Friday, January 20, 2006

The Inner Voice: Can you hear it?

"Mani Ratnam's Yuva is turning real, with five IITians deciding to join mainstream politics", reports TOI.

The party - Paritrana - was launched in Jodhpur today. Paritrana means 'complete relief from various causes of distress and that is what we want to do for our people'.

Brave. Foolish. Idealistic. All of that - and more.

Tanmay Rajpurohit, who's done his MTech from Georgia Tech after a BTech (Aerospace) from IIT B is the party President. Other office bearers include Ajit Shukla, Smit Bisen, Chandrashekhar and Bharat Sundaram - all IIT B and IITK graduates.

Says Shukla,"My inner voice told me I should invest in my efforts in country instead of making my pocket heavier... People think we are crazy so much so that our families have also failed to understand our motto, but we won't give up."

Deadly thing, this inner voice. That's why most folks pretend they can't hear it. Or choose to drown it out. Because listening to it may mean acting in ways which are strange and unacceptable in society.

Of course the families of these young men would be upset. IIT kya is liye bheja tha? But as Mahatma Gandhi once said: "There are moments in your life when you must act, even though you cannot carry your best friends with you. The 'still small voice' within you must always be the final arbiter when there is a conflict of duty".

Which, ultimately, is what these young men have done.

Two days ago another young man was facing a similar conflict. He too responded to his inner voice and decided to chuck what some would call a 'dream job'. To pursue his dream of being a full time writer.

This is what IIM A grad Sidin Vadukut had to say about his decision on his blog:

Dear All,
Finally after weeks of contemplation and thought and watching Friends reruns I have decided to finally do it. A few days from now I will cease to be a consultant. Instead I will be a writer.

As we speak an email is hurtling its way across the nation to my HR and MD indicating my imminent departure from AT Kearney. From next Friday I will be a free bird and will immediately embark on a book, freelancing, columning and anything else I can force people to hire my writing skills for.

The reasons are numerous. But in the end I decided I needed to do what I was happiest doing...

For the amazingly talented guy who penned the now-classic Travails of Single South Indian Men writing is that source of happiness.

And yet it will not be easy. Because writing pays far far less than consulting. Because at times the pressure to churn out publishable material makes an exhilarating activity a task like any other.

Because staying motivated and free of self doubt is always a challenge. One that I am sure both Sidin and the 5 young men at Paritrana will meet head on.

Have you tuned in to your inner voice lately? If you have everything and still feel empty inside, it might be time to slow down. Stop. And listen.


  1. Yes, we should listen to our inner voice. good to see that youth is more interested in doing what they like.

    But for me, some times i do things because i like and some times because i need to do

  2. The story of these youth remind of Hazaar Chaursia ki Maa --- poignant, hopeful and idealistic. I wish them all the best though...

  3. Nice Rashmi. :)

    I have an inner voice too.
    It tells me to do so many things other than what Im doing right now.

    I tell it that its not like I dont like what Im doing right now. I might not 'love' it but I 'like' it for sure.

    It tells me that I shud stop compromising and gather up my guts and take the plunge into a more fulfilling albeit maybe less lucrative line filled with risks which I can easily face if I wanted to.

    I then ask my voice about what would happen to my parents who have struggled so hard all their lives only to make sure they send me to the best of schools/colleges/universities. Who have made and still make countless sacrifices to ensure that I live a comfortable life and the least thing I can for them is to make sure they live a comfortable life in their old age and not be struggling just because their son is too.

    Please dont get me wrong.
    I do respect and applaud the people who have the courage to pursue their dreams and make it big.
    Its just that I dont want to take such a risk...a risk that involves my family.

    Just wanted to share my views.

  4. Very encouraging and heart warming. We need more such Yuva. Maybe some day I too will be able to join in with these guys. Till then it is "support from outside". :)

  5. Very encouraging.. indeed..
    But the website sucks for a group of IITans.. or is it my browser ?

  6. That was indeed a very hopeful and a very promising story. Sigh, my inner voices and my other voices always seem confused about one thing or another.

    But then, If I cannnot lead, I am not going to stand in anybody's way either. Thats a great effort the IIT guys are putting up with Paritrana.

    Perhaps they could also be using the blog medium spread awareness about themselves too - in India and elsewhere too. And JAM could probably cover them too sometime (which you may have already hehe!!)...



  7. I can't believe you wrote about how dangerous listening to 'inner voices' can be, and didn't even throw in a passing reference to Dubya!

  8. I hope they fix the bugs on their website.

  9. Politics, according to me is a profession that one needs to persue when one is mature enough. With due reagrds to all their potential, these guys from IIT may not have seen enough of the world. If you ask me, I would say these guys need to work for say about 10 more years before they persue politics as a career.

    Some may ask, "What will 10 yrs of work experience change?". A lot. To mention a few.
    1) One gets to know what the industry needs.
    2) These guys will come to know how they should market themselves.
    3) And more importantly, they would be having deep pockets by then which would take care of any unintended consequences of their actions.

