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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
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)
______________________________ Reply Separator
Subject: UNAUTHENTICATED: Fw: Chowgule talks to Chandrakant Shourie
Author: sroy (email@example.com) at unix,mime
Date: 17.01.2000 16:45
From: Dr.SubrotoRoy <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com
<firstname.lastname@example.org> Cc: Ashok Chowgule <email@example.com>
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. >
>From: AskchGoa <firstname.lastname@example.org> >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.
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