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Policy Implications of the Chandrakant Shourie case

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     Dear Professor Roy
     Many thanks for your efforts to establish the facts of the case: my 
     intention in circularising the original press release to all of us at 
     IPI was to bring the alleged facts to the attention of IPI so that we 
     could consider the policy implications of such a case.  There is an 
     added advantage that through the good offices of you, Professor Roy, 
     and Dr Chowgule, the facts have now been checked out and found to be 
     substantially accurate.  
     So we at IPI should return to our task of considering the policy 
     implications of the case.  (I am making some efforts to provide 
     practical help to Mr Shourie; if I succeed, I will inform IPI members 
     simply for general interest).
     I agree with Dr Chowgule that whether Mr Chandrakant Shourie is a 
     Christian or a Muslim or a Marxist or whatever has no bearing on the 
     case from a policy point of view.  IPI is blind to such matters.
     The policy implications would seem to me to be as follows:
     1.  There are probably hundreds if not thousands of people doing good 
     work in India, for whatever individual motivations they may have for 
     doing so.  Many of them are evidently not linked with organisations 
     (at least Mr Shourie does not appear to be linked with any 
     organisations, or his case (with all its "masala") would surely have 
     been better publicised and not have come to the attention of IPI only 
     because I happened to have been sent the press release and forwarded 
     it to IPI).  Is there anything IPI should be doing to collect 
     information about such people and drawing national attention to the 
     work they are doing?
     2.  Like Mr Chowgule, I too have no idea how good the educational 
     efforts of Mr Shourie are.  I cannot imagine that they are very good 
     if one considers the paltry infrastructure he is supposed to have in 
     his school.  But, as all of us know, excellent infrastructure does not 
     necessarily mean good education nor does poor infrastructure 
     necessarily mean poor education: that depends on the quality of the 
     commitment and talent that a teacher brings to the enterprise.  On the 
     basis of the supposed facts of the case, I do not doubt Mr Shourie's 
     commitment but I have no idea of his talents as a teacher (or the 
     talents of any other teachers who may work with him).  But however 
     good or bad his educational efforts may be, they are undoubtedly 
     better than would have been the case if he had not gone to the area 
     and set up his school, for then the people there would have continued 
     to have nothing.  Anyway, the issue is that of the use of violence to 
     stop such efforts specifically in feudal areas (which are the bulk of 
     the country).  What policies can we at IPI think of which would 
     penalise the use of violence anyway, and specifically in such cases?
     3. You quibble with me, Professor Roy, about the use of the term 
     "fascist".  May I remind you that the term was not mine but was that 
     of the Press Release.  However, I do think the use of the term 
     "fascist" entirely appropriate in this context.  I will therefore 
     continue to use the term "fascists" till you can supply me a better 
     term for such people, Professor Roy.  The question, from an IPI point 
     of view, is as follows:  have these fascists not brought the fair name 
     of the BJP into disrepute?  Have they not brought the fair name of the 
     country into disrepute?  Should IPI not therefore appeal to the BJP to 
     expel such fascists from the party?  I do hereby appeal to Professor 
     Roy and Dr Chowgule, and to other members of IPI, to use their good 
     offices to do whatever is necessary to get the BJP to exercise party 
     discipline against such fascists.
     4.  I propose that our Internal Code of Conduct (in the IPI Manifesto) 
     , under the section "Minimum qualifications", after the clause 
     regarding "No criminal case pending", add the following clause:
               " * All members forswear the use of violence in settling 
disputes; any members found to have used violence will be automatically 
expelled from the party till they make amends to the victims of their 
violence and forswear further use of violence."

