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




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Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI
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    The following is worth debating.  I believe Dr. Roy has what may seem like
"good points".  My reply/debate follows each point below.

Dr. Subroto Roy wrote:

> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Postings not related to the writing of the Manifesto or policy chapters
> are likely to be summarily rejected. Thanks for your understanding. IPI
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> >Dear Professor Roy,  >I think you have not spoken much in the last few
> days/ weeks.
>
> Dear Mr. Sabhlok,
>
> Thanks for your note.    Please ensure my reply reaches the whole IPI forum.
> I have been silent, and intend to remain so with exceptions, as I said I
> would for the following reasons:
>
> 1.   Your efforts and those of your colleagues appear to be headed to become
> on behalf of a legitimate political interest group in India, one to which I
> have myself belonged in the past, but one which has little to do with
> defining the public interest in India, namely, the interest group of
> Non-Resident Indians/Person of Indian Origin, or a subset thereof.    This
> interest group has of course powerful allies in New Delhi, namely, all the
> folks who want to become or have children who are NRI/POI's themselves --
> let us say, all the people who think Star TV's Good Morning India is better
> than Doordarshan's Subha Sabere.
>

    I believe that IPI should become a repository of political ideas.  This
effort is encouraged by everyone regardless of "perceived" identities.  If Dr.
Roy is advocating that Resident Indians should also participate in this process
then the more the merrier.  It is needless to remind that Resident and
Non-Resident Indians have a lot to learn from each other and IPI should serve as
a point of interaction.

    I will follow with more details on the topics below in the near future.

>
> 2.   Even there, the contributions being made are not by those familiar or
> having access to genuine political or policy-making circles in their adopted
> countries, but by persons, by and large, who are in professions, careers and
> jobs unrelated to public policy formation.   E.g. while it may be
> interesting for Indians to learn from, say someone interested and well-known
> as a scholar of American federalism or race relations,  I cannot see see why
> the opinions on federalism or secularism in India expressed by, say, an
> Indian-American  engineer in California or Michigan should receive any
> publicity more than that of, say, the man on the street in Hyderabad or
> Lucknow.     The man on the street in Hyderabad or Lucknow is going about
> his own business and not going about interfering in local politics or
> writing manifestos for the good States of California or Michigan, and so I
> cannot see what interest there would be in Hyderabad or Lucknow for the
> opinions of the ordinary citizens of California or Michigan.     My
> suggestion, as you know, has been that IPI genuinely become Indian, namely,
> that the NRI/POI origins allow seed money and institutional infrastructure
> to allow quick and extensive decentralisation so it becomes a genuine
> citizens' forum or electronic townhall for the average Indian in India.
>
> 3.  The private interests of NRI/POIs is something distinct from the public
> interest of India, for example, on issues like dual nationality or capital
> account convertibility or direct foreign investment or nuclear defence.
> Specifically, I wrote on December 24:
>
> "In discussing Indian policy, the interests of the Indian Republic may
> diverge from those of the major powers, for example on issues of defence
> and national security.  For example, Mr. Guptara's statement yesterday:
> >     If India had indulged in such systematic non-cooperation with the
>        UN on a point as sensitive as the manufacture of chemical and nuclear
> >     weapons, and that too in an area of the world as sensitive as the
> >     Middle East, I am sure that it would have been bombed long ago
> is not likely to find much sympathy in India at all. Mr. Guptara is no
> longer an Indian national, and has not responded to my request to kindly
> identify his adopted nationality".
>
> 4.    This is a small forum of a few dozen people.   It ought to be open and
> not have any "Management Council" defining rules, deadlines, topics for
> discussion etc. , let aside being involved in "summary" censorship of emails
> and opinions.   As a result, we get treated to all sorts of quite hysterical
> opinions, often amounting to a new form of India-bashing spam.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Sincerely
>
> Subroto Roy.


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