    I also want to do for the nation something that no one else has done so far. But later. Rest assured ... I will one day.


  10. I believe that good governance cannot come about without competance. There are too many incompetent indian politicians and that is why we have bad governance.

    Being an IITian is not be taken seriously by anyone, these heroes have to demonstrate competance. I wish they had taken some years to show what they learnt at IIT before they entered into politics.

    Their broken website is seething with hindu nationalistic symbols and hyms from the rig veda. We dont need nationalism...we need wise and rational governance run by people whose identies are greater than their religion.

    Go and spend time in the slums if you really want to understand India and help.

  11. cool !
    People hear to inner voices and act - thats good.

    Wishing everybody who responded to his/her inner voice all luck.

  12. Hi there!!!!!
    Great example of listening inner voice and all. Its great to live in this virtual world and think oneself as being inextricably linked to the real world through something called the "blog" or e-newspapers and the communication revolution, etc. But people, have any one of you ever met any one of these heros and talked to them about their ideologies? I bet not!!! All you are praising them is for their inner voices and I salute you all for being supportive of this risk taking spirit. But what is guiding them to this enterprise is not known to you. You are not aware of the hidden agendas. I know of hidden fundamentalist(s) in Paritrana (or whatever the name is). I am personally aware of ideology of atleast one of their members.
    So my suggestion is just being an IITian does make him/her a "hero" and a morally right person. WE must delve deeper beofre we pronounce our judgement about people. It is usually a case of "far from good and good from far".
    -a Ex-IITian

  13. Interesting story. I kind of agree with whoareu's point that the IIT degree does not necessarily make them any different from the scores of politicians we already have. Politics is as dirty as any other industry, and the returns are often even better, as well as the fact that the retirement age is nothing short of death.

    @exiitian - By dissing their religious identity, you are betraying a strong amount of intolerance yourself. Whether their ideologies is derived through religious or secular means, is irrelevant. It would be wrong however, if they used a political position to promote their religion itself.

    @sudhindra - Politics is like any other profession. You need some experience to be good at it, so obviously in the beginning you will suck. However, I dont see why anyone should not involve themselves in politics because they dont have experience? Only by being part of the political profession are they going to gain the experience needed to run for elections.

  14. Very nice write up. Segmund Freud had once said that intution should be used to choose major decisions. It is said that "Great decisions are made through the heart, not the head". Even industrialists use more of gut-feel than analysis to arrive at the final decision on whether to go in or not for mega projects. "Yeh dil da maamla hai..."

  15. being a batchmate of ajit and others i can say that they definitely won't have any other agenda than serving their country. most of us dont have courage/guts to live upto our dreams but if few ppl have them, we should not criticize them endlessly. And how else can they have experience other than to enter the field itself. being an iitian doesn't gaurantee anything but since they are leaving the option of going into high paying jobs(remeber 1 is from georgia tech) it can be assumed that they are sincere and honest in their purpose. Come on their website is still in development stage and you cannt relate bugs in website to their potential performance/enthu.

  16. Hi @Whoareu (

    So you have met one of the people inside Paritrana and know for their hidden agendas/fundamentalism?

    But I was just wondering you are you anyway. Your blog
    ( was created this month and my guess is *after* reading this post. And of course it doesn't have any posts.
    your username is whoareu11.
    and your posted name is the all-revealing Ex-IITian.

    So really, hidden agendas is not a accusation we should be hearing from you of all people right?

    I am not endorsing Paritrana or the people within. No clue about them and 'franky my dear,...' but atleast the guys in paritrana *have* a website. Atleast we know their names. and hence theoretically atleast we have a chance of creating a value judgement on them someday.
    Can't say the same about you though, can we?


  17. My identity is immaterial. I did create the blog after I got an email from a friend about the IITians opening a pol. party and the link of this blog attached to it. I would attribute my minimalist tech-savviness for not having anything on my blog.I thought that I had to create a blog in order to post.

    Also, kindly note that the substance of my argument is independent of my identity. I hope and wish that this point of mine goes across. If I begin posting on my blog and have website,does that mean I am providing all correct info?? "Paritrana" for me is merely a case where you guys and the press has taken a decision in too much of haste and perhaps on face value.

    We have been independent for a long time now; we are a democracy and hence you control the choice about whether you want to praise these people for their "brave work"or not. I merely tried to add a few "facts" so that you make a more informed decision.

    To conclude "facts" remain "facts" irrespective of where they come from. If you dont trust me you can talk to the gentlemen and get to the crux of the matter all by yourself.

    I hope that shall resolve my identity issue for you. I dont desire any credibility for my arguments. I just trust "your" reason and "your" capability to put straight thought at issues. I am sure you shall get my argument and shall reach to "your" conclusions even by not knowing who am I.

