Monday, February 01, 2010

Breaking Free of Corridors of Power: An Australia-based former IAS officer spots leaders with an urge to fight Indian elections

A FORMER Indian bureaucrat has begun a nation-wide initiative to spot future leaders who could contest Parliamentary elections in 2014. Sanjeev Sabhlok, a 1982 batch Assam-Meghalaya cadre IAS officer who resigned from the elite service in January 2001 to move to Australia, has now formed a trust called Freedom Team of India (FTI) which will discover at least 1500 leaders in the country before initiating a political movement at the grassroots with a promise of offering “freedom and ethical governance”.
An author of a book titled “Breaking Free of Nehru: Let’s Unleash India!” published in 2008, Mr Sabhlok had earlier made three unsuccessful political bids including the formation of a political party called Liberal Party of India in 2005 with an objective of achieving integrity, security of religious liberties and introduction of world’s best economic policies.
Though his new platform, Freedom Team of India, is not a political entity, its members are committed to contest Indian elections in future. A doctorate in economics from the University of Southern California, here’s how Mr Sabhlok describes himself, “I like to imagine that I am a practitioner of human affairs -- on the lines of Kautiliya, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, or Burke. But the reality is that, at least so far (!), I’ve been a mundane bureaucrat who has spent nearly three decades eking out a modest living (sufficient for my modest needs, though) by managing public policy projects and large organisations on behalf of governments in India, and by providing public policy advice and managing rather smallish public policy projects in Australia”.
Yet, this practitioner of public policy has been relentlessly pursuing his political goals and will be in India in February for a series of lectures in Delhi and elsewhere. He is propagating a classical liberal framework which believes a government should establish general rules and enforce them well.
Mr Sabhlok who is available in many social networking platforms, is eager to make new friends and convert themselves into a neo-political force. He writes in his site, “I’m quite open to making new friends since I’ve got unambiguous political motives and I need friends to carry my message and become my supporters! See, I’m very transparent and don’t hide my motives! But in doing so I would like to assure you that my message is for your own good. Have a think about it. No compulsion”.
Yes, his call for breaking free of India’s political monotony continues!


  1. A classical journey from babudom to netagiri! Well done.

    1. Sir/Madam,

      Do you have anything to offer other than cynicism? Tell us your vision of what path an IAS officer who prematurely resigns from India's highest civil service cadre, because he/she is dissatisfied the way he was ordered (asked) to do his job and sees that his role as an IAS officer is not advancing benefits to a large section of society and the pace is slow?

      GOD bless you my friend.

      Have a nice day.


  2. This is a typical "moral hazard" problem in economics-- you don't know his true colour till he shows it to you.lets hope to see colours of honesty and efficiency from mr. sablok.

    1. Yes you are so right with your statement, "This is a typical "moral hazard" problem in economics-- you don't know his true colour till he shows it to you." A great example is our current PM Manmohan Singh (affectionately known as Manmohan Skam Singh). By being a sycophant of the Congress's dynasty family he ascended from Babudom to Netagiri. On his watch Coalgate (including mysterious disappearance of files), 2G, killing of innocent victims who protested with Ramdev against corruption, and much more have taken place and continue to take place. Manmohan Skam Singh is a great example with his true colour coming out that he favours and looks the other way at bribery, corruption, and criminal conduct by ministers in his cabinet and top level babus in the government he is heading.


  3. Yeah very truly.
    "Everyone is wise till they are out of power"
    And that is applicable to all of us and not only Sanjeev. Some are honest to prove above statement wrong.
    I believe in Sanjeev's honest intentions (and expect success).

    The wiser are those who decide to fight against unwise and not the one's who keep away.

    So lets all gather momentum of change for betterment of Bharat.

    Jai Bharat!

  4. Dear Anonymous

    I would like to thank Babu Blogger for writing about my attempts to reform India. Much appreciated.

    My thesis is three fold: (a) Mother India doesn't produce leaders but Macaulian clerks (and sheep: willing to follow the corrupt Piper); (b) Indians can't work together as a team in order to achieve some agreement on a credible political platform; and (c) Even if the first two hurdles are overcome, the inability of Indians to work as a team means they are constantly belittling others in order to push their little personal agendas, instead of trying to bring at least some progress at the systematic level.

    Please note that this is about leadership, not netagiri. About results, not position. If you are a neta, please stay away! The Freedom Team of India ( needs leaders who respect themselves first and foremost and will never compromise their ideals for petty position or perks.

    Finally, if you expect India's problems to be solved by a single person (no matter how honest or brilliant) you are mistaken. My being honest or dishonest is important (to me!) but not relevant to India's future. Your capability as a citizen is. The ball is squarely in your court, Anonymous. You will either vote for the corrupt or the honest. You will either vote for the competent or the incompetent. You will contest elections (if honest and incompetent) or act like a sheep and follow the most corrupt thug that Indian politics can throw up. You are India. No one else is.

    Sanjeev Sabhlok

    1. Mr. Sanjeev Sir,

      You spoke my mind and through various forums, I try to goad those who are literate and educated that they do their civic part by voting based on critical thinking and analysis, and also help those in their immediate surroundings to do so similarly. Voting sheepishly does not and never yields anything positive. Yes we Indians by nature are predisposed not to work together as a team. Cutting corners, violating laws, rules, and regulations is the first thought that comes to mind when any law is enacted. I support you Mr. Sanjeev Sir and GOD bless you and I will do all I can to support you in your noble cause to reclaim India for all.

      GOD bless you and the world sir.


  5. I met him when I was 12 years old;now 40 yrs; an engineer by profession. I still remember him & know how perfect man he is.He left a lucretive job of IAS.He would have continue IAS , if he wanted to become dishonest as 90 % of IAS officers/govt officers in India are corrupt.Myself left Govt job since I want livelyhood honestly & afraid of Vigellence & CBI who are also corrupt.They are always look out for people from who get bribes by trapping govt officials even if he/she is honest.I have seen even my personal life;how my innocent father-in-law & in turn my whole wife's family life suffered because of CBI.For long 15 years they have grilled him ; ultimately when he has been found innocent after long 15 years;nothing left with him.He has been misbehaved/grilled by CBI, Police & Judges where as the corrupt people who actually done the mis-conduct were spared since they have managed by offering bribes to CBI,Judges,Police.This is India.
    Indian laws are very adverse to common people.These are only for the hurrusment of people not for the people.As for expample, take the case of Income Tax.These laws are extremely adverse to the people.Very easily people can be traped & hurruss.
    I appreciate Sabhlok Sir mind set.But in India ; this is very difficult to implement because of typical Indian mantality.Indian people can not be broadminded.They do not have petriotism.

  6. I talked to him through his blog. Wasn't impressed much. One of my friend wrote a review for his book and I published it on my website.

    I appreciate his vigor towards his goal,I am very hopeful that he will create some ripples that will have a positive effect of libertarian principles on some Indians.

    I will be happy with that. I don't expect anything more.
    Anyways, it would be a good step forward.