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Let us not complicate things



Dear Ajay,

While thanking your for proposing a new (trust) model for this
organization, and still feeling that it is a viable one, I would urge that
we go for a very open model based on the Societies act, with which I am
more familiar and which forces external monitoring. Trust/ Foundations
sounds very 'closed' to me. Second, about my role: I am here as a
facilitator and that is what I would like to be. A "chief boxer," as they
say in BoxingLand (now it appears that others are boxing more! so I'll
have to retire...).

Let me quote a little nice para from a mail from Antony:

"Frankly I wish IPI remained a collective organisation with no rqmt for
Presidents, Directors, and such titular heads - they bring along with it
unwarranted admin/interpersonal issues !  ( Wishful thinking!)"

Given this apprehension (and I am sure all of us face to some extent), let
us recap for a minute why we need to convert from a rapidly expanding
Discussion list into an Institute:

The primary reason why we are doing all this is to put some money into the
project of mailing out letters, to people across India and to get them
involved in talking.

The idea - nicely encapsulated by Prof. Roy - is to shift the views of the
MEDIAN VOTER. That is a very long shot. A long, long time away. It will
require a lot of debate, and a lot of discussion. Unfortunately, not much
debate is going on in India even today. So we need to debate widely and
openly. It would be necessary to see each national newspaper have a
section on this national debate where people can contribute their views,
topic-wise, and we can then compile these debates and further debate -
TILL the median voter shifts. That is the day the system will actually
begin its change. We are a lever: India is the rock. Moving the rock needs
the act of synergizing the debates many of us carry on in our drawing
rooms and in our newspapers/ journals. That galvanization of the nation
needs initiative. We are providing that. It must be therefore a Grand
Initiative, with a Grand and Open design. No point in climbing a little
hillock. Let us climb Mt. Everest.

The second reason is another very practical reason: People will be very
confused (think of this as a transcendental/ etherial/ metaphysical
organization) if we say we are a loose Internet/ e-mail based association
(which we are and will always be - primarily). So, giving ourselves a
'cloak' of an Institute gives us a semblance of "solidity" and helps the
debates.

Finally, having created a board, through trial and error, by seeking
voluntary involvement/ requesting people to join, one by one, let us not
change this into a one-trustee show or something like that at the last
minute. It would be definitely embarrassing to some. In fact, let us keep
the door open for many more Board members - and rotate these positions.
And all our annual accounts and donations should be online and visible to
all members, always. Unless our plan is completely open, and the objective
completely GRAND, we cannot catch the imagination of the nation. That is
the challenge.

Please therefore consider if you can work with the Society model a bit
more, and more or less "regularize" the work we have done on it, so that
we can proceed with the next step.

Thanks,

Sanjeev

Regarding Nizam's mail on Barun. Please bear with us for a brief moment.
Let us begin the task and then we can and will expand. The objective is
the focus here: changing the median voter of India, and getting the best
policy document ever made in India. So long as all of us are on this
Discussion list, we are ALL "there." We need you and everyone else equally
- and we HAVE you and Barun with us! So let us proceed without discussing
the Board any more. The issue was raised merely to take volunteers/
organize the 7 members. That task has been completed. The next step should
be merely to discuss /debate the Memo of Association, register it, and for
us to send whatever money we can, hire a staff member, get the 10000
addresses entered into a database, finalize the first draft, send out to
these people, etc. etc.



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