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Change of guard



Dear friends,

For nearly five months I have spent zillions of manhours on participating
in and trying to build a debate which perhaps has reached a fairly stable
level. I have done the entire web work; and much the other work, including
moderation for a month, signing up many users who did not know how to,
helping, explaining things off the list to many, etc. This was - in
addition to one's normal work - just too much of a strain. 

I have been lucky to get good friends and volunteers who feel that this is
a worthwhile task; who have taken it up as thier own;  been moderators
(Prem), and paid money (Antony), as well as now, volunteered to work on
the web page (Nikhil). 

I spoke with Suresh Rajagopalan. He owns the ISP called Cinenet
Communications at LA, and has not only waived the setup fee for the
hosting the domain, but has allowed the separate login for indiapolicy.org
for at least some time. In other words, he is contributing at least a
hundred and odd dollars for this task until IP is in a position to start
paying the monthly fee. This whole effort would have remained a mere
infructuous discussion over a coffee table had we all not come together -
Suresh (both of them), Utkarsh, Prem, Puneet, Kush, Antony, Charu, Nikhil,
and all others (we are nearly 100 of us: quite a crowd! And many others
merely browse the archives each day) - most of us strangers who will not
recognize each other on a road - with a desire to share one's own
knowledge/ experience with each other. Together we can do something.

There has perhaps been some progress, in taking this discussion from an
internal debate among a handful of friends, into a larger debate. It is
too early to call this a National Debate, but we have started calling
ourselves so, since there is NO OTHER debating forum of this nature in the
whole of India. If nothing else, IP is a model for all other debating
forums: an ideal in terms of openness and independence of thought.

I have now much work to catch up with, personally, including trying to
recover the painless use of my hands, wrists and arms, if possible; even,
to take a vacation. The whole summer I was glued to my chair in the Econ
Department.  Too bad for my family! One person who is very very annoyed
with me (and there could be many others!)  is my wife. She is definitely
right. I have no business to stress out myself like this. Plus, I need to
spend more time with my kids. This way of functioning is unnatural: I have
to be a regular chap first. No point in being a martyr. 

And so: this weekend I will try to fix up a few things. The change of
guard.

a) The transfer of responsibility of the web to Nikhil. 

b) The digest (if I can figure it out).

I do not have the energy/capacity to update many of the things needed to
be updated on the web. I do believe that Nikhil will help out on that.
Ultimately each person is responsible for pushing the webmaster to get
that task organized.

I received a note from Ajay Gandhi enquiring about what was expected of
him. He has been traveling a lot and might not be able to help out at this
stage. I don't know. I am awaiting his final response. Well, the physical
setting up of IP can wait, and if necessary, Antony's Bangalore office can
be used, later. There are more imp. things to be done in the meanwhile.

Ash: I am sorry, but I need more time to respond to your suggestions for
change in the Free citizen piece. If I feel upto it, I'll work on that
sometime later. Else, your points should be included completely. If
someone else wishes, please debate with Ash.

Go IndiaPolicy!  I will now mostly watch from the sidelines till fully
recovered. 

SS


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