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Manoj: much appreciated

Manoj said:

"IP is a voluntary forum for exchanging ideas and building a unified
vision for a better India..."

Thanks a lot Manoj. This reminder is much appreciated. 

As the size of the group expands and we have this continuous process of
debate, many occasions will arise when one person quite strongly differs
with another (as I myself have on many occasions). That is in the nature
of debate, particularly since we are not discussing simple things but
the entire canvas of choices available to us as free citizens of India,
from scratch. Nothing is given or taken for granted on this forum, and
everything must be justified afresh or lose out in the debate. Reason,
reason and more reason. 

I wanted to add to what Manoj has outlined, as a matter of principle. I
want us all to appreciate that many of us have seriously risked their
self-esteem by putting forth their views on many topics which are
contrary to the opinions held by a vast majority. It is important that
we all realize the enormous courage it requires, verging on
'foolhardiness' to speak out on issues which we commonly brush under the
carpet. The opportunity afforded by IPI to come out and talk as citizens
(or well-wishers of India) has not been utilitized by many, as I see it,
not simply because they are busy but because they do not wish to risk
their views being known. Simply speaking, they are not brave enough to
risk a debate. Yet. But give them time. Then they too will speak. I wish
to very seriously congratulate all those who have taken risks and
ventured to participate in debate.

>From what we have seen there is nobody who agrees with everything of
everybody else. But we have a mechanism here, hopefully, to amicably
resolve these differences and at least to try to persuade the other
person of our viewpoint, even if in the end the debate remains open.
When we are making a bold call for National Reconciliation in our policy
document, we have to set an example here. IPI has become a microcosm of
India. No one has ever been barred entry or been 'kicked out' from this
forum. All that is necessary is that all who come forward to debate
retain a massive sense of humor, and bring along a vast and endless
reservoir of goodwill and patience toward others. People have been hurt
many times by living in India, by Indians, by our history, by our
present. We are being repeatedly hurt. There are many many reasons why I
and you should abandon this forum, abandon India, and go to other places
where one is better respected and one's worth valued. Let us not
increase those reasons. Let us focus on building bridges.

	(hope my "lecture" is not boring anyone! I'm going to stop. One
	more minute! [Sip of water and a cough... Everyone yawns ...)

I have always hoped that one fine day we shall all meet somewhere, and
celebrate this debate. As friends. We might differ in our views on why
India is backward economically or why many of our best people find it
appropriate to leave India's shores premanently, but in the end what is
holding us together on this multi-continental forum created by our joint
participation, is our desire to see India really come out and prosper,
so that we and our children can share in the prosperity and well-being
of a great nation.

Cheers! Have a great evening. I must now revert to my research which
unfortunately got a short shift in these past months.


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