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PUBLIC: Re: Reply to "Silence?": On the NRI/POI Institute

Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI
Dear Dr Roy

Your letter below:

There are of course deficiencies in every organisation and you do well to
point out those in IPI.  However, the solution lies not in abandoning
every imperfect organisation (for then one would have to abandon them
all), but in working with those you find to be among the best, in order to
improve them.  This, I suppose, is what you are trying to do through your
involvement with IPI. 

I did not respond earlier to your point about the need to "earth" the IPI
discussions by publicity and membership-building and rapid
decentralisation among Indian nationals only because I thought the point
self-evidently valid.  I don't think anyone on this list would disagree
with your view at all.  The question is only how to take that forward
given limited resources.... 

I had also not responded to your question about my current nationality
because it is irrelevant to the debate (beyond the fact that I am an NRI). 
However, in order to prevent misunderstandings of a certain sort, I ought
also to say that my nationality is not American. 
I am surprised that you consider issues such as dual nationality and
capital account convertibility and foreign investment as issues belonging
to the private agenda of NRIs - I would have thought these had an enormous
bearing on the economic prosperity fo the country, whether or not there
were any NRIs at all (dual citizenship, for example, if available, would
affect some 1 billion Indians and only a few million NRIs). 

Finally, my point that, in a similar situation, India would have been
bombed much earlier than Iraq had been, had nothing to do with my lack of
     love for India, more to do with my sorrowful observation of how badly 
     the PR on such issue is bungled, and how friendless India is in world 
     circles today compared to the Muslim/oil lobby of the middle east - 
     certainly, compared to the Fifties and even the early Sixties when 
     India was one of the leaders (one can almost say THE leader) of the 
     non-aligned bloc.
     In order to improve its foreign relations, India needs to invest in 
     sending people of calibre to its embassies abroad (which it has not
     done for some time) and to ensure that every action is seen not only
     from the domestic point of view (which is natural and right) but also
     from the point of view of how to present those actions which may be
     right in a domestic context in such a way as to win us maximum friends
     For example, in the case of the nuclear test, it would have been wise
     to launch a media offensive against the nuclear non-proliferation 
     treaty and the nuclear test ban treaty, in order to put forecefully 
     before the world audience our view regarding the necessity of nuclear 
     disarmament (which is by the far the more logical position and has 
     never failed to win people whenever I have presented it to anyone in 
     the West); and it would then have been necessary only to have said, a 
     few hours (properly timed, so as to get it on the main media in the 
     world) before the explosion, that India was reviewing its defence 
     options in view of the fact that China was spending 12% of its budget 
     on defence....this would have created the right context in which to 
     then move ahead with a decision already taken to explode the device.
     The problem is not that we do things that may be right for the 
     country.  The problem is that we are so self-absorbed and unconscious 
     of how what we do will be perceived by those outside, that we do 
     little of the communication of the situation from our point of view so 
     that our actions are correctly perceived.  By not planning the PR for 
     the event properly we created entirely unnecessary political and 
     economic pressures for our country.  
     But of course if people are concerned only with keeping their seats 
     and with milking the country, then how their actions will be perceived 
     outside are the last things in their minds: they can always resort to 
     the old chestnut that foreigners are stupid and/or ill-motivated....
.I hope this answers at least some of the points raised in your letter.

Professor Prabhu Guptara
Director, Executive and Organisational Development
Wolfsberg Executive Development Centre
(a subsidiary of UBS AG)
CH-8272 Ermatingen
Tel: +41.71.663.5605
Fax: +41.71.663.5594
e-mail: prabhu.guptara@ubs.com
INTERNET: http://www.wolfsberg.com
This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org 
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/ 

This is the National Debate on System Reform.       debate@indiapolicy.org
Rules, Procedures, Archives:            http://www.indiapolicy.org/debate/