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That won't do, Ratan!



Ratan,

You are taking a quick escape by saying that you are a clinical and not a
social psychologist. That's not permitted here. This is a long, very long,
brain-storming session. And your specalization is just the thing needed to
fill a particular niche in IP.

Change cannot come from the ruling elite, nor the existing political
parties, who are firmly entrenched in the pile of dung they have created
in India.  

Change cannot also come from the rural poor/ slum dwellers who have
virtually no time to think anything, given their very busy family
schedules and survival strategies. 

That leaves us with the middle classes, most of whom stopped thinking the
moment they left college and got a job. You know the standard theory about
why middle-class, middle-aged folk (like most of us) do not become
activists. But to the best of my understanding, I do not see any other
group (there is much heterogeniety here which can be assorted, later),
which might have at least some immediate stake in change.

The challenge now is to get the message of IP across to such - mostly
middle class - people on the ground and to make them want to start to
debate/ associate in favor of change. 

As a first issue why would such folk leave aside their daily schedule
of life and sit up to read the 'manifesto' being written here? Why
would this be a credible message, anyway? 

Communication of the message needs a very good grasp of individual
psychology, and we are soon going to come to that stage (writing the
flyers). Would key data be a good way to present the message, or some
rhetoric? What are the sub-liminal messages that need to get across to the
people? How would you design a communication to create a sense of interest
from a busy working woman? Why should she care about socialism or
capitalism or anything else? 

Who should be the bearer of the message? How can messages be packaged?
What media is best channel of communication? 

I did not know you are a psychologist. Now that I know you better, I am
not going to let you get away so easily! 

At the very least, why don't you flip thro' your old text books and give a
summary of the key points that we all must keep in mind while designing
the final message/s for various audiences. You might or might not have
much to say about the content, but surely you know a tremendous amount
about the act of **moving** the message effectively across to the people
of India. 

Please do not disappoint. I am already a bit disappointed (did I get
chided by Srini for saying such things earlier?) that experts who are on
this list from many areas, including but not limited to urban planning,
financial market reform, information technology, shipping and transport,
environment, health economics, etc., have not yet [some have, though]
taken the time to write a simple ONE page note (a bunch of points) about
what they would like to see happening in India in their area of
specialization. I mean, what do I, as a slum dweller in Dhubri whose
children play with pigs and do not go to school, care about your expertise
and great wisdom if that cannot be put to use in helping me out of my
mess? I don't know everything that you folks (highly educated,
well-settled, sending e-mail messages) know. I know that it did not make
any difference in my life whether India was a colony of Britain or an
independent nation for five decades. 

It is TIME to really put our brains and education to some good use:  let
us build a solid, coherent document, and a strategy for communication,
which represents the combined expertise and wisdom of an entire generation
of Indians.

It is already going to be September. We must have a first draft ready
soon, to send off to well-known folk/ experts in India for their critical
comments. 

IP really has not grown at the pace I had anticipated it will grow. Only
93 members yet. I hope everyone has been writing to their friends to join
and contribute their "2 cents (= 47 paise)."
 
SS

On Sat, 15 Aug 1998, Ratan Singh wrote:

> Tall order Sanjeev. Let me get the mood. Boy, am I really capable of 
> serving the order ? I am afraid not. I am not a social psychologist, nor 
> an experimental-social psychologist. I cannot modify groups, but I do 
> modify individual through group. I am a practising clinical psychologist 
> with specialization in Behavior Modification. I don't think I can do 
> social engineering. Sorry. Ratan.


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