Grassroots debate


With effect from end-August 2009, Adharshila has been transferred to the Freedom Team of India which will pursue this concept further.


The concept, proposed by Umesh Tiwari and launched in 2003 on the internet, has been dormant for a long time. It is now (in 2009) being explored through discussions on Facebook and Google Group. An update on this concept will be made available in the coming months. Join us on Facebook

What is Adharshila? Adharshila is the youth mentoring branch of IPI. It involves practical work as well as discussions. Local Adharshila units educate youth in the fundamental concepts of liberalism (through the local language and experience) and help cement these concepts with practical demonstrations from local reality.  The process starts with trying to “fix” a problem that is felt by the local people, rather than trying to preach a political philosophy.

Who runs Adharshila? Citizens engaged in IPI debates and members of the IPI Board can provide mentoring to the youth and volunteer their time and other resources to help launch individual units of Adharshila. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people across India do not find corruption acceptable. These people wish to find a way to turn the cycle of societal decay around and achieve a complete transformation of our democracy. Our institutional infrastructure is mature enough to not require a Gandhi, a Nehru, a Rajaji, or another charismatic leader to save us from falling into dictatorships or China-type communist regimes. You, the citizen, need to come forward and take charge of fixing what ails our nation, and not wait for some savior to arrive.

How can you do it? It is important to find inviting and respectful (local) expression which is less demanding of knowledge of specific political ideologies or language. This language of courtesy should encourage willingness to speak up and participate in debates, public awareness campaigns and other work leading to resolution of problems such as corruption in public places. The language should encourage citizens to take charge of their lives and work to find solutions rather than engage in an irresponsible blame game. The method must involve listening to and understanding what motivates them. For instance, proud and self respecting people would want to believe in the originality of their own ideas and solutions. While encouraging the language and concepts of liberalism it is crucial to give expression to the fundamental need to realize true freedom that arises in each citizen. Liberalism and tolerance is in some ways spontaneous in each of us. It need not be imposed.

Difference between Adharshila and IPI While Adharshila focuses on educating the youth, IPI plays the role of an open forum for citizens to interact on higher policy matters as equals rather than mentors and mentees.

How do you set up an Adharshila branch? Adharshila is an informal association. We have a starter kit available today. We want to build a kit in each language that can be easily downloaded and printed. Adharshila groups can innovate and formulate their own material, subject to being based on broadly liberal principles that promote religious tolerance, freedom of expression, scientific attitude, etc. IPI (Adharshila Project) would be happy to host the material developed by different groups. Such material would be of the highest quality, irrelevant to the local needs, in the local language, and could be useful in sharing ideas across different groups. Please write to Sanjeev Sabhlok at sabhlok AT yahoo DOT com for guidance.

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