We’ve seen over time that countries that have the best economic growth are those that have good governance, and good governance comes from freedom of communication. It comes from ending corruption. It comes from a populace that can go online and say, ‘This politician is corrupt, this administrator, or this public official is corrupt.’ – Ramez Naam
I can, of course, talk about the harrowing time I had as Director of The Corbett Foundation – not the work, but the way the Board (in particular Rina Khatau) behaved and treated people; of assurances and promises broken; the way sycophancy was encouraged and nurtured to unbelievable levels; the arrogance and subterfuge; the nauseating hold the Khataus had over their employees. Why most of them were so servile and willing to be treated worse than guttersnipes is something I could never comprehend. I always felt that the Khataus never ever learnt or appreciated the fact that the stature they achieved was by standing on somebody’s shoulders.
But I choose instead to share some of the most glorious, enriching and satisfying moments of my life, even when things were going awry.
“If you look at great human civilizations, from the Roman Empire to the Sovit Union, you will see that most do not fail simply due to external threats but because of internal weakness, corruption, or a failure to manifest the values and ideals they espouse.” – Cory Booker“
Sometimes it is difficult for me to differentiate between the 2001 earthquake and the 2002 Gujarat riots. The aftermath was catastrophic either ways. The events affected me in more ways that I can even describe.
I was as in Kachchh and survived, but had to leave as nothing was left of the Gujarat Nature Conservation Society’s field office.
I was part of ‘Sabrang’ for a long time. Realized I had been branded a pseudo-secularist only after I was roughed-up one night. How bad things were became clear when I realized that the phone was tapped and my children were being followed. Had to leave Gujarat.
Very much like a wild animal whose corridor of movement is slowly but steadily being eradicated I lived in the shadows of my nightmares keeping an eye out for further transgressions. Nothing much has changed even today.