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RE: New contributors/ supporters listed



I received this from a member and I thought it is necessary to bring it to
everyone's notice (I am withholding the name since this was directed
specifically to me). 

> This is wrt your PS to the following mail regarding new subscribers. I
> thought I should give you my thoughts on this.
> 
> 1. Yours is a serious, a very serious, discussion group. It cannot,
> therefore, attract a very large membership. This is the sorry but true state
> of affairs. So, the pioneers of discussion and debate, like your group, will
> have to work harder. You will have to live with it.

You are right about the 'sorry' fact the most of us simply base our
opinions on the random thoughts of some journalist or even a priest, as we
go about our daily business of life. But this is to be expected in a
society where people are so busy with their day to day existence.

Keeping in mind these constraints of everyone in the 'real' world, the
idea of this discussion list was to attract people to talk on a part-time
basis, here, and see their own ideas in the mirror of debate. 

Actually, I was being a bit squeamish out of the sheer irritating habit of
pulling my own leg and that of everyone I meet. In real fact, I do think
all of us on this list have reason to be quite happy that the group has
grown to more than 40 people (mostly professionals) from all over the
world, in less than two months.  Even Yahoo or Hotmail perhaps did not see
such growth curves in their first two months. [Let us beat Yahoo!
India_Policy Zindabad!! Yaaaahooooo!! Mujhe koi jungleee kahae!]

In addition, I know of quite a few who are not subscribed (due to the
heavy volume of mail they receive) but who are regular readers of the web
archives. There is some interest I believe, caused by an awakening of our
spirits and our souls, long given to despair, about the possibility of
really finding out the best solutions to India's problems. There is
possibly a belief that we might actually be able to do something
together... We, Indians, could we actually make ourselves rich, and make
India a place free of hatred? Could we?? 

In the deepest crevices of our hearts, there is an ache beyond all aches.
Pain as we think of the mess we are in. We are blind people stretching out
our hands into the vast open spaces of the future, unsure what the future
will bring. We have great need for solace, we Indians. Even the Mother
(Teresa), wherever she is today, does not know the sorrow of this giant
tree, felled to the ground. No balm applied on our souls before we die
will help. We are living a life of desolation, of failure as a nation, of
failure to understand each other. 

When my dear young Bodo and ULFA friends, high school students, mostly, in
Assam take to arms, kill by randomly bombing people in buses in my
district, I see, surrealistically, my going to those bodies in a carcade,
in slow motion, waving the rest of the people away, trying my best to stop
the riots of hatred that are welling in the district. The hatred that has
been generated in our nation as a consequence of economic failure is too
severe. 

There is desperate need for us to take these debates to the villagers and
challenge them to find out what caused this to happen.

You and I can together, expand the debates to Colleges and Universities,
and later to villages. If brief flyers are prepared on key issues (a great
and difficult task), things can move forward. You could prepare a para or
two in your spare time and that would help, immensely. Your thoughts, your
part-time work, volunteerism, belief, is wanted on the ground. You can do
it. 

> 2. Yours is a closed group - at least it reads and sounds like one. The
> exchanges, though on the mailing list, are personal and between each other.
> To involve more subscribers to contribute, it is essential that the messages
> are directed generally to the group and not to one other. While this may
> look silly, it is true. For instance, I have noticed that you and Charudatt
> have been discussing points personally. An observer to your group (I am one,
> as of now) will feel like involving himself when the debate/discussion is
> open and not personal between two individuals. This should be done even if
> (and specially since) the group is small. It will give the appearance of a
> larger group and make discussion more open.

The closedness is only of the competitors in debate. The intention is
clear: we are debating as individuals and we do not direct our mail
generally to 'everybody' else. For example, each of us stands on different
platforms on various issues and so nobody can be said to believe in
everything that is said. So, each 'dog-fight' has to be on a one-to-one
basis. 

Imagine you are on a podium with the 'competitor' with whose views you
differ. Then, you are constrained to debate with that one competitor. More
than one can join on a side of a competitor, of course. No one need feel
any difficulty in trying to join in. 

As far as these 'personal' pleasantries with Charu, I don't know most of
my 'competitors' personally but I have joined issues with them as boldly
as maybe with my dear friend Charu. Even Charu, I have not met for 18
years now! The idea is that we should be willing to contest with anyone in
the world about ideas, while not losing our sense of respect for each
other. Else what is the point of these debates!?

Second, keeping the atmosphere very informal is critical. We want to
ensure that we are all having fun while doing this, or else we will become
so boring that I too will have to unsubscribe! I do deliberatly clown
around a lot more than others, but I think each circus needs at least one
clown. I am Clown Don [Quixote] Sabhlok, the Greatest James Bond! The
clown that laughs, and the clown that cries in anguish ... 

	please check out

	http://www-scf.usc.edu/~ssabhlok/jamesbond.html

Have fun! The circus has begun!

> 3. Your discussions are, at least as far as I could make out, based on a
> rigid system - Preamble, Agenda etc. A freer flowing discussion on a larger
> variety of issues will make the group more interesting. For this, it is also
> important that you do not look at the group as the only source of your ideas
> for the various projects (like the 'political party', your agenda, etc) in
> hand. Let the group, independently grow into a major source of debate,
> discussion and ideas relevant to all of us Indians, for India.

I would remind you that this is a focused group: we are doing work.
Part-time, unpaid work, of course, but work, nevertheless.

We are actually writing. A manifesto. An ideal manifesto for India. The
very strong structure is meant to record the successful arguments of each
debate.  Else, we generally waste away our time in coffee-table discussion
and nothing can ever come out of that. 

Something powerful, and really big, and useful for India, can come out of
this.

> In any case, my compliments to you. You are doing a fine job.

Thanks! I love praise! Wow! I am zapped! My day is made. I will now go
about singing in the sun ... Actually, I am going for a Hawaiian birthday
party in my colorful silken shirt to Long Beach today afternoon, 20 miles
away. See you later. I love dancing and eating. And I love people that
enjoy life while it lasts... 

Cheers! And please hold your nose with two fingers and jump into the
debates fearlessly like diving into the deep ocean near the Marina trench!
Have no fear, my unbelievably powerful, nuclear-powered submersible, will
rescue you just before you reach the bottom! 

Baywatch Expert Sabhlok the Don Clown Bond, to the rescue! 

Sanjeev

[PS: I did not disclose your identity. If you like, you could take
ownership of this very pertinent post of yours in the list, and debate
further, on my replies.]