Back to my words..

It’s been a while since I blogged last and well, a lot has happened since then. Pretty much on all fronts.

For those who sought pleasure in sarcastically congratulating me for the election results, you still made me smile, so thanks for that. And I wasn’t hiding away somewhere, unable to face the election aftermath. Just a bunch of professional engagements keeping me rather occupied.

So well, I won’t try and follow the world in advising what the BJP should be doing next.  My mentor had an interesting take on it. It answered a lot of things for me.

A whole lot of intellectual talk came his way after the election – ” You should be introspecting, undergoing catharsis, give up on Hindutva and all of that…”. His response was simple, ” All these ideas and talk is great, but the change that you talk about, what’s going to be YOUR contribution in it? What role are YOU going to play?”

Most people, love advising and solving problems for others – non accountable types – have a lot of gyan to give, but not enough time or enthusiasm to actually contribute something of value. In politics, if you want to be heard, being a pure intellectual won’t suffice. You gotta be a doer – help execute, at least partly, the ideas that you speak about. Or find other ways of contributing – fund them maybe.

With all these thoughts, I’m not going to delve into advising what the the party leadership should be doing with their ideology and political strategy.  I prefer to leave those at coffee tables conversations just like college gossip.

And while I’m rather hopeful with the current way of things, I haven’t forgotten that the same papers, who wrote ‘All Talk No Vote‘ after the election day, screamed aloud that India had voted for secularism,  ‘mandate’ for congress and all of that.  There’s no disputing that congress won the political game, and I respect them for that. But to say that the people of India have awakened to make wiser choices, and that the days of extremism are over – would still be a utopian thought.

Just for instance, in Mumbai North-east, out of 15 lakh eligible voters, about 6 lakh voted. 2.5 lakh each to bjp and ncp and 1 lakh to MNS. BJP lost by a mere 3000 votes. Same’s the case with 5 out of the 6 seats in bombay. I’ll not get into accusing Thackrey junior for sabotaging it for BJP-SS, but just point out that the extreme still got more votes than the congress/NCP as far as Mumbai is concerned.I have collated the nos. from the election commission site, so if you have doubts, feel free to leave me a note and I’ll share with you.

So while feeling holier than me, don’t be too naive and believe all that you see / hear.

So that’s about the state of my mind. Next , what am I looking to do, really. I don’t know how much I will be able to do really. Being a professional with elite education to back me, I want to use these to listen to the voice of people and give them a chance to participate in policy making and execution.

Accordingly, I want to :

– Work with a bunch of IITians / IIM students on some e-governance projects – pick up global case studies, analyse their feasibility in India at a basic level and develop concept papers that can be proposed to the state.

– Interface with  tax payers / professionals of various sorts – understand their greivances and issues (those that are not entirely obvious) and see if there’s anything that state’s intervention can help in.

– Crowdsource issues for the governance / leadership to answer – identify the ones that are most crucial to each group of audience and try to draw attention to them.

– Work on interfacing political leaderhip with industry leaderhip effectively – to enable transferring of ideas at the right level.

– Hold events that involve complete civilans into thinking about governance related issues and contibute with their ideas.

– Use online media to identify, spread and raise the issues that are important to the people and take them to the right places.

A few months into the system I’m still in the early exploratory phase and there’s a lot that may not be within my reach to impact yet, but well, the process is on and the lessons too.


I’m Politically Active! Are YOU?

Having a status message, “Getting Political, Working with BJP! Wanna Join?“, evokes interesting reactions from people. From surprise to disappointment, to excitement in Joining in the effort!

So well, here’s my story!

Middle Class thoughts and dreams!
Brought up In a middle class value system, I grew up to see my peers talk of politics as the last resort of scoundrels. A family intimately involved with the Sangh gave me the first ideas and also in rebellion, a chance to question what I did not believe in.

Today, having fulfilled the middle class dream of going to an IIT and an IIM, I have a greater belief in my own sensibilities and a greater willingness to question and understand things that are playing a key role in this country.

I can’t not participate in the political process that are going to shape the future of my country, and my world…

I had to do more…poltu1
Have been witness to, and sometimes participated in countless sessions of politician bashing, blaming corruption and so on.. As I grew up, I no more sign online petitions because I see them as impotent. I didn’t participate in candle light vigils, because that couldn’t proxy for REAL results that I wanted. I couldn’t consider my responsibility as over, just by taking these steps.

I wouldn’t do this to absolve myself of the guilt coming from being apathetic or uncaring.

Not the Easy Way Out!

I am not going to take the easy route of saying that everyone’s bad and nothing can happen of this country. I will get in, understand things the way they are, and initiate change the way I see feasible and practical. It’s not an overnight journey. Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’m not asking to be made PM tomorrow.

More than One Silent Vote
I could choose to be a silent voter, in favor of whoever I choose. But this vote, would be more than canceled out by an uninformed/ careless or misguided voter. I don’t feel shy about having taken a political stand. I’ve taken a stand, and I’m vocal about it. I wear my choice on my sleeve.

At least I have made a choice. I’m not sitting on the fence.

Today, when I take a side, I am attempting to ‘Be the change I want to see in the world‘ . Young and yet mature, sensitive, educated blue jeans – white kurta politician, who may not KNOW everything, but has the will to deliver and the desire to make a difference.

History shall not forgive me, if I hide away behind the veil of busyness, and let the country go to the dogs.

I know I don’t have to fight for my bread as hard as my previous generation at my age had to. So work’s no excuse.

I am NOT afraid of the questions that people will ask, or what they will say, or will they look down upon me. What I can do, how much difference I can make, shall guide me more than the fear of what people will say.

But then why BJP?

On a sarcastic note, I wasn’t born a Gandhi, or a Scindia, or a Deora, or a Pilot , so I pretty much have no chance of making a sensible entry into Congress.

I don’t think BJP’s perfect. I don’t agree with everything each BJP leader says or does. There is NO Black or White in this space. And BJP, to me, seems a lighter shade of grey.

It’s consistently been fashionable to claim to be driven by secular values, and disregard BJP, while being the silent spectator to whatever else has been done, in the name of secularism.

I believe, there’s a better chance to bring about improvements here and be heard by the powers that be.

I’m going to write more  in the next few days, explaining my choice. I’m NOT a fundamentalist. Trust me.

So What am I doing for the BJP?
Having seen things from multiple angles, I do trust my intelligence and know how much the media loves to hate BJP, filling the whole generation of my intellectual colleagues, with nothing but hatred for a ‘communal’ party.

I am going to try to INFORM people better.

And then, everyone has opinions, ideas, issues that he wants raised, heard and responded to by the leaders.

I want to enable this to happen.

In a simple way, I’m looking at getting the educated youth to be politically active. And it doesn’t end with voting. It does shape in being vocal with your vote, and then playing an active role with the government at different levels.

It’s a citizen’s war, to choose their leaders, and I feel ashamed to know that 9% of eligible urban youth had voted in the last elections.

So would you like to participate in the WAR?

Join me, and we’ll rock. Join my enemy, and we’ll enjoy the fight. Just don’t be a silent witness.

Write to me at ankur.gattani(at) and we’ll talk about what YOU can do !

And I do know you have a LOT of questions to ask of the BJP leadership, before you even consider them, please leave your questions here, and we’ll try finding the answers from the horses’ mouths!