This is where my search for life vision led me to…[freedom]

By | April 24, 2016

live free

Honestly, it did not actually start with a specific search for life vision. But the search indeed led me to my life vision. I guess it started somewhere in 2004. I was a very religious person back then. Being born a Hindu and inculcated with daily ritual of prayers where I used to spend on an average about 3 hours daily in prayers, chanting, meditation etc. One would think this much of religious prayers, chanting and meditations would bring peace and calm in ones mind and life. Alas, I was still searching for something – a guiding light, my north star that would lead me to peace. I didn’t know what but there was something amiss in my life.

I remember going for some idle shopping one lazy winters afternoon over a weekend and chanced upon entering a bookshop in Newbury, Berks where I was living at that time. I was just perusing through book shelves and in the self-help section found the “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven Covey. I wasn’t much of a book reader at that time but this book had me hooked – I read each page with particular attention; I highlighted the lines and sections that I liked. By the time I had finished reading this book and spent time mulling over the ideas in the book – I now had a thirst for self-help books. I found the local library and become a regular there with free membership. By the way, local libraries in UK are one of the best things that tax money is well spent on. I was now reading regularly – it was mostly books on self-help.

Then in 2005 while visiting my village in India, I was interacting with the folks in my village and we started discussing the problems. No wonder the problems were and still are endless. This got me thinking as to what ails India. After a lot of thinking over several months I reached the conclusion that what ails India is it’s politics. Though I was sure that this was indeed the case – I still needed to get some further verification. I started talking to a lot of people – friends, family, intellectuals, grassroots activists, acquaintances; I also created a website to gather peoples views on my conclusion that  India suffers from it’s politics. To a large extent most of these contacts agreed with my conclusion. Now the big question staring me in the face was – what am I going to do about this?

Once having reached the conclusion that India’s politics needed change – I just couldn’t walk away, I had to do something. As a first step I started educating myself by reading books on leadership and Indian history. At the same time I started talking to few friends of mine in  India, UK and USA. I think it was around January 2006 I came in contact with Mr. Sanjeev Sabhlok ji, an ex-IAS (http://www.sabhlokcity.com/). He was godsend – for he was exactly the kind of person I needed for my political journey. As they say, he had “been there and done that” (do read his blog on his political journey). So far, all that I knew was that I was committed to change the politics of India – all that I had at that time was good intention, nothing else. Very soon it dawned on me that good intentions isn’t going to be enough. Sanjeevji guided me to read books/articles on political economy and his own book that he was writing at the time – Breaking Free of Nehru.

Now things were getting clearer for what needed to change in India’s politics – the answer was capitalism. But capitalism is a system but the idea underpinning this system is freedom. Ayn Rand’s books and philosophy opened up my mind to the deeper ideas and workings of freedom. Few other writers whose writings helped was John Stuart Mill, Hayek and Milton Friedman.

Then one fine morning it dawned on me that its Freedom – this is that guiding light, the panacea that I was looking for. When this awakening about freedom came – it was awesome. It still gives me goosebumps. Now it made sense when Nelson Mandela at his trial in 1964 said of freedom “An ideal I am prepared to die for”. I had my life’s vision, my own ideal – in one word: Freedom. How beautiful is that? I could guide my life living by this principle. Not only as the bigger vision of life but also on those day to day difficult decisions when one is in dilemma, just think if the action I take will lead to more freedom or not. The principle applies to my family, friends, society, India, the whole world. No other vision or principle, definitely not religion, can give solution to what ails humanity. Freedom can. Think about it.

The principle of Freedom is what I live for and in Nelson Mandela’s words “An ideal I am prepared to die for”, if things come to that.

 

4 thoughts on “This is where my search for life vision led me to…[freedom]

  1. Anand Arya

    Hi..
    That is really a great head start. In addition, I request to you update us the planning and execution that you might have already thought of making the economic system in India better.
    Certainly this will also embark us to be part of this wonderful campaign “Freedom”.
    Please take us along in this. I will feel privileged.
    Thanks
    Anand Arya

    Reply
  2. Sanjeev Sabhlok

    Anil

    You first wrote to Gurcharan Das who referred you to me.

    You are right: you came in touch with me in early 2006, by which time I’d decided to resign from Swatantra Bharat Party and abandon my India political experiment and was completing BFN which I had started in 2004 or 2005 to support my work with Swatantra Bharat Party. I decided to complete that work even though I had abandoned Indian political reform and even Indian citizenship (as a result). BFN is one of the three volumes of this book; the two other volumes are part of DOF, which is still incomplete.

    The proper order for the books is: (1) the philosophy of freedom – which is part 1 of DOF, (2) the history of freedom – which is part 2 of DOF and (c) history and future of India’s freedom – which is much of BFN.

    BFN was initially not intended to have any action in the end. I had no intention of creating any new organisation like FTI. It was only intended to be my “lecture” to India. However, feedback from my cousin, Manish – on the draft – was that I needed to provide a way out. So I thought about my experience (shortage of leaders: too many intellectuals and idle talkers), and proposed FTI.

    Finally, because of your persistence – that you wanted to engage in political reform – I decided to create a real platform FTI – for people like you.

    And except for the very small moment in time when I (mistakenly) thought Ramdev was interested in a liberal political party and that he would support me in taking back full citizenship of India and contesting elections for the new party, there has never been any direct political action left in me. It is too late, now, for any of that. My only goal is to support the creation of a liberal party/platform and to get people like you together, so you can fight the big fight.

    I believe you will succeed – and many other people like you will join. It will require persistence, though.

    Reply

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