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Boundaries of society: Ash

On Sun, 4 Oct 1998, Ash Mahesh wrote:

> Sanjeev, I ask that you put back the parts of the manifesto you objected 
> to as being long and over-worded. Those words formed a perfectly good 
> basis for my point of view, which I have now brought forward as a 
> legitimate concern. Perhaps when the ideas of membership and fairness 
> are resolved to our mutual satisfaction, we can put up a compromise 
> version. I regret the long-windedness of that version, but it has its 
> virtues. The law is full of specifics, and perhaps someone else can 
> state them more succintly later.

"The boundaries of my society -internal considerations"

Ash's statement:

All persons who are born to member(s) of my society whether or not 
within its geographical boundaries are vested with the right to reside 
in it by choosing to do so at the time they are capable of making such a 
choice. Should they choose to remain part of the society, they assume 
the rights and responsibilities already inherent in existing members. 
Until such time, all mechanisms created by mutual determination shall 
regard such individuals to be de facto members of the society, even 
though they have themselves yet to exercise such a choice. Remaining 
within the boundaries shall constitute such a choice.

What is already there in the free citizen piece:

"Everything that existed in the past existed without my permission. I can
do nothing about it. But any existing arrangement that desires to exist
while I am aware must get my permission to exist from that moment, either
explicitly, or, as is more common, implicitly. If I do not wish to permit
it to exist, I can use the powers of voice to challenge it, and with
mutual consent of my fellow sojourners, change it. That is my chosen
obligation and the only mutually acceptable method available. Should my
efforts, and those of other like-minded persons, fail to achieve such
change, I remain obligated to maintain the existing arrangement without
losing the right to continue my efforts to get it changed."

Opinion: I think this more or less already has exactly what Ash has in

Ash's note:

Members of the society who wish to exit the boundaries of the society
cannot be prevented from doing so, subject to proceedings in criminal 
matters. Members may leave either temporarily or permanently. Members 
who wish to exit the boundaries permanently acquire the status of a 
person born outside the society. Those who leave the geographic 
boundaries temporarily nevertheless retain the same obligations and 
rights as those within the boundaries, although constraints of 
operational efficiency may preclude the full expression of these.

My view: 

This is implicit in the Indian constitution; hence I got rid of the right
to exit para.  We could simply drop this. As NRIs the rights are also
clear: we are citizens of India. Only one thing not provided is the right
to vote. 

Ash's view:

External considerations: (note that I have placed the departure of
existing members within the internal considerations section)

All persons who are born outside the geographical boundaries or to 
non-members within the boundaries are vested with the right to petition 
the society to be included in it provided they have acquired the 
capacity to be aware. If, according to the existing members or their 
representative deciding groups, there is merit in such a petition, such 
others may be included in the society. They then assume the same rights 
and responsibilities as existing members.

My comment: 

Again, this is an issue of citizenship, to be dealt with in the
Constitution. I do feel that the citizenship laws should be changed. Maybe
some of these can go into the manifesto.


Non-members in my society are subject to reasonable government by the
entities created by the society while they are within its geographic
boundaries. Non-members also implicitly accept that they shall conduct
themselves in accordance with standards that protect the interests of 
members. Such others are discouraged from participating in matters that 
members normally determine mutually, but are not precluded from doing 
so. Despite this freedom, they do not acquire any of the rights 
necessary to make choices themselves.

My comment: This relates to Non-resident "Foreigners,' say, US citizens
living in India. Well: I don't see why we need this para for such a small
group, plus much of it is implicit. 

Ash: Sorry about my rather summary views on what you wish to include, but
these might be drastically simplified, or taken 'inside' - since the free
citizen piece is only intended to set the fundamentals clear: that
the citizen owns all powers and that these powers are lent out to the
government. This is completely missing both in the Indian Constitution and
in the manifestos of political parties. The purpose of this piece is
therefore to reinstate the citizen to the center-stage.

Actually: it would be good if others commented on these proposals of Ash.
That would be the only fair thing since Ash has a serious point to make.
Please do consider these paras and my comments and see what we can make of


PS: On the issue of delimitation, the best proposal will be to simply
divide each existing MP constitutency into half. I believe Ash has a
serious point here. 

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