  18. Though it is good to hear some good news(other than placements) from IIT's,Politics is just a game in which nobody knows who turns out to be a traitor of the people.Tho it is that they gave up high profile jobs, that does not simply mean they are going to work for this country. Remember every single politician started young of course!!!! Let's see if they are here to be different from the hackneyed class or are they going to be just one of them.... Time shall come....

  19. manik, iits have never been heard for placements, rather iitians have been known to do many diff things in life including research and entrprenureship. neways lets not go to this debate.
    They have nothing to be traitor of ppl. they can neways earn that much money/fame/power from ne other profession. so to say that they r in politics for some selfish personal reasons in entirely unfounded.
    most of the young politicians today are from political family only, so they have sort of internalized corruption in politics, but these ppl from iit are there to challenge every assumption/tradition in politics
    lets wish that they do succeed.

  20. @whoareu

    Nobody seems to be claiming that these guys are going to be great politicians. Or that they have an amazing ideology. So can we stop the judgements on those counts please?

    It was just about saluting them for taking a bold step.

    No matter what your ideology is, it takes some guts to do what they did.

    There seem to be other people who know some of them, and they don't seem to take issue with whatever their ideology is supposed to be.

    vivek's space has a post.

  21. When will we learn to think positive? Our minds have become so much used to doubting only the positive things. You doubt a person's honesty and you require proofs to believe in his honesty, but believe in his dishonesty almost immediately without any proofs. Have you realized this? Greatest of the distances can sometimes be covered by taking smallest of the steps in the right direction. I guess Paritrana is a right step, though small, in the right direction. Kudos to them!! They are at least planning to make a difference in the current scenario of polluted politics. There are different categories of people: 1.People who accept the things as they are 2. People who take responsibility to change things and do something good, 3.People who join and follow the second category of people to support them, and 4. People who keep passing negative comments about all the other categories of people. I would definitely not like to be in the last category, rather would like to be in the third category when it comes to Paritrana. Once again, congrats to the founders of Paritrana!!

  22. Hey to everyone

    I hope Paritrana will be the answer to India's Future. Lets first stop analzying on whether they would be successful or not.
    Deep inside the heart every true Indian wants to do something for India. So lets see how we can help them rather ridicule or doubt them. I can understand whether they are coming from coz I too have a Masters degree from Georgia Tech. If they are able to give up their career and do something for India, Dont you think its our responsibility to see how we can help them and help our country. I can assure there are 1000's of peopel like me who are sandwiched between the decision of going back to India to save India or to save their family first. Lets see how we can spread the word of paritrana and see if we guys in US can help them financially to conduct for awareness programs of the party. I truly believe that young peopel like us can and will turn the path of India.
    So kinldy think and act positive to this party and please for god sake dont analyze too much religion into the picture , saying that they are promoting hinduism. So kindly stay away from religion when it comes to politics. I really salute these guys for having so much of guts and passion to follow their dreams. So use our network to make them more powerful. So lets use our students network to gather men and power for the party and see how we can contribute to the country.
    I apologize openly to anyone if I had stepped on your toes , so plz dont come back with a rational logic to defend ur negative statement towards the party. I never said you are wrong , I just request everyone to see things with a positive touch. I know everyone is true from their perspective. All I am requesting is to help them and not to be a faultfinder.

  23. I agree with Santosh and others who talked positively. The fact that they have taken a bold step to give up lucrative careers gives a hint of commitment, passion and objective in them. They are young and may not have everything that's required to run a successful political party. We should help them in anyway possible to help achieve the objective in the best interests of country. With the support of young, educated and passionate people, this party can only get stronger to compete with existing political parties and bring about a considerable change in a positive way. Good politics and governance can make India a superpower. We are not loosing anything by giving these guys a chance to make a difference.

  24. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  25. Hi,
    I really appreciate the initiative taken by these guys and I m sure many youngsters want to do something good for our country and everybody knows that the main problem lies in this Political system. If we can't take such initiative, atleast we should give them the support in achieving their goal.

    I wish them all the success.

    Best wishes...

  26. I have an interview with Paritrana's treasurer-Chandrashekhar on my blog at

  27. Let's not make too much expectations.....
    Let's not be too sceptic either.........
    Their effort needs encouragement and support..........
    Let's not burden them with more n more expectations.....
    It's great effort for great cause......
    There must be nothing to regret,no matter what are the results...
    Not all the start up succeed in change we wish.....
    n more importantly there would be no change if we just wish....
    In the end.....Efforts matter as much(and in this case more) than end....b'coz there is no guaranteed ways of success

  28. I am joining Paritrana.Requesting every prospective paritranaiite to go thru this blog

  29. It's a really good news. We need such guys in our politics.I remember six months ago star news correspondant interviwed one guy who was MLA, who was not even passed his SSC exams.We need atleast graduates in politics,if they are IITs it's really encouraging and heart warming.but there is long way to go in politics.I wish them good luck.

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