Sunday, August 25, 2013

Where to begin?

We Indians tend to speak in superlatives, so please excuse the superlatives in which the following mail to me is couched. It was received on Saturday in response to Rajan's reading the text of my talk titled "Towards Creating the Right Kind of Globalisation - Why it does not happen, and what to do about it", which was delivered some time ago at a conference organized by the Max Planck Society and held at the University of Munich. Here is the entire mail from Rajan:

Dear Prabhu,

I'm again overwhelmed by the breadth and depth of your historical and religious knowledge and vision, this time in the international rather than Indian context.

And I'd again humbly request that you indicate, from your viewpoint and in terms of priorities, where, how and who specifically should start in moving forward - you'll be familiar with the concepts of SMART objectives and the logical framework.

Warm regards, Rajan

I have, this morning, responded to him as follows:

Dear Rajan

Many thanks for your kind mail. I am convinced that there are many more people like you, prepared to start on the road to making things better in the world - the main challenge is locating them and then enabling co-ordinated effort.

The answer to your question depends on the resources, commitment and vision of the person asking the question. Some prefer to work on creating or reforming global institutions, others at the national level, and still others at the regional or local level. At the very least we can begin at our individual level…

At the individual level it is a question of seeking to know God and His “call” regarding my unique life purpose.

At the local level, it is a matter of working with at least two other individuals to identify some specific need that could be addressed. If one wants to work at regional level, or at national or global level, one needs proportionally more human and financial resources though one has to start with what one has, which might mean quite a small start.

The most strategic levels are of course the global and national ones.

I have tried to lay out the agenda at the global level (haven’t been able to get beyond that, as I don’t have the human and financial resources); and am involved at the local level primarily in India (schools, hospitals, corporate governance…but also right across the Hindi-speaking BIMARU belt in our country – so, in that sense, also working at the regional level).

At the national level in India, the challenge right now is to construct a viable Third Front and, more important, a Third Front which has something like the right policies for our country – and, most important, whatever may be the policies, the commitment to actually delivering on those (it is better to have poor policies that are delivered, rather than excellent policies that are not delivered). At present, I am trying to develop a sense of what might be possible regarding the creation of a Third Front given the range of individuals and organisations involved.

So at what level(s) do you see yourself involved - or getting involved?

Warm regards


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