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Foundation for Democratic Reforms

Our friend, Sairam, who had been to Hyderabad a few weeks ago, is back;
He has joined his Chicago job.

I had requested him to meet K.V.Sastry, and he informs me that he did;
he also met Jaiprakash Narayan at the behest of Mr. Sastry. Jaiprakash
is an IAS officer of the 1980 batch (2 years sr. to me) who resigned 2
years ago to start the Foundation for Democratic Reforms. Atul Gupta who
is on this list, is his batchmate, and another of his batchmates is on
this list, too, from Andhra itself. So, Jaiprakash will be in good
company if he joins us (he has not yet done so, though).

Jaiprakash was very happy to learn about this effort, though he thinks
that we need to do something rather than merely talk.

My point is: we need 3 things:

	1: good policy
	2: good people
	3: good action

Unless 1 is fulfilled, the other two will not work. So, we are doing 1
here. India's bane has been bad policy. We are also doing 2 in the sense
we are collecting and building a coalition of good people. Action in the
sense that Jaiprakash is doing (such as ensure that there is no
tampering with meters at the petrol stations in Hyderabad) is another
thing which we can come to later. At the very least we can build a
coalition of such people - a combination of three types of people:
thinkers, concerned citizens, and doers.

I hope Mr. Sastry, who is actively associated with FDR and now with us,
is able to persuade Jaiprakash to join us and listen in, as well as
contribute. Unless we get the best people aboard, we can't really make
this into a people's manifesto or a National Debate.

Thanks to Sairam, by the way, for making me feel closer to Jaiprakash,
whom I have not yet met.

By the way, Sairam reports to me that Jaiprakash thinks that the level
of frustration in India is mounting to such a level that there might be
major changes of the USSR type in India within a few years now. I trust
he is right, since I too sense a lot of frustration on the one side and
a lot of optimism on the other. The optimists have to come together and
lead. This is the time to seriously think policy.

Sairam is going to rejoin this list once he is fully settled in his job.
In the meanwhile he will continue to peep into the archives.


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