5.  As a result of reflecting on this case, I have come to the conclusion 
that the greatest threat in India at present is not socialism but the 
continuance of feudalism and the use of fascist violence to perpetuate 
feudalism.  It appears to me that "socialism" simply became the convenient 
label by which feudalism could continue to be perpetrated in our country.  
We never had socialism and we can never have socialism or free markets as 
long as the feudal/fascist nexus continues.  IPI-type policies can provide a 
conducive environment for liberating our people from feudalism, but it is 
the personal efforts of people such as Mr Chandrakant Shourie which are 
necessary before people who have been oppressed for centuries can have the 
fire of hope lit in their hearts and can be inspired to exert themselves to 
study or work to improve their prospects in the face of fascist violence at 
their efforts to improve themselves.  

6.  At IPI, we need to consider what we can do to encourage others, 
specially young people, to do for at least a one or two years of their 
lives, what Mr Shourie has done for 20 years.  Retired people are another 
group who could be encouraged to give at least a year or two of their lives 
for similar good work.  What policies can we think of which would encourage 

With my thanks, again, to you Dr Roy (and through you to Dr Chowgule)

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

______________________________ Reply Separator 
Subject: UNAUTHENTICATED: Fw: Chowgule talks to Chandrakant Shourie
Author:  sroy (sroy@vgsom.iitkgp.ernet.in) at unix,mime
Date:    17.01.2000 16:45

-----Original Message-----
From: Dr.SubrotoRoy <sroy@vgsom.iitkgp.ernet.in> To: debate@indiapolicy.org 
<debate@indiapolicy.org> Cc: Ashok Chowgule <ashokvc@giasbm01.vsnl.net.in> 
Date: Monday, January 17, 2000 8:00 PM
Subject: Chowgule talks to Chandrakant Shourie

>I have received the following message from Mr. Ashok Chowgule.  It states 
>that Mr. Chowgule has spoken to Chandrakant Shourie, who is evidently 
>related to Mr. Arun Shourie though the latter does not know it.    Mr. 
>Chandrakant Shourie is evidently doing good work, and is a convert to 
>Christianity.   He was evidently assaulted, and there was some local BJP 
>politician involved.   The enclosed speaks for itself.
>My own complaint had to do with the term "fascist" being used by Mr. 
>Guptara, and that has been explained I think as a metaphorical use. >
>Subroto Roy
>-----Original Message-----
>From: AskchGoa <ashokvc@chowgulegoa.com> >To: Roy Dr. Subroto <sroy@vgsom>
>Date: Monday, January 17, 2000 11:52 PM >Subject: Chandrakant Shourie
>>To: Prof Subroto Roy.
>>From:  Ashok Chowgule.
>>17 January, 2000.
>>Dear Prof Roy,
>>I spoke with Shri Chandrakant Shourie today in the evening.  He says that 
>>is related to Shri Arun Shourie and that Shri Chandrakant's grandfather 
>>Shri Arun's father are brothers.  So in that sense, it would appear that 
>>relationship of uncle/nephew is correct, once or twice removed. >>
>>Shri Chandrakant confirms that the attack did take place.  He also says 
>>the whole area is feudal, and he says that the BJP and Congress have 
>>the feudal families between themselves.  Though, he says, the 'prime 
>>attacker' in this case is a member of the BJP.
>>Shri Chandrakant volunteered that he is today a Christian - I did not 
>>inquire from him when he converted.  I said to him that I have never had 
>>problem with anyone who is doing good to the society, irrespective of the 
>>person's religion.  The objection that I have is when the social service 
>>used for the purposes of conversion.  (To my mind when a social service is 
>>done with an expectation of something in return, it becomes a commercial 
>>transaction.)  Shri Chandrakant says that during his twenty years of stay 
>>the area there have been no conversions to Christianity.  I said to him 
>>since I do not know him or his organisation, I have no basis of commenting 
>>on the value of his service to the people of the area.
>>I have given Shri Chandrakant the telephone number of Shri Arun, and 
>>the two may get in touch with each other. 
>>One thing that still intrigues me is the fact that this incident did not 
>>make it to national news.  Given the various personalities involved, there 
>>would appear to be a lot of 'masala' in the whole thing.
>>Ashok Chowgule.

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