. We believe that every human being has a potential and aspiration to live his life in a way of his own defining. We believe firmly in individual dignity and maximisation of individual freedoms. Each citizen must be free to choose, subject to his or her being accountable. These freedoms include 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. To deliver these we need strong institutions of justice, equality of opportunity, and free markets. We believe in adopting evidence-based world best-practice policies and remaining open to continuous improvement.
Key policy aspirations
Some of the key policy aspirations we would like to see delivered are:
- Freedom of thought and action subject to each citizen being accountable.
Equality of opportunity
- Universal education and healthcare
- Elimination of poverty
- Freedom from discrimination
Strong, enabling government
- Effective justice and law enforcement
- Infrastructure for sustainable economic growth
- Good governance without corruption
- Vigilant, tolerant and transparent society
• Creating a sense of nationhood
A draft action plan has been prepared at Action Plan
Principles of collaboration and coalition building
No document on the Freedom Team is final. All documents of the Team will be finalised only after 1500 members assemble and agree to these documents which will include a roll-out a plan for contesting elections. Therefore, all incoming participants will get an equal chance to consider and comment on these draft documents. We are not closing our mind to good ideas and good people. Indeed, we are looking for all good ideas and good people.
There are no ‘presidents’ or leaders on this team. Everyone is a leader. The formal leadership of the team will be elected once 1500 members have joined and agreed to a detailed plan of action. Those initiating this effort are fully prepared not to be elected, should more talented and promising people join the group. We want India’s most talented people to come together. We will not elect any office bearers nor create hierarchies until all formalities to launch a plan to contest elections are in place. We are not fussed about who becomes leader of this effort. We have only one goal: a Great India.
Nothing on this team is for the glory or aggrandisement of any individual; it is exclusively about India. Hence no option for future action is precluded. For instance, the Team could merge into other groups; other groups could merge into it; everyone could merge into something else; everyone could go alone and cooperate on key issues.
The Freedom Team does not claim that it has the only key to the problem – every potential member will be heard patiently and carefully. Therefore, every person interested in India’s future is requested to give this effort a fair hearing and not reject it outright.
No one has to leave their existing group in order to join the Freedom Team. In other words, if you are already a member of a political group, you should continue with it. The Freedom Team is a collaboration or coalition of people with similar interests.
So, if you have it in you to lead India; if you have it in you to reform and transform India, then consider joining the Freedom Team today. Right now! The sooner 1500 people commit to a shared action plan and blueprint, the sooner good leaders can be offered in India’s elections, and the reform of India can begin. So long as you meet the criteria of membership for the Team, you can join it.
This is a People’s Movement
This effort began in early 2008. We are trying to reach out to ALL Indians – men and women equally – to come together. Fatalism and cynicism are poison for the soul. There is magic in action, and in being involved. Even if it doesn’t work, we would die having known that we tried and explored all opportunities, and failed; and did not give up without trying. And who knows, if the People come together, magic may indeed happen. Then, there will be nothing in the universe that could possibly hold India back!