" I come from a family that has produced many scholars, educationists and social leaders, one of them being Loknayak Jai Prakash Narayan. Even though I was persuaded to join the Indian Police Service in 1981, I kept working for social causes even while in the government service. In 2010, I quit the job voluntarily to devote myself full time to social work and writing. My first priority is removal of poverty from India, and restoring the dignity and pride of the great Indian civilisation that unfortunately still waits to find utterance on the world stage in spite of being the oldest surviving civilisation of the world.
LIST OF ISSUES AND PLATFORMS
In the long run if there is one solution to practically all problems, it is education, more especially its quality, which is one of the most neglected things in this country. My main work and experiments relate to education, which is also a means to poverty alleviation. It builds up character, imparts knowledge, hones thinking skills, refines our emotions, and provides skills that make one employable. For having an idea of my work on education, it may be useful to view the pictures and news clips in the gallery section, Though I have been working mainly with the underprivileged children for carrying our my educational experiments, a holistic alternative curriculum and an alternative pedagogy have evolved in the process that can help all age groups and all classes of children.
It is a great shame for a country, which has all along been the most prosperous country of the world in the ancient and the mediaeval period, to be now ranked among the poorest countries of the world, and to be home to the largest number of the extremely poor population on earth. I have been researching on the phenomenon of poverty trying to find ways that could cure this disease in a few years’ time - at least of some of the poorest states of India. I, with my associates, prepared a 300-page project report way back in 2008-09 on a new poverty alleviation strategy and also a 50-minute documentary in English, and another in Hindi, to convince the political and bureaucratic leadership, who have no time or inclination to read long documents. Unfortunately, I discovered that our bureaucratic and political leadership in more interested in removing their own poverty, and seem to have no interest in removing the poverty of the teeming millions of India. So finally a political party was formed to acquire the position that would enable us to implement the programme.
BHARATIYA CHETNA KENDRA
This is one of the platforms from which I have been working in the recent past. As the name itself suggests, this organisation works for promotion and preservation of the Indian civilization and culture, or what is best in it, and to evolve ides and institution that embody the great ideas and ideals of this civilization which are not yet so well known to the wider audience in the world, and, unfortunately, are also not so well known, or at least not properly understood, and certainly not followed by, today’s Indians themselves. To know in depth about this organisation please go to www.bharatiyachetna.org.
THE GITA DHAM
The Gita Dham is a project of Bharatiya Chetna Kendra. The Gita Dham, while keeping the spirituality of the holy Gita at the core, seeks to rebuild villages by aiming at their total development. Today, my main focus is on this project.
THE BHAGAVAD-GITA PUBLICATION
The Gita is the most exalted and admired spiritual treatise of the world. It transcends the boundaries of a particular religion and is boon to the entire humanity. The publication has readied a novel edition of the Gita and seeks to make this edition reach 20 core (200 million) homes in India, and abroad. I am a part of this endeavor.
BHARATIYA SURAAJ MANCH
This is a forum of Bharatiya Chetna Kendra which works on issues related to good governance, or ‘suraaj’, as it is called in Hindi. It seeks to build up a strong and healthy consciousness for good governance which India sorely needs today, but which has been eluding India for various reasons one of them being the ignorance and lack of awareness among the people of India that does not create sufficient pressure on political parties and other relevant groups to work for good governance. The forum has done some remarkable work before the parliamentary elections, 2014, and after that. Its website is www.suraaj.org
This is a voluntary organisation that was founded way back in 1999. Its founding members included, apart from me, some of the most eminent citizens of India. I worked as its first General Secretary, but a decade back I opted out of its governing body and become its Principal Advisor. As its name suggests, it was mainly into research, but partly also into action.
THE CITIZEN'S COMMISSION FOR NATIONAL ISSUES
This has been the public affairs forum of Bharat Shodh, and, as the name itself suggests, it works on research, debate and dialogue on selected national issues. Its founding members included the following among others: Justice P.B. Sawant, the then Chairman, Press Council of India, and a former Supreme Court Judge, Justice VR Krishna Iyer, Shyam Benegal, the noted film director, Dr. AM Khusro, the noted economist and a former Indian ambassador to Germany, Space scientist UR Rao. Scientist Govind Swarup, Constitutional expert and lawyer PN Lekhi, Mallika Sarabahi, Dr. Yamini Krishnamurthy, the classical dance exponent, Mulk Raj Anand the noted English author, Kishori Amonkar, the classical singer, Dr. Asghar Ali Engineer, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, Ratan Thiyam, the theatre personality from the North East, PT Usha, the athlete, Pradip Khandwalla, and the reputed ex-Director of the IIM Ahmedabad. I have been its first National Convenor. Its website www.citizenscommission.in will throw more light on the work of the forum.